TREASURE COAST, Fla. - The overall decline in the number of "A" schools is attributed to a tougher FCAT with higher scoring standards. Still, there are a number of success stories to report. Vero Beach Elementary went from a B school to an A school.
A Martin County school has also overcome many obstacles to make the grade once again.
The entrance to Warfield Elementary in Indiantown is unremarkable.
There is a new playground, and many classrooms are getting wired with the latest teaching technology.
But what's more remarkable, is the student achievement. For the sixth straight year, Warfield received an A grade from the state.
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New principal Ivy Menken says the formula comes down to having a highly trained staff who build a strong climate of learning for their students. The student body at Warfield is unique to the area. 86-percent of the student body uses English as a second language. Not only that, 98-percent of the students live in poverty.
Menken says their success is a partnership.
"Having a community that embraces what we're doing, embraces our mission, believes in our goals and supports us 100-percent in doing that," said Menken.
Martin Schools Superintendent Nancy Kline was pleased with the county's overall grades, and the adjustment district teachers made to the changing FCAT.
"The bar continues to be raised year after year so what looked like an FCAT test 10 years ago isn't even the same thing," said Kline.
Martin County's 17 elementary and middle schools all got A's and B's.
In St. Lucie County, nearly two-thirds of the schools dropped by a letter grade, but six schools still kept their A's.
In Indian River, more than half the county schools received A grades.
In Okeechobee County, the eight schools ranked split between B and C grades.