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DPI Releases District and School Report Cards

As a learning community, the Wauwatosa School District maintains a commitment to continuous improvement. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) report card is one resource we use to assess and reflect on our strengths and areas for improvement. The report cards are intended to help schools and districts use performance data to celebrate successes and improve their efforts to prepare students for the future. Public report cards can be found on DPI’s website


The Wauwatosa School District report card can be found here


Every school in the Wauwatosa School District is held accountable for student outcomes, and building principals will be following up shortly with school report card data. School report cards will also be posted on each school website in the coming days. Additional resources that help explain the report cards can also be found here


Please note that recently, changes were made to the rating category score ranges, making it easier to achieve ratings of Meets Few Expectations, Meets Expectations, and Exceeds Expectations, and more difficult to achieve a rating of Fails to Meet Expectations. In short, the rigor of the state report card has declined. Please see the table below for details. 


Rating Category

Old Score Range

New Score Range

Significantly Exceeds Expectations

83.0 - 100

83.0 - 100

Exceeds Expectations

73.0 - 82.9

70.0 - 82.9

Meets Expectations

63.0 - 72.9

58.0 - 69.9

Meets Few Expectations

53.0 - 62.9

48.0 - 57.9

Fails to Meet Expectations

0 - 52.9

0 - 47.9


Now, we would like to provide our community with five key takeaways from this year’s report cards: 


  1. Wauwatosa middle schools are underperforming.

Both Longfellow and Whitman have received a rating of Meets Expectations. Longfellow’s rating is largely due to the recent changes to the rating category ranges noted above. If we were to use previous years’ ranges, Longfellow would fall into the Meets Few Expectations category. Essentially, Longfellow Meets Expectations this year because rigor across the state has declined. The 63.5 score from Whitman would have barely met the threshold to meet expectations under the more rigorous scoring range. It is clear, the District’s two middle schools are not performing to the expectation of the community. It will be critical for the community to pay closer attention to the school growth plan and periodic academic updates from school leadership throughout the remainder of the school year. 


  1. Westside elementary schools are not keeping pace with other district elementary schools.

Elementary schools on the west side of Wauwatosa are not keeping pace with the other elementary schools in the district. Eisenhower and Madison both received ratings of Meets Expectations, while Underwood received a Meets Few Expectations rating. Please note, the Meets Expectations scored by Eisenhower and Madison were on the lower end of the range. 


  1. Specialty schools continue to significantly exceed expectations. 

Our specialty schools - Wauwatosa STEM and Wauwatosa Montessori - received ratings of Significantly Exceeds Expectations.  This has been an ongoing trend for the past six years, and these ratings were not affected by changes to the rating scale or the pandemic. 


  1. A correlation exists between elementary school performance and student demographics.

Students with disabilities, students of color, and those from economically disadvantaged households are more likely to attend an underperforming elementary school. 



  1. Roosevelt Elementary School and Washington Elementary Schools are beating the odds.

Both Roosevelt and Washington are outliers in that each school has a very diverse student body and received a rating of Significantly Exceeds Expectations. We should celebrate Roosevelt and Washington as successful deviations to #4 above. Both schools have at least 20% students of color in their demographics, at least 20% Economically Disadvantaged students and an overall proficiency rate of at least 60% in the area of Reading schoolwide. This is impressive. 


We would be remiss to not highlight the continued excellence achieved by McKinley and Lincoln. The staff, families and students of these schools continue to be the flag bearers for the District in regards to consistency in academic achievement. 


Just as important as the current state of our schools is our action plan. Moving forward, the Wauwatosa School District will be implementing strategies to close opportunity gaps, improve student achievement and increase student growth. 


Develop a structure and cadence for district leadership’s school visits.  

Each building principal has been paired with a member of the district leadership team to serve as a thought partner. Every two weeks, building principals and their thought partner are participating in bi-weekly learning walks to identify various areas in need of District support; discuss progress and implementation of the School Growth Plan; and discuss any challenges that have arisen in the implementation of the School Growth Plan. Principals and thought partners will also identify exemplary teaching and learning using a set of “look-fors.” 


Create and deploy internal report cards.

The Division of Academic Performance is working to develop an internal school report card that will serve as a leading indicator to predict each school’s performance on the next DPI report card. This internal report card will help school leaders identify challenges earlier and better understand the specific areas for improvement in their building.  These report cards will be used in January, March and June; the first report card that will be shared publicly will be in June 2023. 


Leverage a predictive tool to identify students in need of additional academic support. 

The Division of Academic Performance is working to develop and implement common assessments and other real time tools that can provide predictive analysis of how students are performing during the school year. Currently, the District has been depending on lagging data like state assessments and the state report card system. These lagging indicators do not allow educators to proactively identify students in need of immediate academic support during the current academic year. This support will increase the likelihood of closing the existing learning gap in the District.


As we move into the 2023-2024 school year, we will continue to incorporate common assessments and other tools that will allow our educators to proactively identify student needs and modify instructional practices to best support the needs of each student. Essentially, these tools will allow educators to identify students whose academic growth is anticipated to be lower than average, providing a more immediate opportunity to proactively increase students’ academic growth. This information will create a greater level of accountability for our teaching staff and will, in turn, provide increased transparency in the student learning process throughout the year.


Continue to implement our Academic Improvement Plan. 

In September 2022, the Academic Improvement Plan: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Systems and Structures Audit Response Plan was presented to the Board of Education. This plan contains a variety of action items that will continue to move our schools down a path of improvement. 


These changes include reorganizing the Division of Academic Performance; creating and disseminating instructional look-fors; implementing a school improvement planning process; establishing system-wide metrics to be used for progress monitoring; implementing a well-articulated curriculum renewal and design process; delineating the roles and responsibilities of instructional coaches, academic specialists, student growth coordinators, and our innovation specialist and library media services coordinator; and more tightly organizing professional learning during early-release Wednesdays.


And while we continue to make improvements in our school buildings, we also monitor the performance of the district as a whole and compare our overall district score to neighboring districts. Specifically, the graph below depicts the performance of the Wauwatosa School District as well as the performance of Elmbrook Schools, School District of New Berlin, Hamilton School District, Shorewood, the School District of Menomonee Falls, and the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District.



We recognize that we have a considerable amount of work to do as we move toward realizing our vision of ensuring an exceptional student experience, eradicating inequity, eliminating disproportionality and exceeding proficiency for all. However, we are committed to doing this difficult work to improve the student experience and reposition the Wauwatosa School District as a destination for public education.