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Northern Schools Fare Well By State Standards

Basheer Tome

School report cards are in, and Northwoods school districts are on track or exceeding expectations. 

The statewide performance report ranks schools on measures like student achievement, attendance and college readiness. Schools get placed in one of five categories between "failing" and "significantly exceeding expectations."

Northland Pines schools in Eagle River was rated as "exceeding expectations". District Administrator Dr.  Mike Richie says the numbers are positive.

"I'm so proud of our district, our staff and our students. We actually scored the highest at 76.4 of all the school districts in the K-12 in the CESA 9 region, so I'm very proud of that."

Richie says they have the 17-page document on the Northland Pines website if the public wants to sift through the data. He says it's important for people to remember it's not just one test score, but many. This is the second year of the state-mandated report card for schools. 

"When you look at the backup data you certainly can break down the areas you scored low in...and we do have some areas where we're going to take a look at...and we're going to figure out how we scored where we scored in that particular area."

Crandon School District was one tenth of a point out of a hundred from reaching the second-best category.  Though Crandon schools score poorly on reading achievement, District Administrator Jim Asher says the high overall score came from improvements in attendance as well as student performance.   

“We are aware of some of the gaps we have in achievement between some of our different demographic groups. So our focus has been in closing those gaps.”

Asher also points to curriculum changes in elementary reading and middle school math.   Rhinelander Schools also meet expectations.  District Instruction Director Teri Maney says report card data do have an impact on how schools work to improve. 

“Sometimes it’s a simple matter of focusing for example on attendance. Last year Rhinelander high school was dinged some points for attendance and they worked really hard to increase their attendance and reduce their truancy rates. And that gave us more points this year and helped them increase their rating.”

Tomahawk, Minocqua and Three Lakes districts are all meeting expectations.  District report cards are availablehere.

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