Dear Parents and Guardians,
On behalf of the school board, administration, staff and students, I want to begin by thanking you for the vote of support with our recent referendum. The ability to maintain programming for our students and make some necessary improvements to our facilities is greatly appreciated.
As a district, we are continually seeking to grow and improve in our mission to best meet the needs of our students and prepare them for success. The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) generates a School Report Card and District Report Card for every publicly funded school and district in the state. This is one of the ways in which we can monitor our progress and guide our process for continuous improvement. These public report cards are available online at: http://dpi.wi.gov/accountability/report-cards.
Accountability report cards include outcomes in four priority areas:
- Student Achievement measures the level of knowledge and skills among students in the school, compared to state and national standards.
- Growth describes how much student knowledge of reading and mathematics in the school changes from year to year.
- Closing Gaps shows how the performance of student groups experiencing statewide gaps in achievement and graduation is improving in the school. It recognizes the importance of having all students improve, while focusing on the need to close gaps by lifting lower-performing groups.
- On-Track to Graduation and Postsecondary Readiness indicates the success of students in the school in achieving educational milestones that predict postsecondary success. It includes the graduation rate for schools that graduate students, or the attendance rate for other schools. It also includes measures of third-grade reading and eighth-grade mathematics achievement, and ACT participation and performance, as applicable to the school.
In addition to the four priority areas, there are two Student Engagement Indicators. Each indicator has a goal, and schools/districts that fail to meet that goal receive a point deduction from their overall score. Schools/districts can meet the goals with a one-year or three-year rate. Goals were set by looking at statewide data and establishing thresholds that identify schools contributing the most to lowering Wisconsin’s overall performance in the areas below.
- Absenteeism (below 13%)- Related to attendance, the school’s absenteeism rate is the percentage of students whose individual attendance rate is 84% and below.
- Dropout Rates (below 6%) If you look at the past report cards, you will see that there has been a change in the scoring.
In the first years of the DPI using school report cards, our district had quite
favorable scores. We were in the “Meets Expectations” category for each of the first three years. Then, after some changes in how the scores were calculated, we moved to the “Meets Few Expectations” for two of the past three years. Regardless of what measures are used to determine these scores, we can pull valuable information from the reports to guide our improvement strategies.
As a school system, we have to actively seek more ways to improve. We have already begun the process of making some necessary changes. Among these changes are:
- Use of instructional coaches. We know that quality teaching is the greatestpredictor of academic success.
- Implementation of a guaranteed and viable curriculum. We are seeing academic growth in literacy and math with EngageNY and Wonders and expect that growth to be indicated in future DPI report cards.
- Analyzing and utilizing our data and making changes that have a greater impact on student learning.
- Identifying and implementing essential standards for each grade level and subject area.
- Ongoing efforts to align curriculum and incorporate best practices into instruction.
Please know that the district is working diligently to make the changes necessary for these scores to improve and more importantly to make sure that we are best meeting the needs of our students; your children. At this point, we know we need to make changes. Moving forward, some of the improvements we need to make are:
- develop school improvement plans with specific goals and target areas
- invest more in professional development
- evaluate our programming and staffing
- develop learning targets and common assessments
- focus on core instruction
- implement PBIS and responsive classroom strategies to support student behavior growth
- create a culture of higher expectations
Benjamin Franklin said “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” Please contact us if you have any questions. Together we will “Learn, Achieve, Succeed.”