Prairie du Chien a five-star school on 2016-17 report card

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By Rachel Mergen


Every year, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) releases report cards for each school and school district in the state, as part of the state accountability system. 

“Report cards are intended to help schools and districts use performance data to target improvement efforts to ensure students are ready for their next educational step, including the next grade level, graduation, college and careers,” the DPI stated.

On the report cards, each school and school district are determined to have an overall score out of 100. These scores are then placed into five categories. Scores up to 52.9 are placed within the one star category, failing to meet expectations. Two stars includes scores between 53 and 62.9, meeting few expectations. Scores falling between 63 and 72.9 meet expectations and are rewarded three stars. Four stars is achieved with scores between 73 and 82.9, meaning that the district or school exceeds expectations. Five stars, the significant exceeding of expectations, is rewarded when a score of 83 to 100 is met.

According to the DPI, “[Scores] are calculated on four priority areas: student achievement in English language arts and mathematics, school growth, closing gaps between student groups and measures of postsecondary readiness, which includes graduation and attendance rates, third-grade English language arts achievement and eighth-grade mathematics achievement.”

In November, the DPI released the report cards for the 2016-2017 school year.

Prairie du Chien

Prairie du Chien Public Schools was given a five-star rating for the 2016-2017 school year, with an overall score of 83.4. The public school district was one of only 44 districts in the state to receive such a ranking that shows its ability to “significantly exceed expectations.” 

The school met a student achievement score of 74.5, rising above the state average of 66.7. Both English language arts and mathematics reached approximately the same point, both scores slightly under 40 out of 50 points possible. District growth was determined to have a score of 79.3, with state average being 66. Closing gaps ended at 82.7, more than 20 points above the state level. For the fourth category, on-track and postsecondary readiness, the school was given a score of 94.5.

For the year prior, Prairie du Chien received an overall score of 77.1, “exceeding expectations” with four stars. 


The Seneca Area School District reached an overall score of 78.3, which placed it with a ranking of four stars, exceeding expectations.

The school district achieved a score of 74.6 in the student achievement category. District growth hit 69.8, reaching above the state average of 66 slightly. Within this category, the English language arts growth score was equivalent to the state score of 33 out of 50, but mathematics growth exceeded the state average by 3.8 points, hitting 36.8. The final closing gaps score was decided as 79.6, approximately 18 points over state average. Seneca received a high score of a 92 in on-track and postsecondary readiness. In this category, the district achieved a perfect score of 40 out of 40 for their graduation rate. 

Seneca Area School District also received five stars the year prior. 


With a three-star rating, Wauzeka-Steuben School District met an overall score of 71.6, indicating that the district was able to meet expectations. 

The district’s student achievement score was placed as 64.8, falling slightly short of the state score. Mathematics achievement in this category did raise above the state average by 0.1. District growth landed at a score of 57.5, with mathematics growth being equivalent to the state score and English language arts growth falling below. Closing gaps proved the district’s strength though, as it reached a score of 77.5, over 15 points above the state average. On-track and postsecondary readiness also exceeded state average by approximately 3 points, with a score of 89.8.

The district was able to achieve a four-star rating the school year prior. 

River Ridge

River Ridge also received a rating of three stars. The overall score for the district was determined to be 69.4. 

The district received a student achievement award of 65 points, short of the state average by less than 2 points. District growth exceeded the state average by meeting a score of 70.8. The district’s closing gaps score was determined to be 50.9, about 10 points less than average. The English language arts achievement gaps came in lower than the mathematics achievement gaps by almost 8 points. On-track and postsecondary readiness did prove to be a strong category for the district though as it was rewarded a score of 89.9.

When compared to the prior year, River Ridge School District improved its overall score by approximately 6 points. 


Other area districts

Cassville School District achieved an overall score of 76.4, receiving four stars. The year prior, the school received an overall score of 50.1, which led to it only having one star and failing to meet expectations, so the district took a 26.3 point jump on the current report card.

De Soto Area School District received four stars, with a score of 78.2. The school year prior was also rewarded with four stars. 

North Crawford School District “met expectations” with a three star rating of 72.2. The year before, the district received only two stars with a score of 60.5. 

For more detailed reports about each school and school district in Wisconsin, visit

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