By Michael S. Hoey


Director of Curriculum and Instruction Jill Sorbie made a presentation to the Delavan-Darien School Board on Jan. 8 that showed district test scores are on the rise. Sorbie’s report included district scores for 2015-17 for the ACT and Forward exams.

Sorbie said 31 percent of district students who took the ACT as juniors scored higher than the benchmark of 21 on the overall composite score. That number was 28 percent two years ago.

Sorbie said the established benchmarks are meant to predict how well students will do in college. She said students who score at or above the benchmarks have a 50 percent chance of getting a B or higher in a first-year college course and a 75 percent chance of getting a C or higher.

The district’s ACT English score remained steady over the past two years at 44 percent above the benchmark of 18. The ACT reading scores were 27 percent above the benchmark of 22, up from 23 percent two years ago. Math scores were slightly down to 24 percent this year compared to 25 percent two years ago, but the district only had 19 percent above the benchmark of 22 last year. Science scores were up to 24 percent above the benchmark of 23, up from 20 percent two years ago.

Sorbie said the district saw growth in most areas assessed by the Forward Exam given in grades three, eight and 10 as well. The district is also seeing gains in comparison to state averages as well.

Sorbie said growth in math has been less than in other areas, but she expects growth in math to increase in the near future as a result of changes in the math curriculum.

Board member John Andreoni asked if the district has been doing more to prepare students for the ACT exam in recent years. Sorbie said the district already offered one ACT preparation session and will offer two more on Jan. 27 and Feb. 17.

ACT preparation teacher Sandee Ortiz said students take the four-hour practice test and get valuable feedback on why they got answers wrong. Ortiz said some students have improved their ACT scores by four or five points by taking the practice tests. All Wisconsin students must take the ACT as juniors.

Sorbie also recognized Jodi Scott for being awarded a scholarship to attend the Next Gen Personal Finance Summit in San Francisco in March and Steve Gross for his work in hosting a parent forum on understanding anxiety at Phoenix Middle School.


Special ed students

      The board approved allowing up to three special education students into the district through open enrollment for the 2018-19 school year. Director of Pupil Services and Special Education Sara Halberg recommended allowing one open enrollment into Wileman Elementary and two at Turtle Creek Elementary.

Halberg said the district’s population of special education students is higher than the state average at the higher grade levels and she did not recommend adding any more students at those grade levels because the district doers not have the resources to handle that.


Athletes recognized

      The board recognized the Delavan-Darien boys soccer team for finishing the 2017 season as the Division 2 WIAA state runners-up.

Athletic Director Guy Otte said it is rare for teams to make it to state, and some players on the D-DHS team have now been there two and even three times in the past few years. He also said the Comets had two players score 50 or more goals – something that has never been done before in Wisconsin. Zeus Huerta scored 51 goals and Jason Cano scored 50. Otte said before this season, there had only been 11 50-goal seasons in Wisconsin soccer history and the Comets had two in one year.

Superintendent Robert Crist said he received an email from an official who worked the championship game that commended the Comets for their decorum at the end of the game even though they knew they were about to lose.

Otte said the bar for the Comet soccer program has been set high as ending the season as runners-up was considered a disappointment.

Erin Sorg was also recognized for qualifying for the WIAA state cross country meet for the third year in a row. Sorg finished eighth.


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