W-F ‘Exceeds Expectations’
School district gets report card
By Angie Landsverk
The 2017-18 report cards for the Weyauwega-Fremont School District and its schools are higher or equal to what they were a year ago.
“As a district, we are proud we improved the overall district score and continue to exceed expectations as a district,” said District Administrator Scott Bleck. “But we understand there is still work to be completed, addressed.”
Released to the public this month, the report cards are based on four priority areas: student achievement, school growth, closing gaps and on-track and postsecondary readiness.
They provide a snapshot of performance across those four areas and may be used to target improvement efforts.
The W-F School District received a district report card score of 76.8 for the 2017-18 school year.
That score fell in the Exceeds Expectations category and compares to last year’s district score of 74.
The Exceeds Expectations category includes scores of 73 to 82.9.
The district is among the 206 districts throughout the state that exceeded expectations for the 2017-18 school year.
W-F High School received a school report card score of 61.9 for the 2017-18 school year, placing it in the Meets Few Expectations category.
That category includes scores of 53 to 62.9.
The high school’s score improved from a year ago, when it was 60.7.
At the high school level, the district is “continuing work to identify strategies and instructional methods to enhance student outcomes that will demonstrate student success,” Bleck said.
The ACT Plus Writing is the testing score being used at that level for the school report card.
All high school juniors in Wisconsin are required to take the test, regardless of whether they plan to go to college after high school.
That began in the 2014-15 school year.
The ACT composite score for W-F High School’s current senior class of 84 students was 19.89.
The state’s composite score was 19.7 on a scale of one to 36.
“The high school does not get a growth score, because they’re (the junior class) only taking one test,” said Kandi Martin, the district’s pupil services/curriculum director.
In addition to the ACT score of a school’s junior class, high school scores are also based on the school’s drop-out, absenteeism and graduation rates.
W-F High School did not receive any deductions for its drop-out, absenteeism and graduation rates.
Martin noted the district has never received deductions for its drop-out and absenteeism rates.
“Attendance is a school culture,” Bleck said. “Our culture has our students at school on a regular basis.”
Martin said the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is foreshadowing next year’s score for high schools will also include scores from the ACT Aspire, a test taken by students in ninth and tenth grades.
It is a predicter of how students may do when they take the ACT test their junior year of high school, she said.
Martin said opportunities are offered at W-F High School for ACT prep.
“We saw growth, and I think that is an indicator we are moving in the right direction with enhanced student learning,” Bleck said.
W-F Middle School’s 2017-18 school report card score of 78.7 fell in the Exceeds Expectations category.
The school’s score for the 2016-17 school year was 78.8.
Martin said the middle school score is based on the whole student population and how they do in English and math on the Forward Exam.
“Our middle school is sixth, seventh and eighth grades. The entire school is taking the Forward Exam,” she said.
Martin said the middle school beat the state average in every category.
Bleck said, “The methods and strategies at the middle school continue to demonstrate outcomes which exceed expectations.”
At the elementary level, the score is based on the Forward Exam taken by the third, fourth and fifth graders, again in English and math.
Bleck said Weyauwega Elementary’s school report score increased from 64.4 in the 2016-17 school year to 71.2 in the 2017-18 school year.
Both fell in the Meets Expectations category, which has scores of 63 to 72.9.
Fremont Elementary’s score remained the same at 91.6.
Schools with scores of 83 to 100 fall in the Significantly Exceeds Expectations category.
Bleck recognized the district’s staff, who he said continue to give their best effort.
“Our teachers and staff are committed to increasing positive student outcomes,” he said.
The percentage of economically disadvantaged students in a district or particular school is a discussion point in some districts.
“We’re here to meet the needs of all students,” said Martin.
One of the district’s goals this school year is to further improve its math outcomes.
In partnership with CESA 6, math coaches are in the W-F district this school year.
It will allow the district to reflect on its past practices.
This school year, new elementary math textbooks will be chosen to be in place for the next school year.
Martin said the math coaches from CESA 6 will help give the school district an unbiased opinion on available math curriculums.
She said the district maintained or made improvements in its schools this past school year.
“Since the report card started, the district has been on a continual journey to improve the overall district report card. As a district, we continue to move in an upward trend,” Bleck said.