Thursday's release of statewide testing results show local school districts are again among the top performing in the state.
The scores include those for Florida Standards Assessments in English Language Arts, Geometry, Algebra, Math, Science and Biology. Scores for statewide final exams in Civics and History were also released Thursday.
Overall, the Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton school districts ranked in the top 10 in most categories and age groups.
Local superintendents said they were pleased, but planned to focus future efforts on areas in which a smaller percentage of students had performed at a satisfactory level compared to 2017's results.
"Anyplace we went down, that's always going to be a focal point," Walton County School District Superintendent Russell Hughes said. "We never want to go down. We always want to go up."
He said he hopes the improvements made in most grades and subject areas will elevate the district's grade to an A when those letters are assigned later this summer.
According to Hughes, Walton students ranked in the top 10 in Florida in most subject areas and grades. He was particularly pleased with improvements in science. The percentage of students scoring a 3 or above in science jumped 8 percent for fifth-graders, 3 percent for eighth-graders and 1 percent on the biology end-of-course exam.
"We had a really strong concentration on science in elementary and middle school," Hughes said. "We were losing there. We stopped the bleeding there.
"We are improving greatly," he said.
Hughes was less pleased with social studies and some of the math results.
Santa Rosa Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick said he continues to be pleased with how his district's teachers have responded to the increased rigor of the state standards and, as a result, the testing.
"This is our third year of good, solid test scores," he said.
In ELA, Santa Rosa students ranked from No. 4 to No. 7 in the state, depending on the grade level being tested. In math, Santa Rosa eighth-graders were ranked No. 1 in the state. In science and history, students improved their proficiency rate, according to a press release from the School District.
District officials said the test results also helped identify areas that need improvement.
"We will diligently analyze our results, make an action plan for improvement and get to work," the release said.
Okaloosa School Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson sent a prepared statement when asked for comment about the latest round of test scores.
"I am extremely proud of our students as well as our amazing teachers who work hard for the students they serve," the statement said, in part. "We have started the process of digging deeper into our FSA scores, and as we do each year, we will strive to serve our students even better.
"This year, the Okaloosa County School District ranked fourth out of 67 school districts," the statement added. "I am eternally grateful to our principals, faculties and staff and I could not be prouder of the students who walk our halls each day," the statement said.
The complete results, including how individual schools fared, is available at http://www.fldoe.org/accountability/assessments/k-12-student-assessment/results/2018.stml. Individual student results will be available at the school.