Academic Growth

The Wauwatosa School District is pleased to announce that more than 80% of its brick-and-mortar schools have realized academic growth in at least one content area (English Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies), according to the Department of Public Instruction’s release of 2022-23 school year Forward, DLM and ACT data. 

The Wauwatosa School District also saw district-wide academic growth in three of the four primary content areas of English Language Arts (ELA), Math, Science and Social Studies. DPI reported that 11 schools saw growth in ELA, and 11 experienced student growth in Math. 

All of the District’s traditional elementary schools realized growth in Math and ELA, with Madison Elementary realizing the most growth in ELA and Roosevelt Elementary realizing the most growth in Math. 

Four schools - Lincoln Elementary, McKinley Elementary, Wilson Elementary and Longfellow Middle School - saw growth in all content areas tested, and both Longfellow Middle School and Whitman Middle School saw growth in Science and Social Studies. Longfellow Middle School also saw the most ELA growth across the entire District. 

“It’s incredibly rewarding to see the academic gains that our students are realizing in the Wauwatosa School District,” stated Superintendent Dr. Demond Means. “Now that we’ve reorganized our Division of Academic Performance, built educator capacity and system-wide coherence, aligned our academic system to grade-level standards and followed our Strategic Plan for over a full year, we are seeing real, tangible results in student growth.” Means continued, “We are encouraged by the impact we’ve made on the system. And although we have made significant progress in many areas, we recognize the need to continue to push forward and leverage the momentum we’ve built as we continue to make progress in the years to come.” 

The Forward Exam is designed to gauge how well students are doing in relation to the Wisconsin Academic Standards.  These standards outline what students should know and be able to do in order to be college and career ready. The Forward Exam is administered online in the spring of each school year for students in grades 3-8 in English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics, grades 4 and 8 in Science, and grades 4, 8, and 10 in Social Studies. 

The DLM assessment system is designed for students with severe cognitive disabilities who are determined unable to participate in other assessments established in the state assessment system (Wisconsin Forward, Aspire, ACT). This determination is made by the IEP Team annually. Wauwatosa School District’s 2022-23 DLM data illustrates an increase in proficiency in all subject areas tested, including ELA, Math, Science and Social Studies. 

The ACT Plus Writing consists of four multiple-choice tests: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science; and an essay test that measures writing skills. The average ACT composite score for Wauwatosa East High School remained steady from 2021-22 to 2022-23 at 21.9. Wauwatosa West saw a slight decrease in its average composite score from 20.8 in 2021-22 to 20.4 in 2022-23. 

The Wauwatosa School District intends to leverage the momentum built over the past year by: 

  • Continuing to align assessments to grade level and content standards.

  • Providing professional learning and coaching support in service of educators and the purposeful instructional planning cycle.

  • Identifying short-term data markers for building principals to regularly monitor and take action upon identification of meaningful patterns.

Please click here to view Wauwatosa School District’s full data dashboard via WiseDash

Data provided via WiseDash reflects the academic proficiency of students who attended a WSD school for the full 2022-23 academic year. Students who were opted-out of testing cannot be categorized as “proficient”. For example, if 1% of students were opted-out, the highest possible percentage of proficiency is 99%. In total, 1.7% of WSD students (a total of 71 children) were opted-out of the Forward exam.