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Local school districts earn passing grades from DPI

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction released report cards for the 2017-18 school year Nov. 13. Two area districts, Superior and Solon Springs, met state expectations based on last year's performance. Two others, Maple and Northwood, exceeded them.

Report cards provide a snapshot of performance across four priority areas and can be used to target improvement efforts. Scores are calculated in student achievement, school growth, closing gaps between student groups and measures of postsecondary readiness, which includes graduation and attendance rates, third-grade English language arts achievement and eighth-grade mathematics achievement.

The four scores are aggregated into an overall accountability score, from 0-100.

Scores are reduced for schools and districts that miss student engagement indicator goals of

keeping absenteeism below 13 percent and dropout rates below 6 percent. Absenteeism has been an increasing problem across the state, with more schools and districts having deductions than ever before.

None of the Douglas County schools had deductions for absenteeism.

Superior School District

While the Superior School District exceeded the state average for on-track and postsecondary readiness, results show that achievement gaps remained for students with disabilities and economically disadvantaged students. This is a current focus of district professional development and initiatives, according to a release from District Administrator Amy Starzecki.

Overall, the Superior School District received a score of 68.6, or "meets expectations."

Bryant Elementary School significantly exceeded expectations with a score of 86.2 and a five-star overall rating. The school scored significantly higher than state averages in all categories, particularly in school growth, 84.1, and closing gaps, 88.9.

Cooper Elementary School exceeded expectations with a score of 75.1. Although the school's closing gaps score was lower than the state average, its student achievement score of 74.9 was 10 points above the state average.

Other district elementary schools met expectations with the following overall achievement scores: Four Corners, 72.9; Lake Superior, 72.8; Great Lakes, 69.7; and Northern Lights, 64.3.

Superior Middle School met expectations with an overall achievement score of 70.6. While the school's closing gaps score of 74.2 was higher than the state average, its scores in the other three categories were slightly lower than state average.

With an overall score of 62, Superior High School met few expectations and earned two stars. Although its on-track and postsecondary readiness score of 90.3 was nearly the state average, the school scored lower than the state average in student achievement and closing gaps.

"These results help illuminate some of our successes and help to pinpoint areas of focus in our district," Starzecki said. "We will continue to strive to ensure that all students have the knowledge and skills for living, learning and working successfully."

Maple School District

Fresh from being named a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence for the 2016-17 school year, Iron River Elementary School earned another five-star accountability rating and an overall score of 91.9 for significantly exceeding expectations.

Once again, the school's ability to close achievement gaps between student groups, the factor that earned it national honors, scored high — 100 out of 100.

Northwestern Elementary School earned a four-star accountability rating and an overall score of 76.4. The school's top score in priority areas was an 88.6 in on-track and postsecondary readiness. It outpaced state averages by eight points with a 74.6 score in school growth.

Northwestern Middle School also earned a five-star accountability rating with an overall score of 85.8. The school scored significantly better than state averages, particularly in closing achievement gaps, 90.5, and on-track and postsecondary readiness, 91.1.

Northwestern High School met expectations with an overall score of 66.6 and a three-star accountability rating. Although the school's scores for student achievement and closing gaps were lower than state averages, its on-track and postsecondary readiness score of 96 was higher than the state average of 90.6.

Solon Springs School District

Solon Springs School, which encompasses grades K-12, also met expectations with an overall score of 68.5 and a three-star accountability rating.

In the category of school growth, the school earned a 67, higher than the state average, and the school's on-track and postsecondary readiness was close to the state average.

Northwood School District

Northwood Elementary earned a 75.3 overall score and a four star accountability rating for exceeding expectations. The school's closing gaps score of 84 was significantly higher than the state average, and its school growth score of 70.8 was above state average.

Northwood middle and high school earned a 74.2 overall score and a four-star accountability rating for exceeding expectations. The school growth score of 76.5 was 10 points higher than the state average.

The NorthStar Community Charter School and Northwood Virtual Charter School did not have any scores listed on their report cards. The schools are making satisfactory progress based on an alternate rating, according to the DPI.

The website indicates that alternate ratings are given to schools that do not have the data necessary to calculate a school report card score. They include schools with fewer than 20 students, those exclusively serving at-risk students and schools without tested grades.

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. Read them at " target="_blank">dpi.wi.gov/accountability/reportcards.