Drive through Suwannee County and there is a good chance you will see signs proudly displayed in yards reading, “Look who scored a 5”. Those signs represent a child who made the highest possible grade on their Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) test.
The inspiration for this idea goes back to Suwannee Middle School. SMS Principal Laura Williams credits former SMS BETA Club Sponsor Jeannie Harry. Williams mentioned last summer Harry wanted to use BETA Club funds to purchase signs for SMS students. Williams loved the idea but wanted the idea to be district wide. The district wide initiative was introduced at a director’s meeting with overwhelming support. Williams says, “It was really cool how everyone got on board. We are proud of all our kids but we are especially proud of those students because they tried really hard.”
During the summer, Suwannee County School District employees rode in a school bus around Branford and Live Oak delivering signs to students at their house. Suwannee Elementary School Assistant Principal Keri Bean says, “I believe the students and their parents were appreciative that we took the time to deliver their signs and take pictures with them. Our students, and their parents, seemed to be very excited to display the level 5 sign in their yard in recognition of this noteworthy accomplishment!” Current BHS sixth grader, Jaydon Piloto, received a sign from the teachers on the bus. Piloto says, “It was nice having everyone come on the bus and how it was planned out. The sign was awesome!”
In total, over 400 signs were earned in Suwannee with some students scoring 5 on more than one assessment. Branford Elementary School Principal D. McManaway says, "When the idea came up district wide to distribute the 'Look Who Scored a 5’ signs, Branford Elementary School was delighted to participate. We are always trying to focus on the positive. This was a fun and exciting way to congratulate students for their hard work and achievement. Some students even have fond lasting memories of the spontaneous delivery of their sign this summer from Mrs. Busch and myself along with some Suwannee District friends. Hopefully, this is an initiative that will become a tradition in our district."