WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) – 2022 Florida school grades are out and Walton County made an impressive showing.

The Walton County School District has been rated an “A+” district by the Florida Department of Education for the fourth consecutive year, the first time ever for the district.

The district ranks #3 in the state out of 67, behind only St. Johns and Nassau counties in the northeastern part of the state.

WCSD is up from #5 last year, but back in 2016, the district ranked 35th.

Superintendent A. Russell Hughes said he is ecstatic about the progress that’s been made.

“To have this level of success in Walton County with our teachers, our staff members our students and our community really makes me more proud and happy than I’ve ever been in education,” Hughes said.

This is also the first time ever that all Walton County schools received a grade of either “A” or “B”, with Maude Saunders Elementary School now up from a “C” to a “B”.

“What an “A” means is that all of our students are doing really good when it comes to learning gains,” Hughes said. “It means that our schools did really well when it comes to proficiency. Taking students where they are, getting them to the next level so that they will not have a hindrance in growth educationally.”

When asked if he could attribute this success to any one thing, Hughes said it’s the district’s high expectations.

“You take every child, the highest child in our district, you take them to a level they never thought they could arrive,” Hughes said. “The lowest child in our district. We take them to a level they never thought they could arrive. If we have to accommodate you, if we have to help you we are willing to do it if you will give us effort, if you will come to school, if you will trust us, we can do it together.”

Florida has been issuing school grades for more than two decades now to give the schools and the state a better idea of how students are performing.

School grades are calculated based on proficiency and learning gains in core subjects like math and language arts, as well as other factors like graduation rate.