DELAVAN — All five schools in the Delavan-Darien School District have passing grades, according to the recently released Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s School Report Cards.
Two of the schools, Darien Elementary and Wileman Elementary were in the “exceeds expectations” category.
The other three schools — Delavan-Darien High School, Phoenix Middle School, and Turtle Creek Elementary School — were all in the “meets expectations” category.
No Delavan-Darien schools were in the “significantly exceeds expectations,” “meets few expectations” or “fails to meet expectations” categories. In fact, no schools in Walworth County were in any of those categories, according to DPI data.
“The school and district report cards that recently came out show that our district has made much progress over the past several years, and we’ll continue to make progress going forward,” Superintendent Robert Crist said, noting the district made significant year-to-year reading and math achievement growth in at multiple schools. “Much effort has been put into improving the academics and climate of our schools and it shows on these report cards as all of our schools meet or exceed expectations. I’m proud of that, but we’re striving to still do better.”
The scores for the schools were as follows: Darien Elementary: 73.6; Turtle Creek Elementary: 68.5; Wileman Elementary: 74.2; Phoenix Middle School: 63.9; and DDHS: 67.1.
Overall the district had a “meets expectations” score of 68.3. It was the first year the DPI gave overall district report card scores.
The individual school scores on the report cards were an improvement from the initial 2011-12 school report cards, when both DDHS and Turtle Creek were in the “meets few expectations” category.
DDHS and Darien, Turtle Creek, and Wileman elementary schools all saw improvements in their year-to-year scores.
DDHS saw the biggest gain, adding 8.4 points overall and moving up a category.
Turtle Creek went up 7 points overall to also climb solidly into the “meets expectations” ranking.
Darien went up 2 points, and Wileman was up 1.8 points. Both schools went from “meets expectations” last year to “exceeds expectations” this year.
Phoenix Middle School saw a slight decline of 1.9 points, but remained in the meets expectations category.
Overall, the district had fared better than state averages for student growth in reading and math, and was better than the state at closing the achievement gaps for reading, math and graduation rates. The district also met state goals for test participation rates, absenteeism rates and dropout rates. It bettered state marks for graduation rate and attendance rate, as well.
The district also showed significant year-to-year growth in reading and math achievement at all levels. Crist said he hopes to see the student achievement surpass other area schools in the near future.
New initiatives, such as the district’s one-to-one technology program, and new curricula — including new, and best-practice reading and math curricula for students in kindergarten through eighth grade — should help close gaps that exist compared to state achievement levels, Crist said. Also, more bilingual staff members have been added at all levels to increase teacher contact with English Language Learner students in the district and promote their academic growth.
Incorporating technology in the classroom has been shown to increase student engagement and learning. The district is doing this for all students by giving them access to a personal electronic device — either an iPad Mini (kindergarten through Grade 1) or a Google Chromebook (grades 2-12) — this year.
The Journeys reading curriculum and Investigations math curriculum were introduced during the middle of last school year and students are already showing improvements, teachers have said. A new middle school math curriculum — Connected Math Project 3 (CMP3) — was selected this summer and is being implemented this year. An upper-level extension to the Journeys reading curriculum is also being considered for grades 7 and up.
“We knew where our deficiencies existed before these report cards came out, and we’ve taken steps to improve in those areas,” Crist said. “Internal measures that are not on the state report cards have shown our students are improving in those areas, already.
“I’m proud of staff and administrative team that have worked hard together to see that we make the mark on state report cards in those areas in the coming years. It won’t happen overnight, but we will get to the next level of performance.”
Statewide, about 88 percent of Wisconsin’s public schools and 95 percent of school districts met or exceeded state expectations for performance in 2012-13.
There were 86 schools and nine districts in the state that significantly exceeded expectations, 693 schools and 134 districts that exceeded expectations, 904 schools and 269 districts that met expectations, 169 schools and 10 districts that met few expectations, 58 schools and one district that failed to meet expectations and 201 schools and one district that were not rated.
The report cards were for 424 public school districts and 2,111 public schools, including 21 independent charter schools.
- Significantly exceeds expectations: 83-100
- Exceeds expectations: 73-82.9
- Meets expectations: 63-72.9
- Meets few expectations: 53-62.9
- Fails to meet expectations: 0-52.9