The Department of Public Instruction has released its annual report cards on the performance of Wisconsin schools.
The report cards show how well school districts and individual schools are meeting state expectations for student achievement in reading and math, preparing students for college and careers, and closing student achievement gaps.
Three school districts covered by the Waupaca County Post – Waupaca, Weyauwega-Fremont and Manawa – met expectations, while Iola-Scandinavia exceeded expectations.
The Waupaca School District’s overall accountability rating for the 2013-14 school year is 69.7, which is in the meets expectations category.
The overall ratings for each of its schools are:
• 74.8 (exceeds expectations) for Chain O’ Lakes Elementary School.
• 73.9 (exceeds expectations) for Waupaca Learning Center.
• 70.6 (meets expectations) for Waupaca Middle School.
• 66.1 (meets expectations) for Waupaca High School.
“We were assessed a five-point deduction because too low of a percentage of our special education students were tested,” Rob Becker, a principal at the high school, said in regard to the high school’s overall score.
A total of 22 special education students were listed for testing. Two of them, due to extenuating circumstances, could not take the test that day, he said.
“As far as we’re concerned, the number is 71.1,” District Administrator David Poeschl said of the high school’s overall rating.
The high school’s overall accountability score was 72.2 for the 2012-13 school year.
At the high school level, tutoring hours began being offered last school year for students needing help in math, English or science.
Guidance counselors identify students needing help in those core areas, said Carl Eggebrecht, a principal at the high school.
With schedule adjustments, study hours are replaced with tutoring hours for those students.
In addition, math and literacy are topics in non-core classes, Becker said.
Rhonda Hare, the principal at Chain O’ Lakes Elementary and the district’s director of instruction, said teachers are also writing goals and monitoring them as part of a program called Student Learning Objectives (SLO).
At the middle school, its overall score compares to its 2012-13 score of 71.1.
Middle School Principal Ben Rayome said student achievement is going up, and they are closing gaps better than in the past.
Efforts at that level include focusing on schoolwide SLOs for math growth, looking at attendance and continuing the Prevention, Intervention and Extension (PIE) program, now in its fourth year.
There are two, 30-minute PIE times each day, allowing students to receive additional help in reading or math at that time.
The Chain School’s 2012-13 score was 76.4, and WLC’s was 72.7 for that school year.
“We saw student growth, especially in math,” said WLC Principal John Erspamer. “We’re beginning our fourth year with an intervention time.”
Poeschl said, “We’re pleased overall with how our teachers and students are improving. There’s always room for improvement. We believe the pieces are in place.”
The Iola-Scandinavia School District continues to exceed expectations.
The district’s 75.6 score for overall accountability puts it in the “exceeds expectations” category for 2013-14. In 2012-13, the district’s report card score was 75.7.
Most of the district’s schools have shown three consecutive years of school improvement as indicated by the DPI School Report Card Summary.
“We have grown in our school each of the past three years,” said District Administrator David Dyb. “We are seeing positive growth on the state’s district report card indicators.”
The three-year trend includes: I-S Elementary – 74.6 (2011-12); 75.2 (2012-13); 76.8 (2013-14); I-S High School – 69.2 (2011-12); 71.2 (2012-13); 72.1 (2013-14).
The I-S School District scored high in the “On-Track and Postsecondary Readiness” category. With a 91.4 score in 2013-14 (slightly up from the 2012-13 score of 90.0), the district ranks as “significantly exceeding expectations” in this category.
“This indicates our students are ready for the next challenge past high school,” Dyb said. “We are real strong as a district.”
The I-S Elementary had an overall accountability score of 76.8, with a K4-6 enrollment of 371.
This is an improvement from its 2012-13 score of 75.2. The I-S Elementary showed the most improvement in the “Student Growth” categories, with a score of 72.8, compared to 65.0 in 2012-13.
The I-S High School had an overall accountability score of 72.1, with a 7-12 enrollment of 356.
