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RCMA charter schools earn ‘B’ grade from the state

Zulaika and two students

IMMOKALEE AND WIMAUMA (Aug. 1, 2022) – RCMA announces that its two charter schools, Immokalee Community Academy and Wimauma Community Academy, each earned a “B” grade from the Florida Department of Education, the state announced on July 7.

Schools are rated on up to 11 components, including English Language Arts (ELA), mathematics, science and social studies.

The state noted that 2021-2022 school grades marked the first full school grade data release for all schools since 2019. Assessments were not conducted in the 2019-2020 school year and were opt-in for the 2020-2021 school year.

RCMA students in grades 3 – 8 participated in the annual Florida Standards Assessments testing as well as three benchmark assessments in both English and Spanish during the school year. Even though 70 percent of students at Wimauma Community Academy, for example, are English Language Learners and the FSAs are offered only in English, RCMA students excelled.

Our Wimauma Community Academy, which has 340 scholars, boasts many accomplishments. These include:

  • 83% of the scholars enrolled in civics scored a level 3 or higher on the EOC exam, with 30% of the group scoring the maximum level of 5
  • 88% of 5th graders scored a level 3 or higher on the math FSA
  • 85% of 8th graders enrolled in geometry scored a level 3 or higher on the EOC exam

At Immokalee Community Academy, which has 282 scholars, 91% of last year’s 3rd graders achieved a level 3 or higher on the FSA math (Florida Standards Assessment).

“It’s a testament to the hard work of our students, teachers, staff and parents that our children consistently perform as well as and even better than their peers in more affluent areas,” said Juana Brown, RCMA’s director of charter schools. “Our bilingual, bicultural curriculum helps students succeed and achieve academic parity.”

Established in 1965, RCMA is Florida’s largest nonprofit provider of early childhood education and a nationally recognized charter school operator. RCMA serves people in rural areas living in poverty, primarily migrant and agriculture working families. RCMA operates 65 child development centers and two charter schools, and partners with 19 family child care homes and several afterschool care programs in 21 Florida counties. The organization employs 1,600 people, provides child care and education to more than 5,500 children each year, and has more than 50,000 alumni.

Earlier this year, Florida designated RCMA as a School of Hope charter school operator, just the sixth to earn this distinction since the program was founded in 2017. Because of RCMA’s success, the nonprofit organization is now eligible for grants and low-cost loans from the state to help it expand.

In addition, the national Charter School Growth Fund provided $1.275 million for RCMA’s charter school expansion.

RCMA plans to open Mulberry Community Academy for the 2023-2024 school year followed by another school in Immokalee and then a school in the Miami-Dade area. All will be K-8.

Learn more at rcma.org.