By Sarah Nigbor
ELLSWORTH – According to the state Department of Public Instruction annual report cards, Ellsworth Community School District as a whole exceeds expectations. While there’s undoubtedly work to be done to close learning gaps related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the report card gives educators many reasons to celebrate. The Ellsworth School Board went over report cards at its Dec. 13 regular meeting.
What exactly are school district report cards? The Department of Public Instruction issues report cards for every publicly funded school and district in the state each year. The report cards are part of the state accountability system and include date on four priority areas: Achievement – Measures the level of knowledge and skills among students, compared to state and national standards, including composite reading and math performance.
Growth – How much student reading and math knowledge changes from year to year. This area focuses on the improvement pace in student performance.
Target Group – Previously called “closing the gap,” this group is made up of students in the bottom 25% of performance based on last year’s test results (math and reading).
On-Track to Graduation – Student success in achieving educational milestones that predict postsecondary success. Can include graduation rate, absenteeism/attendance rate, and third-grade reading and eighth-grade math achievement.
While no single test can tell educators whether students have learned everything they need to learn, the annual state report cards measure a school’s or district’s overall accountability score, placing them in one of five overall accountability ratings:
Accounlabiiity Rating Category Act oimtoMity Sc ore Range Minimum Maximum Significantly Exceeds Expectations – * * * * * 83 100 Exceeds Expectations -***** 70 82.9 Meets Expectations- ***** 58 69.9 Meets Few Expectations – ***** 48 57.9 Fails to Meet Expectations -***** 0 47.9
Here is how Ellsworth scored in 2018-2019 and 2020-2021 (no report card was issued in 2019-2020): Name2020/21 2018/19 District 72.9 74.9 EHS 79.3 74.7 EMS 66.8 77.5 EES 71.4 72.8 While scores went down slightly from 2018-19 to 2020-21 for the district and elementary school, they increased for the high school. The middle school saw a significant decrease from “exceeds expectations” to “meets expectations.”
For the EES Forward Exam in math, the percentage of EES students who are considered advanced or proficient is as follows: Third grade: 53.3% (state is 41.3%) Fourth grade: 66.7% (state is 37.4%) Fifth grade: 70.7% (state is 37.8%) For the EES Forward Exam in English/language arts, the percentage of EES students who are considered advanced or proficient: Third grade: 47.8% (state is 31.6%) Fourth grade: 53.2% (state is 36%) Fifth grade: 46.4% (state is 33.7%) In the Forward Science test for fourth graders, 70.9% are considered advanced or proficient; and in social studies, 65%. This put EES in fourth place in the Middle Border Conference for ELA (behind Prescott, Saint Croix Central and Baldwin-Woodville); and in second place for math, behind Prescott.
While EES measured ahead of the state average in testing, EMS found itself lagging behind state scores in sixth grade math and English/language arts.
In the Forward Exam for math, EMS students scored as follows: Sixth grade: 27.8% (state is 34.2%) Seventh grade: 43.4% (state is 37.7%) Eighth grade: 35.2% (state is 30.9%) In the Forward Exam for English/language arts:
Sixth grade: 26.4% (state is 31.9%) Seventh grade: 37.7% (state is 31%) Eighth grade: 35.2% (state is 26.4%) In the Forward Science test for eighth graders, 60.9% are considered advanced or proficient; and in social studies, 56%. EMS was at the very bottom of Middle Border Conference schools in Spring 2021 for both math and ELA.
To make improvements, middle school educators will re-establish commitment to Professional Learning Communities (PLC) best practices, create benchmark goals to PLC development, and balance academic and social/emotional skill development through weekly, building-wide SEL lessons and activities, monthly grade-level guidance lessons and an increased emphasis on discipline as part of the educational process.
For 10th graders, 62% were considered advanced or proficient in Spring 2021 after the Forward Social Studies exam, putting Ellsworth at the top of the MBC.
As for juniors’ACT scores, Ellsworth was came in fourth in the MBC with a 20.3 composite score, behind Baldwin-Woodville (20.7), Prescott (20.4) and Altoona (20.3).
For more information about the district report card and test scores, including ACT, visit the district website at www. ellsworth.kl2. wi. us Personnel report
The school board approved the following:
Hires: Kasey Bass, EHS technology education teacher; Penelope DeMarce, EMS food service staff; Amy Groth, EES fourth grade teacher; Bailey Wilson, EHS Spanish teacher Resignations: Hailey Earney, EES fourth grade teacher; Martha Gillespie, EMS special education teaching assistant; Carla Nelson, EES custodian Retirements: Tim Conway, EMS principal Extra/Co-Curricular: Kasey Bass, EHS JV baseball coach; Sam Elling, EMS seventh grade assistant boys basketball coach; Rob Heller, mentor; Diana Lange, EMS seventh grade assistant boys basketball coach; Allison Odmark, EHS head girls volleyball coach; Lesley Stoesz, mentor 2022-23 Calendar The 2022-23 proposed school year calendar lists the official first day of school as Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022, with interim “back to learning” session days scheduled for Aug. 29-31. The elementary school year is broken into trimesters, while middle and high school schedules are divided into quarters.
Notable holiday breaks include Wednesday, Nov. 23 through Friday, Nov. 25 for Thanksgiving; Friday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Jan. 2 for the winter holiday; March 6-10, 2023 for spring break; and Friday, April 7 and Monday, April 10 off for Easter. The last day of school would be Thursday, June 1, with a snow make-up day possible on Friday, June 2, 2023.