Nearly 28% of Waukesha School District high school students are failing at least one class, records show

Alec Johnson:

Data from the Waukesha School District shows students have been struggling in the district’s hybrid learning model, with about 30% of high school students failing at least one class during the first quarter last fall.

The data, which came from an open records request submitted by parent Rebecca Flaherty, was sent to a reporter by the Wisconsin Achievement Partnership, a group of parents pushing for five-days-a-week in-person instruction. 

It showed 27.73% of district’s high school students in the current school year had a failing grade in at least one class and GPAs had dipped significantly at the district’s five high schools (West, North, South, Engineering Prep and Health Academy). 

Broken down by school, almost 49% of students failing at least one class are juniors at Waukesha South High School. The data also showed that, for example, average GPA at Waukesha North High School dropped about a half a point — from 3.003 to 2.641 — from the first quarter of the 2019-20 school year to the first quarter of 2020-21.

In the first quarter of the 2019-20 school year, 269 high school students failed at least one class. That number ballooned to 982 during the first quarter of the 2020-21 school year, a 265.1% increase.  

“We have been aware of the data and collaborating together as adults in the system to help kids succeed in multiple learning models,” Waukesha School District Superintendent James Sebert said. “We believe that getting back into school five days a week will be helpful in increasing engagement levels and academic performance.” 

The district’s middle and high school students will begin in-person learning, five days a week beginning Jan. 26.

Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled

Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public Health. (> 140 employees).

Molly Beck and Madeline Heim:

which pushed Dane County this week not to calculate its percentage of positive tests — a data point the public uses to determine how intense infection is in an area.   

While positive test results are being processed and their number reported quickly, negative test results are taking days in some cases to be analyzed before they are reported to the state. 


The department said it was between eight and 10 days behind in updating that metric on the dashboard, and as a result it appeared to show a higher positive percentage of tests and a lower number of total tests per day.

The department said this delay is due to the fact data analysts must input each of the hundreds of tests per day manually, and in order to continue accurate and timely contact tracing efforts, they prioritized inputting positive tests.

“Positive tests are always immediately verified and processed, and delays in processing negative tests in our data system does not affect notification of test results,” the department said in a news release. “The only effect this backlog has had is on our percent positivity rate and daily test counts.”

Staff have not verified the approximately 17,000 tests, which includes steps such as matching test results to patients to avoid duplicating numbers and verifying the person who was tested resides in Dane County.

All 77 false-positive COVID-19 tests come back negative upon reruns.

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Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

“An emphasis on adult employment”

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