Welcome back to school! The 2012-13 school year will bring many important and exciting changes to our school that you should know about. For example, you will notice changes in what and how your child learns in school, how your child is tested, and how our school is evaluated.
All of these changes focus on improving student achievement and setting high expectations for all students in the Trevor-Wilmot Consolidated Grade School District. Why are these changes needed? We want to ensure that every child graduates ready for further education and have more students taking rigorous courses.
But we have work to do. We must close graduation and achievement gaps and improve the achievement of all students. In order to accomplish this, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers has launched an ambitious plan, called Agenda 2017, to reach specific goals that prepare Wisconsin students to be college and career-ready. One of these goals is to increase the percentage of students scoring proficient in third-grade reading and eighth-grade mathematics.
To achieve this goal, Wisconsin schools will focus on improving three central areas:
1. Standards and Instruction: What and how should kids learn?
What parents can expect: Look for our Mathematics and Language Arts teachers to set high expectations for classroom learning with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). These new academic standards reflect what students need to know and the skills they need to develop to be ready for college or career when they graduate from high school. In addition, look for programs in our schools to expand that promote literacy from kindergarten on, use digital learning to enhance instruction, and intervene quickly with students experiencing learning difficulties.
2. Assessments and Data Systems: How do we know if students learned?
What parents can expect: Wisconsin is changing the way we describe how well students can read and do math based on their test scores. With these higher expectations, look for fewer students in the proficient and advanced categories of the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examinations (WKCE) that students will take in Grade 3-8 this year. New proficiency levels will now be based on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). This is a tougher grading scale.
3. School and Educator Effectiveness: How do we make sure kids have highly effective teachers and schools?
What parents can expect: Look for Wisconsin's first-ever School Report Cards to be issued this Fall as part of a new system of school accountability. Every public school, including charter schools, will receive one of five ratings based on the performance of its students in four areas: state reading and math tests, growth in student achievement, and closing achievement gaps among groups of students.
Agenda 2017 proposes much-needed changes that will keep public education in the Trevor-Wilmot Consolidated Grade School District strong, ready our students for high school and career. More information is available on the DPI website. Please let me know if you have questions or concerns about the impact of these changes regarding your child's education, or feel free to discuss this with Principal Ted Gavlin or Curriculum Director Tracy Donich.
I look forward to working with you to make 2012-13 a great year of learning for your child and every child in our school district!