Bay County School District Continues Monitoring Lowest Performing Schools

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Four of Bay County's lowest performing schools are feeling the pressure as Bay County School Board members continue to monitor their academic progress.

"We've got to be smart about how we are working with all of our children," said School Board Member Ginger Littleton.

Wednesday they stopped by Patterson Elementary, which received a "D" grade in 2012. It was the second visit there this school year.

"In looking at the data we presented today, it was mid-year data, so knowing that we are at midpoint in the school year, we have some areas where we are growing and we have some areas where we need to improve," Principal Angelina Hutchinson said.

"Do those numbers concern you at all?" NewsChannel 7's Bryan Anderson asked Littleton.

"They always concern me whenever we have children that are not functioning at grade level or better," Littleton answered.

The Bay County School District prides itself on being data-driven, but with Title 1 schools like Patterson, the data doesn't always paint the whole picture.

"You don't think of kids being hungry or the environment being stable," said Hutchinson.

But district officials said that's why they stick to the numbers.

"Sometimes that's a little easier way to filter out some of the outside influences that, to be honest with you, we don't have control over," School Board Member Steve Moss said.

"Education can be a very emotional business. We love the children, we work very hard for them. Data is the unemotional piece. Data tells it like it is," added Littleton.

And for Patterson teachers and administrators, that means their work isn't done yet.

School district officials plan to visit Cedar Grove Elementary Thursday, then Oakland Terrace and Springfield Elementary Schools next week.