FishHawk Creek staff celebrates its third, fourth and fifth-grade students earning top marks on the Florida Standards Assessments (FSA).

Data released this summer by the Florida Department of Education showed a decline in standardized test scores in language arts, mathematics, science and social studies—not surprising in the wake of a school year fraught with mass quarantines, mask mandates and social distancing requirements.

The staff at FishHawk Creek Elementary is celebrating though, because their students as a whole achieved a score of 542 out of a possible 700 points (a percentage score of 77 percent), earning them the top spot in the county. The score is calculated on a scale of zero to 100 in each of seven categories: English/language arts, mathematics, science, all student learning gains in English/language arts and mathematics and the lowest 25 percent learning gains in both subjects.

Principal Steven Sims is thrilled with student performance as the district grappled with seemingly impossible choices that balanced health risks associated with in-person learning against the educational needs of children, which may be better served when students are in their physical schools. “Obviously, we are very proud of our students for performing at such a high level,” he said.

In Hillsborough County, only approximately 50 percent of students in third, fourth and fifth grade passed the English/language arts Florida Standards Assessments (FSA). FishHawk Creek students in third, fourth and fifth grade had a passing rate of 78 percent, 82 percent and 81 percent, respectively, on the English/language arts FSA.

Hillsborough County 49 percent of third, 50 percent of fourth and 51 percent of fifth-grade students passed the mathematics FSA. FishHawk Creek students in third, fourth and fifth grade had a passing rate of 75 percent, 83 percent and 86 percent, respectively.
Other schools in the district also showed improvements.

“This stellar performance can be attributed to our talented school principals, teachers, administrators and support staff who have worked diligently and consistently to ensure our learners have rigorous coursework paired with high expectations,” said Superintendent Addison Davis. “As a district, we are determined to continue this upward trend by keeping laser-like focus on the proper instructional framework of small group instruction while supporting individual student needs.”

For more information on FSA test scores, visit or call the Florida Department of Education at 850-245-0505.

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MIchelle Caceres has been writing for the Osprey Observer for seventeen years. She enjoys writing human interest pieces about inspiring members of the community who are working to better our community. She lives in FishHawk Ranch with her husband and recently became an empty-nester. When not writing, Michelle is serving her church community, reading and enjoying Florida's weather.