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Beaver Dam Unified School District meets expectations on DPI report cards

November 14, 2018

Area students are not the only ones receiving report cards right now. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction report cards for state school districts were made public today.

Beaver Dam Unified School District once again is listed in the “meets expectations” category.

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.

“The report card is one of many methods of measurement and communication that help inform our practices, guide strategies and contribute to our development of goals for the future,” Beaver Dam Unified School District Superintendent Mark DiStefano said. “The Beaver Dam Unified School District has a great deal of which to be proud. The report cards offer important context, and we are defined by our amazing students, wonderfully dedicated staff, and a supportive community of parents, families and citizens who make Beaver Dam a wonderful place to live and raise a family.”

Lincoln and Prairie View Elementary Schools were listed in the “significantly exceeds state expectations” category. South Beaver Dam, Washington and Wilson Elementary Schools were listed as exceeding state expectations. Beaver Dam High School, Jefferson Elementary and the Don Smith Learning Academy were categorized as meeting state expectations. Beaver Dam Middle School remains in the “meets few expectations” category.

The middle school did go up in points, DiStefano said, but the district is not going to sit idly by waiting for the school’s scores to rise.

“We made a lot of attempts to address this issue last year, DiStefano said.

The school has an entirely new leadership team and everything, including curriculum, is being looked at to address the issue, DiStefano said. The overall district score for the 2017-18 school year is up slightly from last year and continues to land in the “meeting state expectations” category, DiStefano said.

The report card ratings are based on four areas: student achievement in English language arts and math, student growth, closing the gaps between student groups and measuring readiness for graduation and postsecondary success.

“The state report cards are still relatively new,” said Sandra David, Beaver Dam’s director of teachers and learning. “This will be the first year that three years of student data is comprised from the Forward Exam, ACT Aspire or the ACT, depending on the student grade level. The state is actually still working on implementing several additional measures on the report cards starting in 2019, thus making it a bit of a challenge for districts and teachers to adjust alignment of curriculum, instruction and internal assessments.”

The Horicon School District received welcoming news of moving to the “exceeding expectations” category, after meeting expectations last year.

“We are pleased the gains that we have made with student growth and closing achievement gaps,” Horicon Superintendent Rich Appel said. “We believe that these gains come from analyzing data and focusing our instructional efforts on areas that need improvement. Quality instruction throughout the year is what will cause scores to continually improve. We are committed to continuing this work so that these accountability exams, which are a snapshot in time of our students, represent a clear picture of what our students know and can demonstrate based on the learning has occurred in their classrooms.”

To find out more about individual district or school grades on the report cards visit dpi.wi.gov/accountability/report-cards.

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