More than 90 percent of Wisconsin school districts that use the Skyward Student Management Suite meet or exceed the Department of Public Instruction's academic expectations, according to new data recently released by the state agency.Of the 50 percent of Wisconsin public school districts that utilize the Skyward school administration software, 92 percent of the customers meet or exceed academic standards set forth in the Department of Public Instruction's (DPI) School Report Card. The company's software improves communication and empowers administrators, teachers, and parents to closely monitor students' academic progress throughout the school year.
According to Dr. Robert Smiley, Janesville School District CIO, the Skyward Student Management Suite not only allows parents to track their children's day-to-day progress, but also offers administrators the critical ability to oversee the entire district's achievement and identify areas for improvement throughout the school year. Of the 21 schools in the Janesville School District, which has been a Skyward customer since March 1996, 17 schools were received a grade from the Wisconsin DPI. Sixteen of the 17 schools met, exceeded, or significantly exceeded, state standards in the 2011-12 school year.
"I can't imagine doing this without Skyward," Smiley said. "Their programs enable us to integrate all our data to make informed decisions and involve parents in the process. Parental involvement and close student monitoring is critical because 50 percent of our children qualify for free or reduced lunch."
The report card scored 2,118 public schools on a scale from zero to 100, with 1,611 schools meeting, exceeding or significantly exceeding expectations, according to the DPI. Schools were graded on four priority areas: student achievement, student growth, attention to closing reading, math and graduation gaps, and factors such as attendance and ACT participation to gauge post-secondary readiness.
While 92 percent of Skyward school districts meet, exceed or significantly exceed the state's expectations, only 80 percent of non-Skyward customer districts scored as well, underscoring Skyward's standing as the premier student management software in the state. Additionally, less than one percent of Skyward supported schools failed to meet state expectations, while more than six percent of non-Skyward schools failed to meet those same expectations.
"We couldn't be more proud of the fact that more than 90 percent of our Wisconsin customers are meeting or exceeding state expectations," said Skyward President Scott Glinski. "While our software provides schools with valuable data, the true champions are the teachers and the students who work hard every day to reach their goals."
According to the DPI report, schools had to achieve a score of at least 63 to meet the agency's expectations. While administrators in the Janesville School District are focused on improving achievement in all grade levels, leaders have a specific focus on the K-5 grade levels, which just instituted Skyward's online grade book with parent access one year ago, to engage students and parents early on, Smiley said.
"Overall we did really well in the state's report card, but everyone always wants to improve, and since we've only used the online grade book at K-5 for one year, it's relatively new for those parents," Smiley said. "Helping those parents to understand how to leverage that new information in the grade book is something we're still working on, so there are ways for us to make even greater gains in student achievement by maximizing all that Skyward has to offer."
Skyward is a leading provider of K-12 school administrative software that surpasses districts' needs in state reporting, improves operational capabilities, and opens communication between schools and families. Today, the Skyward School Management System™ is used in more than 1,500 school districts worldwide, ranging from districts with as few as 50 students to statewide implementations supporting more than 800,000 students. Founded in 1980, Skyward serves school districts with its integrated student, finance, and human resources suite of products and is proudly made and supported in the United States. To learn more, visit www.skyward.com.