Bay County School Letter Grades Disappoint

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The first set of school letter grades are out for Bay County elementary and middle schools, and school officials aren't happy. More than half of the schools earned a letter grade of "C" or lower this year.

One elementary school received a failing grade, a first for Bay County.

Friday morning school board members woke up to see some disappointing school letter grades. The district earned 9 As, 4 Bs, 11 Cs, 5 Ds and 1 "F" for elementary and middle schools.

That means more than half of the schools earned a "C" or below. The failing elementary school is Oscar Patterson Elementary School.

"I am very disappointed that we have an "F" school. This school has struggled for quite a while. We have others that struggle as well," said Ginger Littleton, a Bay District School Board Member.

Patterson has been on a downward trend The school earned a "D" letter grade last year and a "C" the year before that.

Superintendent Bill Husfelt had already assigned a new principal to take over the school this fall.

"I don't want people to see an "F" grade and give up on Patterson and say that the word 'failing school' is a harsh term and those children don't deserve that and neither does that school," said Patti Fowler, the new principal of Patterson Elementary.

School board members say they're hoping to use some of Springfield Elementary's successful techniques to help Patterson improve.

"Our goal is to put to work what we did at Springfield now at Oscar Patterson because what we did at Springfield did indeed work. They went from a "D" to a "C" even though the FCAT was indeed harder this year," said Steve Moss, another Bay District School Board Member.

Part of that success may be due to the fact the state required the district to pay for an extra hour of classes a day at Springfield.

The district will now have to do the same thing for Patterson. Board members will have to find an extra 400-thousand dollars to fulfill the requirement.

School letter grades for high schools aren't expected for a few months. To check your child's school grade, log onto