North Pinellas area schools, from elementary to middle to high, fared well in the state's latest grading period, from 2011-12.
The Florida Department of Education released data of its annual School Accountability Reports for 68 of the state's 74 total recognized school districts and their comprising learning institutions.
The grading system includes factors such as performance on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, graduation rates, participation and performance in advanced coursework and college and career readiness.
Countryside, East Lake, Palm Harbor University and Tarpon Springs high schools all received A ratings, with Countryside and Tarpon Springs improving from B's last year. Dunedin High held at its B rating.
In all, nine of the county's 16 high schools received A's, or 56.3 percent. That's above the state average for district high schools of 47 percent.
"We're very pleased with the key indicators of student success and preparedness to transition to post-secondary education and careers," Pinellas Schools Superintendent Michael A. Grego said in a press release.
Though Pinellas' high schools fared well, the overall school district grade fell from a B to a C, according to the state's spreadsheet, available at www.fldoe.org. Pasco and Hillsborough both retained B grades.
Pinellas County's Adjusted Points Earned total of 473 was below the state average of 496.7. That total factors in data from reading, writing, math and science performances, including gains among the lowest 25th percentile of students and those at satisfactory or higher levels.
Pinellas County students graded favorably against the mean in terms of writing ability, with 81 percent performing at or above requirements. The statewide average is 78.5 percent.
All schools across the state were rated according to a new formula for 2011-12. Florida moved away from the National Governors Association to a system that is "designed to incorporate statutory changes, improve the school grades methodology and make school grades a single system used for both state and federal accountability," according to the Florida Department of Education website.
The new formula includes students with disabilities and more English language learners.
After compiling, rating and weighting all the necessary criteria involved, schools are given an overall point total. Palm Harbor University earned the highest point total, 1,382, of all 16 Pinellas County high schools.
All five North Pinellas high schools graduated greater than 80 percent of their students, led by PHU at 95 percent and East Lake at 94 percent. Tarpon Springs' graduation rate improved from 80 to 89 percent, Countryside's from 80 to 84 and Dunedin's from 72 to 81.
Most North County elementary and middle schools held steady with their grades from 2010-11, with Tarpon Springs Elementary improving from a C to a B.
Sunset Hills Elementary, in Tarpon Springs, fell from an A school to a B, as did Curlew Creek Elementary, in Palm Harbor, and Oldsmar Elementary. Dunedin Elementary dropped from a C to a D.
A-rated elementary schools for 2011-12 include: Tarpon Springs Fundamental; Brooker Creek, East Lake; Cypress Woods, Palm Harbor; Highlands Lakes, Palm Harbor; Ozona Elementary; Sutherland, Palm Harbor; Curtis Fundamental, Dunedin; Garrison-Jones, Dunedin; Forest Lakes, Oldsmar; and Safety Harbor.
San Jose Elementary, Dunedin, and Lake St. George Elementary, Palm Harbor, held B ratings from last year.
Tarpon Springs, Palm Harbor, Carwise, Palm Harbor, and Safety Harbor middle schools retained their A grades. Dunedin Highland Middle School received a C, as it did last year.