After taking a year off because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has renewed its annual “school district report cards,” and the Prairie Farm School District has done well.
According to results of standardized tests taken during the 2020-21 academic year, Prairie Farm’s overall score of 84.3 indicates the district “significantly exceed(ed) expectations” during the 2020-21 academic year. DPI allots more than 36 percent of the district score to “(academic) growth.”
The report card includes the following areas:
Achievement 64.1 -- how students performed on state tests, using a system that gives credit for basic test scores and extra credit for advanced scores.
Overall, Prairie Farm students scored 69.2 percent in English language arts and 58.9 percent in mathematics. The overall English language test scores in 2020-21 nearly matched those of the previous round of tests in 2018-19, while math scores dipped slightly.
In 2018-19, an estimated 20.7 percent of the student population were classified as “below basic” in math tests. That grew to 26 percent in 2020-21.
Growth 88.8 -- In test procedures that measure year-to-year student progress, Prairie Farm scored the same or higher than nearly all of the districts in the state. Prairie Farm scored 98.3 on English language arts and 79.3 on math in that portion of test scoring focused on academic growth.
Target group outcome 83.1 -- This part of the test scoring helps districts focus on (students) who need the most support” in their studies. Again, Prairie Farm scored as well or better than almost 97 percent of the other districts in the state.
“Target group” students scored 30.9 on the English test and 22.2 on the math test. In terms of academic improvement, those same students had a score of 94.5 for English and 75.5 for math, demonstrating how much better they scored compared to the previous round of tests.
On-Track to Graduation, 89.9 -- Prairie Farm scored as well or better than three fourths of Wisconsin’s school districts. The state measures progress toward graduation in tests given to Grade 3 English students and Grade 8 math students. Prairie Farm’s Grade 3 students scored 59.0, slightly ahead of the state average, and its Grade 8 math students scored 59.3 as compared to the state average of 55.3
During the 2020-21 academic year, 31 Prairie Farm students successfully completed a dual enrollment course, gaining both high school and college credit, while two students earned at least one “industry-recognized credential” and five were engaged in a work-based learning program.
High school scores
Of the three portions of the student body, Prairie Farm High School registered the lowest overall score, even though the high school “exceeds expectations” when compared to similar test scores from throughout Wisconsin.
Prairie Farm High School students who took standardized tests:
• Achieved the same or higher than half of their peers throughout Wisconsin;
• Showed academic growth that was in the top third of the state; and
• Showed the same or better preparation for graduation than more than 90 percent of their peers.
The fourth area measured by the tests is the “target group,” that is (according to DPI) “students with the lowest (previous) test scores, (those who) “need the most support.”
A school district must have at least 20 students with low scores, chronic absenteeism or low graduation rates before DPI will classify them as a “target group.”
The arts: during the 2019-20 academic year, an estimated 45 percent of Prairie Farm High School students (39 individuals) were involved in art and design, and 38 percent (33 individuals) in music, compared to state averages of 24.7 percent and 21.3 percent, respectively.
Of the district’s estimated enrollment of 386 (from age 4 prekindergarten through grade 12) about one-fourth of the population is open enrolled. The student body includes 19 percent with disabilities and 52 percent from “economically disadvantaged” backgrounds. Nearly the entire student population (95 percent) is white. Less than 1 percent are English language learners.
An estimated 98 percent of the student body took state assessment tests during the 2020-21 academic year.
As is the case in each district’s summary, the Department of Public Instruction includes a reminder that “careful review of the data ... is encouraged” due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To view all Prairie Farm data in detail, visit https://apps2.dpi.wi.gov/reportcards/