Ashwaubenon School District uses report cards to improve
By Ben Rodgers
ASHWAUBENON – The Ashwaubenon School District is using the most recent report cards issued by the state as a means to move forward.
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction released report cards for entire district and schools in those districts on Nov. 21.
For Jill Kieslich, director of curriculum and instruction, these report cards are a snapshot of what’s happening in the district.
“We look at the district report and the school report as one photo in a photo album which gives us a comprehensive picture of where we are in the schools,” Kieslich said.
The district meets expectations with an overall score of 70.6, good for three out of five stars.
The highest scoring school in Ashwaubenon was Pioneer Elementary with 82.2, which is four stars or exceeds expectations.
The lowest scoring school was Parkview Middle School, which scored a 67.4, good for three stars and meets expectations.
“We do fairly well when it comes to student achievement but where we really need to work hard is helping all students’ achievement and that means by subgroups,” Kieslich said.
Students Kieslich is referring to are students with disabilities, those economically disadvantaged and minorities.
“It really comes down to closing the gaps and making sure all of our students are growing,” she said.
The district is working to accomplish this every day by having teachers talk to students, by having administration sit in classes, and by actively discussing the curriculum.
“One of the things we have been doing is really studying our own district data,” Kieslich said. “Our teachers are looking at common assessments, they’re talking about all student performances and what specific needs there are.”
The district was also given time by the school board this year to talk about these items, which helps as well.
“We’ve not really had the luxury of doing that and that’s been huge for us,” Kieslich said. “That’s a big shootout for the school board for allowing us to do that.”
The report cards also show how well the district prepares students for life after graduation. The results in that regard are well received.
“We see the fruits of our labor in that, because in that area we’re either at, or outpacing the state,” Kieslich said.
The district offers career planning where students spend time during all four years of high school working with the same teachers looking at test scores, schedules and looking at the best options after graduation.
“That’s huge, we forget about all of that as we study test data,” Kieslich said. “There’s that important piece of helping our kids be ready to contribute.”
While the report cards don’t tell the entire story, rather just a photo in an album, they are good for helping educators plan for the future.
“I see some things that first of all we have to celebrate. As I study our data, over time we are making some gains. Are we satisfied? No, but we are pushing ourselves to do better,” Kieslich said.