During the Grantsburg school board meeting on Monday, Dec. 13, the principals from each of the schools in the district were able to discuss the grading that they received on their statewide ‘district report cards’ with the board. 

Overall, the district received a rating of ‘meets expectations’ with a score of 65.1.

The Grantsburg High School received a district report card rating of ‘meets expectations’ with an overall score of 65.2. In achievement they scored 60.4, growth 65.1, target group outcomes 51.7, and on-track graduation 88.3.

The math scores were all above the state average for the high school. In the growth category, math is above the normalized average for nearly all demographics of students. In English, High School Principal Matt Haase explained to the school board that the achievement scores continue to score high, including there being an increase from the previous school year. 

“The growth score for English is an area for improvement as the normalized average was low across all demographics. With the curriculum update for ELA, we are keeping a close eye on this data, as it takes time to see the impact of a new curriculum. We are looking for those small wins that we can celebrate along the journey,” Haase stated. 

Then there is the target group outcome score, which is a new score on the district report cards this year. It is described as outcomes for students with the lowest test scores in their school- the target group. It is supposed to promote equity by helping the schools focus on their learners who need the most support while also improving the outcomes for all their students. 

Haase stated that, “The report does identify GHS with the same score or higher than 32.3% of schools in the state.”

“As staff, we will continue to study the ways to identify and improve the target outcomes. During the current school year, we are building the RTI program by working with Wisconsin RTI Center and CESA 11. The RTI aids are identifying students of concern earlier and aligning resources to support their needs.”

Another thing that Haase wanted to point out with the report card is that it identifies that GHS is above the state average with students taking AP courses as well as earning industry recognized credentials. 

The Grantsburg Middle School also received a district report card rating of ‘meets expectations’, but their overall score was a tad higher at 65.6. In achievement they scored 63.4, growth 60.3, target group outcomes 57.6, on-track to graduation 82.7.

High School Principal Kris Wallace said, “Our growth is a major priority, more so than the high school. 37.2% of our overall score comes from the growth piece.”

He reported to the board that their math and ELA achievement scores were overall exceeding the state averages. 

“Our biggest impact area is our growth score. While our students are achieving and above state averages, our growth has lagged behind and has impacted our overall score.”

In order to help improve these growth scores, Wallace said their math and ELA goals are aligned with a growth target for their middle school goals. 

The Grantsburg Elementary School received the best district report card rating of ‘exceeds expectations’ with an overall score of 74.4. In achievement they scored 70.7 and in on-track graduation they scored 85.3.

Ibby Olson, the Elementary School Principal, reported that last year was the third year with the same math program. “You can see that we have ridiculous math proficiency scores, and that’s for all of our students.”

“That was really exciting to see, and we know with the right resource, with the right implementation, we can see those same kind of results with our ELA.”

Olson mentioned that their ELA scores could use some improvement, and that the state’s average ELA scores also dropped a bit.

Superintendent Joshua Watt wanted to add, as a caution, that these drops in test scores throughout the state could be because there were a larnumber of kids that did not test last year due to COVID. This caution was even printed on the district’s report cards that were sent out. “The number of people who weren’t in school last year, unlike us, that are not being counted in this- next year, you’re going to see something completely different.”

iForward Principal, Constance Quade also spoke to the school board about their district report card grading. They made a big jump this year, reaching the two-star grading of ‘meets few expectations’ with an overall score of 48.7. Their achievement score was 34.4, growth 32.8, target group outcomes 49, and on-track to graduation was 79.4. 

Quade stated that one of the areas they need to work to improve on is their eighth-grade math scores. She said that working on those scores would probably help make the biggest improvements in their district report card grading. 

Their biggest achievement is reaching the two-star grading. “We do have two stars, and that’s pretty exciting. It’s ‘meets few expectations,’ like I said, we know we have work to do, but we are moving in the right direction.”

To end the reporting on her district report card, Quade wanted to leave the board with some summarized wise words from a letter from another principal. “Our report cards are important but do remember that there’s kids in there that are excellent artists, and that’s not measured. There’s kids that can do automotive work, and that can keep cars running- mechanical stuff, they don’t measure that. So, there’s a lot of things that make people unique and special. Yes, our scores are important, yes, we will continue to strive for high scores, but most important, we know that the individual students are important.”

“We will continue to strive for this, but more importantly, we are going to make sure that the kids know that they are cared about and that they’re valued and that they all have different talents that might not be measured on the tests.”