All schools receive passing grades

By Jason Arndt

In the second year of state-mandated report cards using the Forward Exam, all nine feeder schools in western Kenosha County earned a passing grade, according to findings released by the state Department of Public Instruction last week.

Each feeder school is gauged on four priority areas – student achievement, growth in student knowledge, closing achievement gaps among learners of all abilities, on-track and postsecondary readiness.

Using data from each of the four areas, schools receive an overall score, which are from 100 down to 0.

Schools are then placed in the following categories: 0 to 52.9, fails to meet expectations; 53 to 62.9 meets few expectations; 63 to 72.9 meets expectations; 73 to 82.9 exceeds expectations; and 83 to 100, significantly exceeds expectations.

Of the nine feeder schools, two significantly exceeded expectations, Brighton and Randall.

Brighton District Administrator Penny Boileau, whose school notched a 92.6 for the best score in the area, said the school’s success hinges on tailored instruction to suit the individual needs of each student.

“This provides our students with opportunity to grow to their individual academic potential,” said Boileau, who commended the community for continuous support.

“Everyone at Brighton plays an integral part in successful accomplishments of our students including students, parents, our professional staff, support staff and board members.”

Of the four priority areas, Brighton had its greatest boost in on-track and postsecondary readiness at 97.4. In student achievement, Brighton drew a 96.0, well above the state average of 67.3.

Meanwhile, at Randall, the school came in second among all feeder schools, scoring an 86.2. Randall improved nearly four percentage points from last year.

According to Randall District Administrator John Gendron, he attributes his school’s improvement to a sharper focus on literacy, one of the two areas tested on the exam.

“We have been working hard on a Literacy initiative that has examined best approaches and practices in reading and writing,” he said. “The two-year committee work and staff development has helped fine tune our instructional practices to meet every child’s needs.”

Gendron plans to apply the same process to mathematics, the other subject assessed on the exam.

Like Boileau, Gendron credits the staff at Randall, where they have shown commitment.

“The credit goes to our staff,” he said. “Randall is extremely lucky to have a dedicated, professional, and committed staff.”

Randall saw its largest boost in school growth at 91.6, above the state average of 66.

Schools exceeding expectations are: Trevor-Wilmot 82.1, Bristol 79.8, Paris 79.4, Wheatland 77.1, Riverview 76.9 and Salem 75.4.

While Trevor-Wilmot notched a 91.7 for on-track and postsecondary readiness, the school received an 83.9 for student achievement, which is 16.6 points better than the state average.

Wheatland, meanwhile, rated 92.2 for on-track and postsecondary readiness and 82.0 in student achievement.

Similar to Trevor-Wilmot and Wheatland, Paris School had its highest score in on-track and postsecondary readiness at 94.8. The school also showed an 83.2 in school growth, which is above the state average of 66.

At Bristol School, where students showed a 2.1 percent improvement from last year, District Administrator Michael Juech said the achievement is part of a larger objective.

“I am pleased with our results. As we discuss each year there is a continued drive and room to grow,” he said. “Our students, staff and community work hard to maintain a school environment that exceeds expectations.”

While the improvement satisfies Juech, he acknowledged it is only one aspect of learning, which include preparing for life after Bristol.

“It is more important to me that we are helping our students excel in life,” he said.

Meanwhile, at Lakewood, which has the largest percentage of students with an economic disadvantage at 44.3, the school met expectations at 69.7.

Lakewood, however, improved nearly two percentage points from last year, when it was at 68.0.

In recent years, Lakewood has worked to redevelop certain aspects of its curriculum, including reading.


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