The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) released its first School Report Cards for 2,118 public schools and 21 independent charter schools in the state, including for schools in Portage County.
The DPI report card provided a scoring system from zero to 100, placing schools in one of five rated categories, ranging from significantly exceeds expectations to fails to meet expectations.
The schools achieved their ratings based on their students’ achievement and growth, how well each school closed gaps for reading, mathematics and graduation and their on-track and postsecondary readiness for graduation and attendance.
Almond-Bancroft Elementary School scored a 75.9, meaning it “exceeds expectations,” while Almond-Bancroft High School received a “meets expectations” rating by scoring 63.8. “We are very pleased with our results,” said Jeff Rykal, Almond-Bancroft principal. “We’re meeting expectations, but there is room for improvements. We plan on looking to the future to continue to challenge our students while keeping in mind this is just one piece of data that reflects our school.”
Rykal said the school is being careful to not “teach to the test” meaning they want to help students learn things that will help them excel in the future, not just temporarily for the testing that helps determine the DPI’s report cards.
In the Tomorrow River School District, Amherst Elementary School and Amherst High School exceeded expectations with scores of 78.5 and 75.5, respectively, while Amherst Middle School met expectations with a 69.1.
Rosholt High School exceeded expectations with a 76.1, while both Rosholt Elementary School and Rosholt Middle School met expectations with scores of 71.0 and 66.0, respectively.
In the Stevens Point Area Public School District, McDill and Kennedy elementary schools scored the highest with ratings of 82.1 and 82.2, respectively, putting both schools in the exceeds expectations bracket. Other school exceeding expectations included Jefferson School for the Arts, 75.8; P.J. Jacobs Junior High School, 75.2; Roosevelt I.D.E.A. School, 74.9; Bannach Elementary School, 73.5; Plover-Whiting Elementary School, 73.1; and McKinley Center, 73.0.
Other Stevens Point schools meeting expectations included Stevens Point Area High School, 72.2; Madison Elementary School, 71.1; Ben Franklin Junior High School, 70.7; and Washington Elementary School, 68.8.
“We are extremely proud of our students’ achievements and our teachers for their hard work and vested dedication to leading our students to success,” said Attila Weninger, district superintendent. “Our teachers have high expectations for our students and our students diligently strive to exceed them.”
Overall, almost 86 percent of rated schools statewide met or exceeded expectations, with 68 schools receiving an accountability index rating of significantly exceeds expectations. The remaining school results were split with 637 schools exceeding expectations, 906 meeting expectations, 190 meeting few expectations and 76 failing to meet expectations. Roughly 241 schools were not rated because they were too new, too small or lacked sufficient data to be rated.
The test administered to students was mostly multiple-choice. After this year it will change to a more comprehensive written examination to further rate what and how students are learning and retaining information.
Each school receives a 75-page manual along with a detailed 18-page report showing how their students were ranked internally and against other schools.
“The new school report cards give our schools the opportunity to identify both their strengths and the areas in which they can improve,” said Weninger.
“The report cards reflect a better, more comprehensive way of measuring schools’ effectiveness at helping our students graduate ready for college and career,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “These preliminary report cards provide valuable information for parents and educators as a foundation for helping all of our schools improve.”
A complete listing of Wisconsin public school report cards can be found online at www.dpi.wi.gov/reportcards/districts.html.