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Waupun School District meets expectations

November 14, 2018

WAUPUN — The Waupun Area School District is reviewing the results of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction report cards, but has already started some new programs it believes will increase district achievement overall.

“WASD, as all districts are doing, is reviewing the data to make informed decisions in moving forward,” Superintendent Steven Hill said. “WASD saw positives and opportunities to address from this one data point. We continue to see growth in our literacy and are excited to see the beginning of our new math resources being implemented.”

The district scored earn 70.8 on the report cards, falling into the upper end of the “meets expectations” category. The district’s charter school, School for Agriculture and Environmental Studies (SAGES), scored in the “significantly exceeds expectations” category, DPI’s highest mark.

“The Waupun Area School District has established a mission of ‘acting together to maximize every student’s potential,’” Hill said. “We have a strategic plan in place with goals established to help us live this mission and to continually improve. The State Accountability Report Card is one measure that helps inform our work. However, we use many measures to ensure we are meeting student needs and to help us monitor or revise our plans. This includes district assessments, student feedback, as well as longitudinal data.”

The report cards are released as part of the Wisconsin public school accountability system. This is the third year of the report cards in their present form. The district data is not an average of each school’s numbers, but rather a compilation of all the scores as if the district were one big school.

In total, 84 percent of the state’s schools, including public and private choice schools, met or exceeded expectations this year. Of the 422 school districts, 96 percent of them met or exceeded expectations.

“This current school year, we have adopted new resources for teaching math in grade 4K-8,” Hill said. “We are excited about these resources and believe we will see an increase in student achievement over the next three to four years. We have also added additional resources to assist students who need extra support in math. For literacy, we continue a long-range plan of learning about high-leverage literacy practices. We have an upward trend in our student data since we have started this long-range plan, but we certainly have not arrived at our destination of excellence.”

Hill said the district has made great strides toward that destination.

“The Waupun Area School District has recently increased access to student technology and has a 1:1 device in grades 2 through 6,” Hill said. “We believe that, while technology doesn’t automatically increase student achievement, the increase in technology provides for more differentiation, easier access to information, and increased access to learning tools than ever before.”

Four area school districts scored in the “exceeds expectations” on the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction report cards this year. Randolph scored the highest at 78.8 percent, Columbus scored 75.2 percent, Fall River scored 75 percent and Horicon scored 73.2 percent.

Becky Schmidt, Columbus director of curriculum and instruction, said the district is happy about the overall score but plans to inform the public on how the report cards affect the individual schools. Columbus receives five report cards: one for the district, and one for each of its four schools — Columbus Elementary School, Discovery Charter School, Columbus Middle School and Columbus High School.

“One thing that is crucial to know is that in 2017-18, each of the five report cards is based on different criteria,” Schmidt said.

Columbus is conducting a parent/community report card presentation on Thursday, at 6:30 p.m. in the middle school library. The district will explain the components and differences among all Columbus district/school report cards at this meeting, as well as discuss the district’s efforts for continuous improvement

Other schools meeting expectations were Dodgeland at 71.5 percent, Mayville at 67.5 percent, Beaver Dam at 64.9 percent and Cambria-Friesland at 63.9 percent.

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