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Hudson schools pass with flying colors

The Hudson School District earned an overall score that “exceeded the expectations” of the Department of Public Instruction on the 2015-16 statewide school report card. All of Hudson schools met or exceeded the expectations. River Crest and Houlton schools “significantly exceeded” expectations.

The district’s overall score in the five categories measured was 79.5. The district finished significantly above the state average in all four of the priority area measured by the DPI.

Those areas include:

  • Student achievement against state and national standards along with performance in English language arts and math.

  • Student growth from year to year.

  • Closing gaps indicated by student improvement and narrowing achievement gaps; group performance by race, ethnicity or economic states.

  • On-track and postsecondary readiness including graduation and attendance rates along with third grade language arts and eighth grade math scores.

The score puts Hudson at the top of the list in the Big Rivers Conference that includes Rice Lake, River Falls, Menomonie and Chippewa Falls.

Hudson received the highest score in the area of student achievement, but was second to Rice Lake in the area of growth and second to River Falls in closing student achievement gaps.

The district did not fare as well when compared to other high-performing districts of comparable size across the state. HSD finished fourth out of five as compared to the scores of Germantown, Franklin Public, Mukwanago and Menomonie Falls.

Now what?

The report results were presented at Monday’s school board meeting by Learning Services Director Sandy Kovatch. She told the board that district administrators and building principals had met earlier that day to review and discuss what the results mean.

Superintendent Nick Ouellette said that while the district had performed well overall, “we are not where we want to be.”

Ouellette said district staff would be digging into the results to see if students are getting the most out of the initiatives that have been made in recent years at both the secondary and elementary level.

As an example, Kovatch pointed to the district’s advanced placement courses and the growing number and success of Hudson High School students in those classes. “We have to look at other groups of students to see where we can improve.”

Ouellette told the board that the district would be looking at “average kids, that 60 percent in the middle and what we’re doing to get them to the next level.”

“This is really a catalyst for us to move forward. We’re good, but those high-performing districts across the state are really good, and that’s where we want to be,” said Ouellette.

The complete report and the report from individual schools is available at the district website at at the About tab under School Performance. For more information contact Kovatch at 715-377-3705.

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

(715) 808-8604