by Ruth Erickson
It’s report card time for public school districts across the state, with the Nov. 12 release of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction summaries from the 2018-19 school year.
The districtwide score, noted as Rice Lake Area, dropped to 72.6, which ranks in the Meets Expectations category. It is down from 76.2 in the Exceeds Expectations category from last year. Scores were based on its 2,276 enrollment of students in Grades 4K-12.
In addition to the districtwide score, each school in the district also received a DPI report card grade.
Tainter Elementary, with an enrollment of 484 students, scored the best, at 83.0, which is in the Significantly Exceeds Expectations category. That remained about the same as its 83.8 score last year.
Hilltop Elementary, with an enrollment of 265 students, scored just a point lower, at 82.0, which dropped it to the Exceeds Expectations category. That is down from 84.3 last year.
Haugen Elementary, with an enrollment of 87 students, scored 81.5, also in the Exceeds Expectations category. That is up from 79.6 last year.
Rice Lake Middle School, with an enrollment of 657, scored 74.3, qualifying it for the Exceeds Expectations category. That is down from 77.1 last year.
Rice Lake High School, with an enrollment of 691, scored 71.0, which ranks in the Meets Expectations category. That is up from 66.2 last year.
Northern Lakes Regional Academy, with an enrollment of 32, scored 65.6, also in the Meets Expectations category. That academy is no longer in operation.
At the Nov. 25 Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Randy Drost said, “All of the elementaries scored very strong, either Exceeds or Significantly Exceeds.”
Drost said he was confused why the overall district score dropped when the schools, for the most part, are trending up.
“Overall, there are a lot of pieces to celebrate, and we will work hard to try to get better,” he said. “There are a lot of things going well in the district.”
The report card grades on four priorities: Student Achievement and District Growth in English/Language Arts and Mathematics; Closing Gaps, in the above two and graduation rate; and On-track and Postsecondary readiness, that includes graduation and attendance rates, third-grade E/LA and eighth-grade mathematics.
Drost said Rice Lake was among 2,434 schools in 421 districts receiving the DPI report cards. More details are available at dpi.wi.gov/reportcards.