Screen shot of District Report Card, with the 8 categories shown

The District Report Card recently was recognized with a Spectrum Award of Excellence by the Wisconsin School Public Relations Association.

District Report Card earns Award of Excellence

Posted November 20, 2017

The Plymouth School District recently was honored with a state school communications award for its innovative, interactive District Report Card.
The District Report Card was one of six projects to receive a Spectrum Award of Excellence, the highest recognition possible, in the Annual Report/Performance Report category of the annual competition hosted by the Wisconsin School Public Relations Association.

The extensive, multimedia District Report Card launched in November 2016 to help the district evaluate how it is doing and to share that information with staff, families and community.

Work began more than a year earlier, as administrators held thoughtful discussions about how best to evaluate the district. A team led by Assistant Superintendent Dan Mella and Fairview Principal Nick O’Malley identified eight key categories: Academic Excellence, Expert Staff, Innovative Opportunities, Post-Graduate Success, Extra-Curriculars, The Arts, Wellness, and Community Engagement.

The team then developed numerous measures for each of those categories. An extensive amount of relevant data was evaluated to develop star ratings for each category as well as an overall rating for the district. Strategic initiatives for growth were identified for those categories receiving fewer than five stars.

The eight categories, the measures, and the data are captured in the online District Report Card. By clicking particular categories and measures on and off, people are able delve deeper and deeper into whatever is of interest them. District communications coordinator Jamie Piontkowski updates the District Report Card monthly with fresh examples.

Judges complimented the district on packaging complex information in a way that is easily accessible, updatable, and user-friendly in both mobile and desktop formats. “The links to websites, videos, data points, etc. that further explain the great things going on throughout the district is an excellent choice and a wonderful way to supplement the star ratings,” wrote one judge.

Another judge noted, “Each category contains a lot of useful and interesting information (and some really interesting nuggets for outsiders: a garden for every school and a German band? Fun.)”

The Spectrum Awards, which WSPRA presented Nov. 10 at its annual conference in Elkhart Lake, recognize high-quality public relations efforts produced by or on behalf of Wisconsin school districts. “Spectrum Award winners exemplify the very best communications work in school districts across the state,” said WSPRA President Sarah Heck. “The winners demonstrate the value of engaging stakeholders in order to build community support for Wisconsin’s public schools.”

The awards were judged by members of the Illinois School Public Relations Association on a 30-point scale in six areas: goals and objectives, research and planning, execution and evaluation, results, language, and design.

WSPRA is a professional association representing schools, school districts, educational associations, consulting agencies and organizations and a state affiliate of the National School Public Relations Association. Its mission is to expand the capacity of its members to provide effective communication management for the purpose of strengthening educational opportunities for all students.

Learn more:
• Explore the Plymouth School District’s award-winning District Report Card.