BAY COUNTY - The 2012 to 2013 school VAM scores for reading are out and there's a feeling of excitement for a small group of schools who earned a highly effective score.
"It's kind of renewed our sense of purpose and focus here at our school because we want to get highly effective again next year," said Brooke Loyed, Patronis Elementary's Assistant Principal.
Only three Bay County elementary schools received the top score including Springfield Elementary.
"The extra hour and then implementing a direct instruction for our students made a huge impact. That made the difference," said Harriet Taylor, Springfield Elementary Principal.
Springfield administrators say it's part of their success story. They went up a school letter grade from a "D" to a "C."
The value added measurement process is only in its third year. Schools are scored with four designations, from unsatisfactory to highly effective.
Patronis Elementary school leaders say their heavy emphasis on reading that helped them earn their score.
"Get the reading done every night. If something has to go to the way side, fine, but not reading and i think that was important for everyone in the school to know. Reading is our focus," said Loyed.
Officials say a "highly effective" VAM score proves the hard work is paying off. They also say it's a fair way to grade schools.
"That's the positive aspect of the VAM score. It compares us to schools very similar to us," said Taylor. "It doesn't compare us to Patronis and to Breakfast Point. It's comparing us to other schools very similar to us, so it puts us more on a level playing ground with other schools."
These scores also determine teacher bonuses and raises.
Breakfast Point Academy was the only other elementary school to receive a "highly effective" school VAM score.