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Both Muskego-Norway and New Berlin school districts earned the top rating of "significantly exceeds expectations" on the statewide school report cards issued last week by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Only 36 districts in the state with kindergarten through high school students earned this ranking out of the 426 school districts in Wisconsin. Five of those 36 are in Waukesha County.

All area schools except one in each Muskego-Norway and New Berlin had the highest possible rating of "significantly exceeded expectations." The two school that didn't still ranked at the "exceeded expectations level." Those schools are Muskego High School and New Berlin West Middle/High School. Muskego actually dropped from significantly exceeding expectations to exceeds expectations.

While school officials are exploring what happened with the high school scores, Kelly Thompson, Muskego-Norway superintendent said in a press release, “We are proud of these results. They represent the tremendous daily effort of our staff and administrators in partnership with parents to ensure that every student learns, grows and succeeds,”

In New Berlin, Superintendent Joe Garza said in a news release, "We’re proud of the results and that we are achieving at a high level.”

"But this is just one data point in a collection of data points that we’ll use as we move our district improvement plan forward,” Garza said.

Better picture

The report cards, started five years also, are intended to offer a better picture of how well individual schools prepare students to graduate ready for college and career.

Overall scores are based on four priority areas, each with its own rating of 0 to 100.

Those four areas are whether students are working at their grade level in reading and mathematics on state tests; whether student scores improve from year to year in reading and math; whether some groups of students such as those who are still learning English or who are from low-income homes are keeping up with other groups and how well the schools are doing to close any gaps that exist among student groups in English, math and graduation rates; and finally, whether students are on track for post-high school success, whether that be college or work.

Scores of 100 to 83 are significantly exceeds expectations, 82.9 to 73 exceeds expectations, 72.9 to 63 meets expectations, 62.9 to 53 meets few expectations, and 52.9 to 0 fails to meet expectations.

Schools and districts are also evaluated on their statewide test participation rates, chronic absenteeism rates, and dropout rates. Points are deducted in those areas. No area schools had any such deductions.

Big improvements

Both districts and many individual schools showed huge improvements over the 2013-14 report cards, the last time the DPI issued report cards.

For example, Muskego's Country Meadows Elementary School overall score shot up from 77.9 last time to 91.5 this time. New Berlin's Orchard Lane Elementary experienced a similar jump from 78.8 last time to 90.1 this time.

A number of changes were made in the interim that might have helped boost scores.

Since the last report cards were issued in 2014, the state changed the formulas that determine the report card scores. Additionally, students from previous years took different standardized tests than those reflected in the 2016 scores did. Those two factors make a comparison to previous scores challenging.

Growth tough

Although all the area schools exceeded the overall state average, five failed to beat the statewide average in improvement in English and math scores. All the schools had more trouble outdistancing the state average in that area than in any other.

That doesn't mean area students score lower than students statewide in English and math. They score high in those subjects on standardized tests. The report cards are looking at the rate of improvement in test scores.

The five schools are Lakeview, Bay Lane and Lake Denoon in Muskego-Norway, and Poplar Creek and New Berlin West Middle/High School in New Berlin.

The Muskego-Norway School District report card overall scores are:

Muskego-Norway School District overall significantly exceeds expectations, with a score of 83.4

Muskego High School exceeds, score of 77.8

Lake Denoon Middle School significantly exceeds expectations, with a score of 85.1

Bay Lane Middle School -- significantly exceeds expectations, with a score of 84.1

Country Meadows Elementary School --significantly exceeds expectations, with a score of 91.5

Lakeview Elementary School -- significantly exceeds expectations, with a score of 83.6

Mill Valley Elementary School -- significantly exceeds expectations, with a score of 91.6

Muskego Elementary School -- significantly exceeds expectations, with a score of 90

Tess Corners Elementary School -- significantly exceeds expectations, with a score of 88.5

The New Berlin School District report card overall scores are:

New Berlin district -- significantly exceeds expectations, with a score of 85.5

Eisenhower Middle/High School -- significantly exceeds expectations, with a score of 89.5

New Berlin West Middle/High School -- exceeds expectations, with a score of 77.6

Elmwood Elementary School -- significantly exceeds expectations, with a score of 96.5

Orchard Lane Elementary School -- significantly exceeds expectations, with a score of 90.1

Poplar Creek Elementary School -- significantly exceeds expectations, with a score of 87

Ronald Reagan Elementary School -- significantly exceeds expectations, with a score of 85.9

 

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