The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) recently released school district report card data from the 2016-2017 school year. The Merrill Area Public Schools (MAPS) district met expectations set forth by the state on the 2016-2017 report card.
The DPI statewide data, which includes data on multiple indicators for multiple years across four priority areas, also indicated that 161 schools in the state of Wisconsin had score fluctuations of 10 or more points in both overall and growth scores compared to 2015-16. This is a larger variability than expected or typical. Jefferson Elementary School in Merrill is one of those 161 schools, resulting in a failed to meet expectations rating by the state.
Furthermore, the Jefferson Elementary report card carries a ^ notation from the DPI because it is unclear if the score change accurately reflects the amount of change in performance or a symptom of statistical volatility. However, the school report card data provided by the DPI correlates with the Merrill Area Public School district formative assessment conducted during the 2016-2017 school year via the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) tests.
Student achievement at MAPS, in particular student growth data, is not currently at a level consistent with the expectations of our organization. This validates why student growth data is a measure for our annual district scorecard, a tool that monitors accountability and improvements at the school and district level.
Beginning last school year and prior to today’s public release, Merrill Area Public Schools implemented multiple initiatives for school improvement. These improvements include, but are not limited to, the following:
A transition to an Achievement Gap Reduction (AGR) program that added instructional coaches at the elementary level by repurposing resources
Implementation of a Reader’s Workshop Instructional model with coinciding professional development
Providing additional reading specialist support at Jefferson Elementary School
Initiating a common mathematics assessment at the elementary level
Increasing required professional collaboration time district-wide
Developing building-level Positive Behavior Interventions and Support programs
Redesigning a data-driven Response to Intervention (RtI) program
Merrill Area Public Schools is committed to improving student learning data, responding to the needs of our school and business community, and preparing all students for career readiness. As always, families of MAPS students are encouraged to remain mindful of all learning data provided by your teacher, school, and district.