Citrus County School District Logo

Citrus County's elementary schools made a rebound from last year but student-performance across the school district remained about the same, annual school grades released Thursday showed.

Grades for districts and schools are released each year by the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) to illustrate educational performance of schools and students.

FDOE considers up to 11 factors, like student results in statewide standardized tests, high school graduation rates and successes in advanced courses in secondary schools, in scoring a district and its schools.

For the fourth year running, the school district kept its B grade, making 2019 the 15th consecutive year the district has had either an A or B ranking.

There are no local schools with a D or F grading — the 10th consecutive year that's been the case in the district.

Of the 11 elementary schools, Forest Ridge Elementary and Inverness Primary School saw their grades raise year over year. In 2018, six elementary schools saw their grades fall.

2019 School Grades: Elementary Schools

School Name 2019 School Grade 2018 School Grade 2017 School Grade
Central Ridge Elementary School C C B
Citrus Springs Elementary School B B B
Crystal River Primary School C C C
Floral City Elementary School C C B
Forest Ridge Elementary School B C B
Hernando Elementary School B B B
Homosassa Elementary School C C A
Inverness Primary School A C B
Lecanto Primary School C C B
Pleasant Grove Elementary School B B C
Rock Crusher Elementary School B A B

Inverness Primary jumped to an A from a C last year.

District administrators credit that increase to the "vast improvements" students there made in math test scores, and last year's implementation in the primary school of added curriculum, known as i-Ready, said Amy Crowell, director of research and accountability for the district.

Crowell said i-Ready allows teachers to better instruct students directly on Florida's educational standards, which are then tested on by the state.

Rock Crusher Elementary and Citrus Springs Middle both lost their A ratings from 2018 due to a drop reported districtwide — except at Inverness Primary — in the number of students who passed math assessments, and how many scored at a certain level above their prior maths exams, Crowell said. Both schools got Bs this year.

Grades at other elementary schools and middle schools in the district were unchanged year over year.

Crowell noted that end-of-course testing results in geometry and algebra for middle and high school students were an exception.

However, "great growth" across the district in testing scores for science, social studies and English/Language Arts, and high graduation rates left other school grades unchanged, Crowell said.

2019 School Grades: Middle Schools

School Name 2019 Grade 2018 Grade 2017 Grade
Citrus Springs Middle School B A B
Crystal River Middle School C C B
Inverness Middle School B B C
Lecanto Middle School B B B

Citrus High's grade also increased to a B from a C. Lecanto retained its B grade.

Crystal River High's grade was listed as incomplete as of Friday. Crowell said the FDOE is still reviewing the high school's data to determine if enough students were tested.

FDOE can't calculate a grade if less than 95% of students were tested.

If FDOE is unable to grade Crystal River High because of a lack of test scores, the school district will appeal, Crowell said, adding she expects a grade for the high school within the month or so.

2019 School Grades: High Schools

School Name 2019 Grade 2018 Grade 2017 Grade
Citrus High School B C B
Crystal River High School Incomplete B C
Lecanto High School B B B

Superintendent of Schools Sandra "Sam" Himmel said in a news release she was happy with FDOE's report card on her district, especially with the marks of Inverness Primary, but added that more work needs to be done.

"As always, I am proud of our teachers, administrators and staff,” she said. “I know how hard they work to see their students succeed."

Sam Himmel mug 2018

Citrus County Superintendent of Schools Sandra "Sam" Himmel.

She said she plans to extend Inverness Primary's i-Ready curriculum throughout the district's other elementary schools.

"We are anticipating very good results," Himmel said. "Hard work pays off, and this is truly a testament to not only teachers and staff, but the support we have from our families and community partners.”

To view the school grades and associated data, visit

Contact Chronicle reporter Buster Thompson at 352-564-2916 or