The Hernando County School District made some unwanted history this year. For the first time, one of its schools received a state grade of F.
Eastside Elementary School received the state's lowest grade for the 2012-13 school year. If the school does not improve, it will be required to implement a state-approved turnaround plan — one that typically comes with dramatic changes.
Shortly after news of the F grade in July, superintendent Lori Romano replaced principal Tim Urban, who had come to the school the previous year after it had earned a D from the state. The new principal is Mary LeDoux, who previously had led Brooksville Elementary School.
LeDoux came to the school with a strong track record and years of administrative experience at the elementary level. As the school year began, teachers and volunteers came together to clean up the campus and get it ready for the new year.
Eastside wasn't the only school to struggle. Fox Chapel Middle received its second consecutive D grade. If it fails to improve, it too will have to implement a turnaround plan. Overall, 14 of Hernando's 22 traditional schools saw their grades drop for the 2012-13 school year, including all five high schools. Seven schools saw their grades stay the same. Only one school, Deltona Elementary, improved, moving from a D to a C.
Four schools, including three elementary schools and one high school, would have dropped an additional grade if not for a "safety net" provision that prevents a school from dropping more than one letter grade each year.
Danny Valentine, Times staff writer