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Good news for Pasco's Cox Elementary as FCAT Writing results trickle in

The official 2011 FCAT Writing aren't expected for public release until later this morning. But school districts have received the scores, and they've begun poring over the data looking for trends.

One bright spot comes from Cox Elementary School, which serves one of Pasco County's most needy communities in Dade City. All but one of the school's fourth graders earned a 4.0 (this year's passing score) or better on the annual exam. That compares to 90 percent of students in 2009 and just 1 percent of students in 2008, when 3.5 was the passing score.

"It's exciting," said Cox fourth-grade teacher Mary Nicholson, who spearheaded the writing curriculum. "We are thrilled."

Nicholson told the Gradebook that the school infused writing into all aspects of the curriculum, offering a weekly writing camp and providing writing activities and games throughout the year, too. The school has emphasized writing skills in all grades for two years, as well, so that children improve their abilities continually.

Baseline data from the start of the year suggested that Cox not all fourth-graders were on track to pass the test, assistant principal Latoya Jordan said. The teaching staff had high expectations and "never once did they say they can't do it." Today, Jordan said, the teachers are looking forward to giving the eager fourth graders their scores.

More outcomes are due later today.

Posted by Jeff Solochek at 8:32:21 am on May 04, 2011