State report card shows Marion County elementary school needs improvement

Evergreen Elementary school earned a D last report card

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – A Florida state report card for 2018-2019 school year indicates a Marion County Public School needs improvement. 

The district overall earned a B based on the Florida Department of Education criteria, however Evergreen Elementary school earned a D.

On Monday, the state's top school officials held a community input meeting seeking feedback about ways to make progress and avoid closure or forcing it to reopen its doors as a charter school. 

The elementary school's plight came after it fell short of passing grades dating back to 2013.

School Board Vice-Chairman Eric Cummings said while the school is facing a painful reckoning, he said school administrators and teachers have done their best.

"I don't want to place the blame anywhere, I think there was a myriad of issues that created this storm," said Cummings.

During the input meeting held inside the elementary school state administrators described how and why an intervention happened. 

The poor grade prompted the state to intervene and hire an external operator to takeover.

"I don't believe most of the community wants this school closed. We have made huge investments in this school not closing by having an external operator. This is so we can to make sure this school stays open," said Cummings.

Cummings said with nearly 400 students attending the elementary school he is encouraged a turnaround will happen by their June 2020 deadline," said Cummings.

"The message is that we got to hit it hard, make sure that our kids get educated, and make sure we are giving Evergreen all the support that it needs," Cummings said.

Recommendation survey's were distributed for a turnaround option plan should the school not achieve at least a C grade by next year. 

Meantime, the external operator will be tasked to give state leaders monthly reports about progress throughout the school year.