All western Kenosha County public schools continue to meet or exceed state accountability standards, district report card data released by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction shows.
Of the nine grade school and two high school districts in the rural reaches of the county, seven “exceed expectations,” two “significantly exceed expectations,” and two “meet expectations,” in four priority areas: achievement; growth; target group outcomes; and on-track to graduation. No schools in western Kenosha County received overall “meets few expectations” or “fails to meet expectations” ratings.
Statewide, for 2020-21, 2,101 public schools and 376 choice schools received report cards. Of those schools, 1,781 met, exceeded, or significantly exceeded expectations.
The report cards, not issued for the 2019-20 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, now measure different priority areas. As a result, the score should not be compared to the 2018-19 report card.
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The 2020-21 report cards replace the “closing gaps” priority area with a new “target group outcomes” priority area “designed to help focus support on the learners who need it most, while also improving outcomes for all students.” It tracks outcomes for students with the lowest test scores in their school — the target group. Outcomes are displayed for achievement, growth, chronic absenteeism, and attendance or graduation rate
In this new measure, Riverview School in Silver Lake received a perfect score of 100 points.
“It is very exciting for our staff and students to receive recognition for their efforts during a challenging 2020-21 school year,” District Administrator Jon Schleusner said of the report card results.
Like other rural schools, Riverview School offered five-day in-person or virtual learning during the 2019-2020 school year.
“Our school-wide focus is on academic growth,” Schleusner said. “In an unusual year, we tried to keep our classes and activities as normal as possible with safety precautions. The positivity our students and staff displayed despite having to make frequent adjustments throughout the year was remarkable.”
Each school or district receives an overall accountability score from 0 to 100. This score is calculated by combining the weighted average of the priority area scores. The breakdown of the accountability ratings by score are: 83-100, significantly exceeds expectations; 70-82.9, exceeds expectations; 58-69.9, meets expectations; 48-57.9, meets few expectations; 0-47.9, fails to meet expectations.
The 2020-21 accountability scores for each western Kenosha County district are:
Brighton School – 83.4, significantly exceeds expectations
Bristol School – 80.3, exceeds expectations
Lakewood School – 81.8, exceeds expectations
Paris School – 81.3, exceeds expectations
Randall School – 69.9, meets expectations (.1 below exceeds expectations)
Salem School – 73.9, exceeds expectations
Riverview School – 91.8, significantly exceeds expectations
Trevor-Wilmot Consolidated – 73, exceeds expectations
Wheatland Center - 74.4, exceeds expectations
Westosha Central High School – 71.2, exceeds expectations
Wilmot Union High School – 63.1, meets expectations
Scores should not be compared across districts. Each of the four priority areas carry a different weight in the overall score based on each district’s unique demographics.
The “growth” priority area measures year-to-year student progress on statewide tests. By law, the larger the percentage of a school or district’s students who are economically disadvantaged, the more the growth measure contributes to its overall score. This allows schools and districts to be rewarded for advancing students’ progress regardless of their starting level.
For example, 55.9 percent of the population at Lakewood School in Twin Lakes is economically disadvantaged. As a result, the growth priority area makes up 38.9% of the district’s overall accountability score.
Conversely, 16.8 percent of the Paris School population is considered economically disadvantaged. As a result, the growth priority area is 12.9 percent of the overall score for Paris School.
Jen Jeffers, director of teaching and learning at Lakewood School, said in order to maximize instructional time the district followed a “balanced calendar, which included a shorter summer break along with three interim sessions held throughout the year.”
“Lakewood School is proud of the gains we have made over the past several years, and we will continue to work hard to assist Lakewood learners,” Jeffers said. “To continue to build on past achievements, the staff regularly review data and adjust instruction and curricular resources.”
For Westosha Central High School and Bristol School, the achievement priority group carries the most weight, accounting for 36.4 percent and 33.4 percent of the overall accountability scores, respectively in those districts.
This priority area summarizes how students performed on state assessments using a points-based proficiency system that gives partial credit for basic test performance and extra credit for advanced performance. The score is a multi-year average of English language arts and mathematics sub-scores.
“As we have come to expect, the students at Central continue to outperform students both locally and statewide,” District Administrator John Gendron said with regard to recently released ACT and Aspire test scores. “While we are very proud of this achievement, we recognize that we have room for improvement and growth.”
Gendron said the percentage of students meeting college readiness benchmarks in English, reading, science, and math as tested on the ACT is higher than state percentages and, based on state and national averages, 9th- and 10th-grade students outperformed their peers on the ASPIRE test.
“Specifically, our students excelled in English with 75 percent of students testing proficient or exceeding grade-level proficiency,” Gendron said.
The district is in the process of identifying the essential standards, or objectives, for all classes. “Once completed, we will refine and develop local assessments to ensure students are meeting these goals and if they are not, create interventions to support the learning,” Gendron said.
Meeting all needs
Bristol Elementary District Administrator Jack Musha said 85 percent of Bristol families chose a full in-person learning model last year and the state worked hard to ensure both the in-person and virtual models met the educational needs of all students.
“Bristol staff members went above and beyond to provide equitable education for the students of our community during these unprecedented and challenging times,” Musha said. “We also worked very hard to get over 95% of our students to participate in the Forward Exam.”
More detail about the scores for each district, including which priority areas are given the most weight, is available online at: https://dpi.wi.gov/accountability/report-cards.