Our school year is off to a great start! We are excited about this school year as we work with each and every learner to increase their success. As a learning community, we are continually looking to improve Wisconsin Virtual Learning (WVL). One source we use to reflect on our strengths and areas for improvement is the School Report Card.
The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) creates a School Report Card and District Report Card for every publicly funded school and district in the state. These report cards can be accessed online here. The Report Cards are intended to help all schools and districts utilize data on specific measures to target improvement efforts to ensure students are ready for the next educational step - including the next grade level, graduation, college, and careers.
The current School Report Card, based on the 2015-2016 school year, looks a bit different than in the past, due to changes required by the legislature. The overall idea for how report cards work is the same. At the foundation of the report cards are four priority areas. Schools and districts receive a score for each priority area:
-Student Achievement proficiency in English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics on state assessments
-Student Growth measured by year-to-year improvements in achievement
-Closing Gaps in performance between specific student groups (comparing English language learners, low-income students, students with disabilities, and members of a racial or an ethnic group with their peers)
-On-Track and Post-secondary Readiness is a measurement using reliable predictors of high school graduation and potential post high school success
The priority area scores are then aggregated into an overall accountability score, from 0 to 100. This score is displayed in the top left corner of the School or District Report Cards. It is important to note that the 0 to 100 accountability score is not a "percent correct" measurement. The score is primarily based on our performance last year, the 2015-2016 school year, across the four priority areas.
Schools and districts are also evaluated on their level of student engagement - test participation rates, chronic absenteeism rates, and dropout rates when applicable. Based on its score, a school or district receives one of five rating categories, from Fails to Meet Expectations to Significantly Exceeds Expectations, as well as one to five stars.
Here's some information we'd like to share from our WVL report card:
Some priority areas for WVL are in the areas of Student Achievement and Student Growth. The support systems we have put into place are Response to Intervention (RtI), which is strongly supported by research and best practices from DPI. In order to fulfill these goals, we have increased the number of students tested using iReady diagnostics as well as progress monitoring and independent lessons and increased teacher contact. With these strategies in place, student achievement and success will show a progressive movement toward higher success rates.
Given the changes required by the legislature, many school and district scores changed as compared to the last report card. The changes include a weighting formula to account for poverty when priority area scores are combined into the overall score; a new method of calculating student growth; and the use of Forward Exam data, the third state test in three years. These changes impacted all schools and districts in the state. For WVL, it meant our score went down slightly as compared to the last report card.
DPI has produced two versions of each Report Card: a quick one-pager labeled "School Report Card" and a lengthier, detailed version labeled, "School Report Card Detail." Both versions can be accessed online, along with resources that explain the report cards.
Again, as DPI stresses, these report cards are just one source of information about our school. Given that, I want to share some other data that helps illuminate some of the successes and areas for future work in our school.
WVL remains committed to achieving success with students and offering a supportive and inclusive learning environment for all. Our report card score for Closing Gaps and Post-secondary Readiness remains at a high level of success. As a school, we are intent on increasing test participation and student achievement in all areas, with a focus on ELA and math.
Please let me know your thoughts and questions as they arise. I look forward to working with you to make 2016-2017 a successful school year for your child!
Your partner in learning,