Seven Milestones for Post-Secondary Success
As students move through their 4K-12 academic careers, they strive for and reach a number of key milestones. We have identified seven milestones that benchmark our efforts to guide our efforts in ensuring that all students will experience college and future career success. Our Milestones for Post-Secondary Success include measurable outcomes that allow us to monitor student progress in preparing for post-secondary success. Our goal is that when students graduate from high school, they have the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in post-secondary education. Each milestone is rigorous, encouraging our students to develop higher-level thinking and problem-solving skills.
Milestone 1 - Reading to Grade-Level Proficiency
Children who read proficiently by third grade are more likely to experience success through and beyond high school. The MTSD monitors students’ progress in reading with the goal of ensuring students are reading at grade level by the start of third grade. Each year the school district documents progress toward this goal by reporting on the percentage of students reading to independent level enrolled in Kindergarten through Grade 2. Independent level is the ability at which the student can read without additional support, as measured by the Fountas & Pinnell Text Level Gradient.
Milestone 2 - Reading Achievement (Gr. 3-8)
Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) Growth tests are administered to all MTSD students in Grades 1-8 in the fall, winter, and spring. These tests not only determine students' instructional level, but also measure their academic growth throughout the school year (and from year to year) in reading and mathematics. In the Mequon-Thiensville School District, progress is reported annually for students in Grades 3-8 who score at or above the 66th percentile at grade level on MAP tests demonstrating reading skills that will likely lead to college success.
Milestone 3 - Math Achievement (Gr. 3-8)
Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) Growth tests are administered to all MTSD students in Grades 1-8 in the fall, winter, and spring. These tests not only determine students' instructional level, but also measure their academic growth throughout the school year (and from year to year) in reading and mathematics. In the Mequon-Thiensville School District, progress is reported annually for students in Grades 3-8 who score at or above the 70th percentile at grade level on MAP tests demonstrating mathematics skills that will likely lead to college success.
Milestone 4 - ACT Benchmark Attainment
Students in Grades 9-11 in the Mequon-Thiensville School District are administered an ACT-related assessment annually as part of the state’s testing program. The ACT series of assessments can be used to assess college readiness. Students who meet or exceed the ACT Benchmarks in English, reading, math, and science associated with this exam have a high probability for success in respective college credit-bearing courses. The data below reflects the percentage of MTSD students in Grades 9-11 (Grades 8-11 in 2015-16 through 2018-19) that met or exceeded ACT Benchmarks in all four content areas in their respective ACT-related assessments.
Milestone 5 - Algebra 2 Success
Students who take advanced math in high school are more likely to attend and graduate from college. By completing Algebra 2 by the end of the 10th grade with a C or higher, students will have access to rigorous pre-college mathematics courses in Grades 11 and 12.
The Mequon-Thiensville School District maintains a typical secondary math course sequence that begins with Algebra I and continues with Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus. Students who do not pass Algebra II before the end of 10th grade are unlikely to have the opportunity to take any Calculus courses before they graduate. In the Mequon-Thiensville School District, progress is reported annually regarding the percentage of 10th grade students that have completed Algebra II with a grade of “C” or better.
Milestone 6 - Success in Advanced Coursework
The Mequon-Thiensville School District focuses on ensuring that students experience a rigorous curriculum in high school to support postsecondary success. One way of introducing rigorous coursework is to have students take college-level work, often in the form of either Advanced Placement (AP) courses and exams or dual enrollment courses. In the Mequon-Thiensville School District, progress is reported annually regarding the percentage of students in the graduating class that scored a 3 or better on at least one AP exam and/or attained a B or better in a dual-credit course while a high school student.
Milestone 7 - Student Engagement (Gr. 4-12)
The MTSD contracts with School Perceptions LLC to facilitate an annual survey for all students in Grades 4-12 to assess school climate and student engagement. Students that are engaged and feel safe at school are more likely to achieve at school at a high level academically thereby increasing the likelihood of post-secondary success. Survey questions are asked across seven indicators including Connectedness, Drive, Citizenship/Leadership, Preparation, Social & Emotional Aptitude, Wellness, and Academics & Career Planning. The data below reflects the percentage of students who participated in the survey whose average level of engagement across all survey questions was greater than or equal to 3.0 on a 4.0 scale as measured on an annual student engagement survey. The goal has been to maintain a score of 3.0 or above, as it is unlikely or unrealistic that an individual would consistently rate at a 4.0. School Perceptions LLC does provide a comparison score based on similar districts who have students engaging with the same survey.