Elmbrook School District administrators were as proud as a parent with an honor student as they reflected upon their schools' glowing report card from the state this past week.
"The school report cards that were released by the state clearly show that our schools are among the best in the state," Superintendent Mark Hansen said.
In fact, the district earned the fifth-highest rating score among K-12 districts in the state.
All schools received a classification of at least "exceeding expectations," while four schools — Brookfield and Swanson elementary and Brookfield Central and Brookfield East high — earned the highest classification of "significantly exceeds expectations."
The report cards include outcomes for each school in four priority areas:
· student achievement, measuring student knowledge and skills
· student growth, measuring the annual progress of student knowledge in reading and math
· closing gaps, showing student improvement among student groups and tracking students to graduation
· post-secondary readiness, indicating student success in achieving milestones that predict post-secondary success
Can do better
Ranking fifth statewide, however, is not where the district wants to be, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Dana Monogue said. The first order of business, she said, is to get all the district schools to be classified as "significantly exceeding expectations."
She said the districtwide score of 86.1 out of a possible 100 is "on the cusp" of that goal.
Monogue said the district historically has looked at higher-ranking districts such as Mequon-Thiensville, which earned an overall score of 86.4, and Sussex Hamilton, a smaller educational system that received an 83.
"We want to be No. 1," Monogue said. "We want to be the best in the state and one of the best in the country."
While rankings are important, Monogue said, the district must pay attention to the changes in the way the state is measuring success through standardized tests. This is the last year of testing through the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination. Next year, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium will go beyond multiple choice questions and include performance tasks while measuring research, writing and analytical skills.
A new assessment, Monogue said, will guide the district in how it prepares its teachers and students.
"There is so much coming at public education systems," she said. "We need to be prepared."
Hansen agreed. In his formal remarks regarding the latest report card, he said, "While we have much to celebrate, our continued focus on taking our district from great to greater means that we must continue our continuous improvement efforts and raise our own expectations for what our schools and our students can achieve."
Recognition not easy
Celebrating the report card is not easy while the business of education is in full swing, Monogue said. Communication, she said, is the key.
"Of course, we let everyone know the results," Monogue said. "Teachers can feel pretty unappreciated, so we let them know. They should be proud — everyone in the district should be proud."
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- The Corners gets approval, town funding
- Brookfield likely to renew contract to attract visitors
- Tax case, Sileno talks run up city legal fees
- Police Report: Dec. 3
- News & Notes: Dec. 5
- City trails ahead in its Greenway path plans
- Former mayor Jeff Speaker will challenge Steve Ponto in Brookfield
- In Our Schools
- Ask NOW: What is the procedure for plowing snow?
- On the Move: Dec. 5