The second round of school reports cards are in, and one area school “significantly exceeds” the expectations established for the report cards.
Fremont Elementary School received an accountablity rating of 86 for the 2012-13 school year and was one of 86 public schools in the state to receive the significantly exceeds expectations accountability rating.
The preliminary reports cards for Wisconsin’s public schools and districts were made public by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction on Sept. 17.
The report cards for schools and districts provide an accountability score on a scale of zero to 100.
Those score ranges place schools and districts in one of five categories: significantly exceeds expectations (83-100), exceeds expectations (73-82.9), meets expectations (63-72.9), meets few expectations (53-62.9) and fails to meet expectations (0-52.9).
This is the first year for district report cards and the second year for school report cards.
Districts and schools are evaluated on four priority areas.
Those areas are student achievement in reading and mathematics on statewide assessments; student growth in those assessed areas; closing gaps for reading and mathematics achievement and graduation, based on student subgroups; and postsecondary readiness, which uses several measures as predictors of college and career readiness.
Based on feedback from the 2011-12 school report cards, the DPI made adjustments to calculations for several indicators.
That means this year’s school-level report cards are not directly comparable to those issued last year.
Changes in accountability scores and movement between accountability ratings between the years may be due to changes in student performance or may be due to changes in how scores were calculated.
In the Waupaca School District, all four of its schools met or exceeded expectations for the 2012-13 school year.
The overall accountability ratings were:
• 76.4 (exceeds expectations) for Chain O’ Lakes Elementary School.
• 72.7 (meets expectations) for Waupaca Learning Center.
• 71.1 (meets expectations) for Waupaca Middle School.
• 72.2 (meets expectations) for Waupaca High School.
The district, as a whole, received an accountability rating of 71.2.
“We’re satisfied that the information in this report is information we can continue to use to get better. We look forward to the day when the curriculum is aligned with the tests,” said District Administrator David Poeschl.
He was referring to the fact that the accountability ratings schools received were based on how students did on the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination, while districts are in the process of transferring to the Common Core Standards.
In the 2014-15 school year, new assessments will begin to align with the Common Core Standards.
The assessments for students in third through eighth grades will be the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.
For high school students, the assessments will be from ACT (EXPLORE, PLAN, ACT and WorkKeys).
“I see this as a report to the public as to how we’re standing up,” Rhonda Hare, the district’s director of instruction and principal of Chain O’ Lakes Elementary, said of the school report cards.
She said the report is based only on the WKCE results, while the district uses many, different assessments to make sure students are not falling behind.
“The WKCE used to be the best diagnostic tool,” Poeschl said. “Since then, we’re moved toward MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) testing.”
Students take the MAP test on a computer, and the test adapts, based on their answers to questions.
The district is also using aimsweb to assess students,
Hare said that assessment tool was used last year in the middle school and is being used this year at the elementary level.
With short probes in the areas of reading and math, teachers are able to periodically monitor the progress of students, even on a weekly basis.
Also new this year are mandatory tutoring hours for middle and high school students who had a failing score in English or math.
“This means they have to forfeit an elective,” Poeschl said.
Students will be in the tutoring hours for a whole semester.
He said other students needing assistance in those areas may also go into the tutoring hours during their study halls.
Hare said it is part of the district’s Response to Intervention.
“We networked with other districts to see what would work for us,” she said.
Through interventions, such as this, the district will continue to focus on what it can do to close gaps, particularly among the growing population of the economically disadvantaged, Poeschl said.
In the Weyauwega-Fremont School District, all four of the district’s schools received the same accountability rating they received the previous school year.
The overall accountability ratings were:
• 86 (significantly exceeds expectations) for Fremont Elementary School.
• 78.1 (exceeds expectations) for Weyauwega Elementary School.
• 67.7 (meets expectations) for Weyauwega-Fremont Middle School.
• 73 (exceeds expectations) for Weyauwega-Fremont High School.
The district, as a whole, received an accountability rating of 72.1.
“The report card highlights strengths but also identifies areas of focus we need to address,” said District Administrator Scott Bleck. “It’s a way of looking at if our internal goals are matching the state goals put forward.”
Kandi Martin, the district’s director of pupil services and curriculum, said “We’re proud of all the schools and their accomplishments. We will keep pushing them.”
The focus for the district’s teachers will be to address the gaps shown in the report.
District-wide, Response to Intervention and Positive Behavior and Intervention Supports continue to be in place.
“I see the School Report Card as a living document. As districts evaluate the results and the state evaluates the feedback it gets from districts, we may see changes in it,” Bleck said. “I do like that it shows a picture of where our district is performing.”
Like districts throughout the state, Weyauwega-Fremont continues to implement intervention programs.
At the elementary level, Power 45 is a concept being used.
In addition to core instruction in reading and math, there is also 45 minutes of reading and math intervention, Martin said.
“I believe we’re in the third year. We started with reading and then added math,” Bleck said.
At W-F Middle School, the counselor does a lot of transition work with students before they start sixth grade.
The counselor meets with all fifth-grade students and their parents.
“We also have a homeroom concept for middle school. They have a set curriculum in the homeroom each day of the week, a different topic is addressed, like organizations and getting homework done,” Martin said.
In addition, three days a week, after-school help is available for students who have questions, with teachers rotating in the schedule, Bleck said.
“We are working to improve our accountability score at the middle school. It’s a goal to bump that up to the next level,” he said.
Martin said a reading intervention program is in place at the middle school, with the district looking at implementing a similar program for math.
At the high school level, Focus on Your Future Day continues to be held.
Martin said freshmen, sophomores and juniors take the EXPLORE, PLAN and ACT tests respectively, and seniors visit college and technical schools.
On a daily basis, students receive an ACT question of the day in their core classes.
In addition, the high school guidance counselor holds conferences with all freshmen and juniors. Parents are part of that conference.
The focus during the freshmen conferences is on their high school years. For the juniors, the conversation turns to identifying a path after high school.
Bleck said the district also continues to support its teaching staff.
“It all comes down to having quality instructors in front of our children,” he said.
The Iola-Scandinavia School District ranked 60th among about 377 schools in the state with a score of 75.7.
Iola-Scandinavia received an “exceeds expectations” rating.
“This is a very significant rating for this school and community,” said I-S District Administrator David Dyb.
“Our district exceeds expectations for its demographics,” he said. “If you look into the data deeper, the top schools are all suburban districts and most are only kindergarten through eighth grade.
“It is neat to see a rural school district rank among the higher achieving districts in the state.”
The district was ranked second among CESA 5 schools.
The I-S Elementary ranked 75.2 and the high/middle school ranked 71.2.
“I give all credit to the staff and principals with what they have put in place here,” Dyb said. “We have a very caring staff and supportive parents, which are a very important part of a vibrant school system.”
Besides the staff and the parents, Dyb noted there are many elements that contribute to the district’s high rating.
“We take great pride in our facilities,” he said. “When you have a welcoming environment, it puts students in a positive mindset for learning.’
Another positive is how the students are greeted by principals and other staff as they enter the school. “It goes a long way to supporting a positive learning environment,” Dyb said.
He also gave credit to the implementation of intervention programs, which address individual learning needs in the I-S schools.
“Every student gets something each day,” Dyb said. “I am very excited and proud of the staff for the work they put in everyday in helping our students be successful.”
He said the next step is to maintain the high rating.
“We need to maintain this accountability score and continue to improve upon it as a district,” Dyb said. “The bar has been set high.”