PW-S District report card score lowest in county

School system exceeds expectations by state measure but trails other area districts on DPI assessment
Ozaukee Press staff


Ozaukee Press staff

The Port Washington-Saukville School District exceeds expectations, according to state criteria, but scored lower than any other school system in Ozaukee County on 2021-22 school district report cards issued recently by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

The district received an accountability score of 75, and while that earned it the second highest state ranking — exceeds expectations — it was one of only two districts in the county not to earn the top rank of significantly exceeds expectations.

The Cedarburg School District led the list of county school systems with a score of 90.3, followed by Mequon-Thiensville, 85.4; Cedar Grove-Belgium, 84.5; and Grafton, 83.4.

The Northern Ozaukee School District and Port-Saukville School District were the only two school systems in the county not to receive the highest ranking, but the Fredonia school system’s 78 was three points higher than the Port-Saukville District’s score.

“It’s kind of what I expected,” Port-Saukville School Supt. Dave Watkins said of the district report card. “There’s always some level of concern when you don’t score 100% because that means there’s room for improvement.”

District and school report cards are not the only measure of academic achievement but it is one that will drive school improvement plans as the district “unpacks” the report card data, Watkins said. That process will begin with the district’s Administrative Council, then continue with building leadership teams and possibly grade-level teams of educators if needed, he said.

“It (the report card) is not necessarily an indication of systemic problems,” Watkins said. “You can mine down the data to determine where specifically there’s room for improvement.”

As part of Wisconsin’s accountability system, DPI is required by law to issue report cards annually for every publicly funded school and district in the state.

The report cards include data for multiple years across four priority areas — achievement, growth, target group outcomes and on track to graduation — and are intended to provide an indication of how schools are performing and where improvement is needed.

In the Port Washington-Saukville School District, Dunwiddie and Lincoln elementary schools led the way with scores of 87.3 and 85.2, respectively, which put them in the significantly exceeds expectations category.

Saukville Elementary School had a score of 79.3 followed by Thomas Jefferson Middle School with a score of 75.7.

“The elementary schools were definitely our bright spots,” Watkins said.

Port Washington High School was the lowest scoring school in the district with a 70.2, which is only three-tenths of a point above the state category of meets expectations and higher only in the county than Ozaukee High School, which received a score of 69.6.

The report cards were cause for celebration in the Cedar Grove-Belgium School District, which received its highest score ever, with all three of its schools significantly exceeding expectations.

“This is a tribute to the hard work and education that each and every one of you gives to our students and families each and every day,” Supt. Chad Brakke, a former principal in the Port Washington-Saukville School District, wrote in an email to staff members.

The district’s score of 84.5 is the eighth highest of the 368 kindergarten through 12th grade districts in Wisconsin, Brakke noted.

“The school report card system has flaws and is only one indicator of success, but it is the system upon how schools are judged by the State of Wisconsin,” he wrote.

The Grafton School District also touted its performance, which ranks it 12th among school systems in the state.

Supt. Jeff Nelson noted that for the first time in the history of school report cards Kennedy Elementary School joined Grafton High School and Woodview Elementary Schools in the significantly exceeds expectations category.

“All four schools in the Grafton School District scored in the top 10% of schools in Wisconsin within their respective grade bands,” Nelson said. “I am very proud of the effort that our students and staff put forward on a daily basis to achieve success. These rankings are confirmation of that effort and reaffirm our standing as one of the top districts in the state.”




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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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