Students First

Homestead reflects on DPI report card socre

Homestead’s priorities are for the betterment of the students, not just their test scores.

Kate Wade

Homestead’s priorities are for the betterment of the students, not just their test scores.

Homestead’s annual report card from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) showed continued success as one of Wisconsin’s top public schools with five stars granted for educational achievement in Wisconsin.

“Homestead remains one of only two high schools in Wisconsin that have earned the highest score of ‘significantly exceeds expectations’,” Principal Brett Bowers said in an interview on Dec 19.

The DPI report card is a standard evaluation for all public schools in Wisconsin, measuring multiple areas of education in order to provide an accurate picture to administrators and teachers of the school’s strengths and what to improve on.

This year’s DPI report card was released in November, showing continued success in all categories, despite a slight drop in the closing gap section of the report card.  Although there was a dip in one of the categories, Homestead still managed to remain a five star school that “Significantly Exceeds Expectations.”

In a letter addressed to the employees of Homestead, Superintendent Matthew Joynt said, “Though it is just one indicator, these report card results are reflective of how passionate educators, with intentional focus, can work together to support student growth and achievement.”

During the 2016-17 school year, Homestead received an overall score of 89, yet this school year of 2017-18, Homestead’s overall score was diminished to an 85.2.

Expressing his confidence in our school despite the setback, Bowers said, “I’m really pleased at our pattern of continued success.  At the same time I think that the report card reminds us that there are opportunities to grow and and improve and that there are places to be better.”

The source of the dropped score was a decrease in the “Closing Gaps” section of the report card.  The “closing gap” is a measure of the difference between high achieving students and students of disadvantage.

“I think one of the challenges for us is to make sure we’re paying just as much attention to that smaller percentage of students who didn’t meet that benchmark or maybe aren’t quite achieving at that level… the real trick though is doing that, while not shortchanging the other students who are meeting those benchmarks,” Bowers said.

Both Bowers and Joynt are unconcerned about the slight drop and believe that it is still an achievement for staff and community to be proud of. “I think our goal is consistent performance and with a commitment to… consistent improvement…and I think the report card demonstrates that consistency,” Bowers said.