The high school showed improvement in every category in 2013-14, compared to 2012-13.
“As a district, we want to continue to improve our student achievement and student growth scores,” Dyb said. “When a school does well, it has a good impact on the entire community.”
The Weyauwega-Fremont School District’s overall accountability score for the 2013-14 school performance report cards is 71.2, placing it in the meets expectations category.
That compares to last year’s overall score of 72.1.
“As a district, we’re pleased that we meet expectations in relation to the standards set by the Department of Public Instruction,” said W-F District Administrator Scott Bleck.
The district’s report card also shows there is room for appropriate academic growth, he said.
“A collective goal of our district is to exceed or significantly exceed expectations on an annual basis,” Bleck said. “The results of this are a snapshot of one assessment. It doesn’t take into account account progress or growth documented over an entire year of classroom instruction.”
The overall accountability ratings were:
• 85.4 (significantly exceeds expectations) for Fremont Elementary School.
• 74.1 (exceeds expectations) for Weyauwega Elementary School.
• 70.8 (meets expectations) for Weyauwega-Fremont Middle School.
• 71.6 (meets expectations) for Weyauwega-Fremont High School.
Fremont Elementary’s rating for the 2012-13 school year was 86, and Weyauwega Elementary’s rating for that school year was 78.1.
The middle school’s rating was 67.7 for the 2012-13 school year.
“We’re pleased with the increase in our accountability score,” Bleck said of the middle school’s score.
During the 2013-14 school year, the district implemented a program at the middle school level called Math 180 to target students who are below grade level abilities, he said.
With that effort, the district saw growth in the math accountability score, Bleck said.
The Math 180 program mirrors the district’s existing Read 180 program, which identifies a student’s skill level and works to increase it, he said.
The district implemented that program about seven years ago.
“It has shown the ability to close the gaps for students in the areas of reading comprehension and language,” Bleck said.
The high school’s overall accountability score decreased slightly. A year ago, it was 73.
“In an effort to foster academic growth beyond the School Report Card, the district has implemented Extended Learning Time at the middle school and high school to target student academic needs,” Bleck said.
Staff will target students in need of additional support.
“The desired outcome is students receive more individualized instruction in subject areas to support academic success as a district,” he said.
Bleck said the district will continue to review the latest accountability scores to create focus areas of improvement for this school year.
The Manawa School District has improved its overall accountability score.
“We meet expectations across the board,” said Manawa District Administrator Melanie Oppor.
With an overall accountability score of 68.5, the Manawa School District is rated in the “meets expectations” category.
Manawa improved from its 2012-13 score of 60.5, which put it into the “meets Few Expectations” rating.
The district improved its scores in every priority area, taking significant jumps in:
Student Growth – 69.8 in 2013-14, compared to 58.5 in 2012-13.
Student Achievement – 63.8 (61.9 in 2012-13).
Closing Gaps – 54.8 (33.8 in 2012-13).
The Manawa School District made most of its improvement in the Closing Gaps category, which measures achievement gaps in reading and math.
The reading achievement gap was 17.3 in 2012-13, and rose to 27.1 in 2013-14.
The mathematics achievement gap increased from 16.5 in 2012-13 to 27.7 in 2013-14.
Manawa slipped slightly in the On-Track and Postsecondary Readiness category with a score of 85.7, which is still above the state average of 85.3. Manawa’s score in this category was 87.9 in 2012-13.
The Readiness category includes graduation and attendance rates and test scores from 3rd grade reading, 8th grade mathematics and ACT performance.
“We are becoming very prescriptive about how we design instruction to fit the learner,” Oppor said.
To this end, the district is taking action steps every day.
“We are choosing to do local assessment to give us the type of data we need to make these decisions,” Oppor said.
“We want to be a leading Wisconsin school district,” she said. “Our goal is to be the destination district in this area.”
The Manawa School District enrollment in grades K4-12 was 724 in 2012-13 and 707 in 2013-14.