2013-2014 End-of-the-Year Review

2013-2014 Student
Enrollment Data
• 104 students at start of year
• 96 students at end of year
• 36 third graders
• 30 fourth graders
• 30 fifth graders
• 13 transferred out (4 out of
district, 3 to MVS, 6 to LSI)
• 5 transferred in (2 from LSI, 3
new to district)

Economic
Status
Ethnicity
Special
Education
Normal 50%

Free & 50%
Reduced
WNH 87%

AIN 13%
& Other
7%
% from total enrolled in AECS throughout the year
114 students*
2014-2015 Student
Enrollment Data
• 98* students (as of 7/16/14)
• 31 third graders
• 35 fourth graders
• 32 fifth graders

* Unofficial numbers: Not all students listed
above have been contacted and may not
have officially enrolled in the district. These
numbers are based on application form results.

Economic
Status
Ethnicity
Special
Education
Normal

Free &
Reduced
WNH

AIN
& Other
Information not available at this time.
2014-2015 Staffing
Mary Zoesch, Lead Teacher
Julie McKuen
Emily Riese
Kaite Sweval (new)
Zachary Larson (new)
Familiar Faces
New AECS Staff
Ms. Sweval earned her Bachelor’s degree in Peace, Conflict
Resolution and Global Studies from Northland College,
completed a Masters Program at University of Wisconsin-River
Falls in Elementary Education and is certified to teach grades
1 through 8. Most recently she served as the Gifted &
Talented Coordinator for the School District of Ashland. Prior to
joining the Ashland School District Ms. Sweval ran a volunteer
reading program with community members at elementary
schools in Duluth, worked as a substitute teacher in Bayfield
schools and was a private tutor. Ms. Sweval grew up in
Bayfield and when she isn’t at school she likes to be outside
and often spends her time snowboarding, cross country skiing,
mountain biking and hiking with friends and family and
enjoying Lake Superior. Travel has played a fundamental role
in her education, taking her to Mexico for extensive travel and
learning experiences, Thailand, and around the world on ship
as a study abroad program in her undergraduate studies. She
hopes to combine her strong connection to Lake Superior and
the local community with an ever increasing global
connectedness when working with students to create a multi-
dimensional learning environment.
Mr. Larson grew up in this area, moved away for 15 years, and
is now delighted to be back. After graduating from
Drummond, he went to UW-Madison to get a BA in Social
Studies (go Badgers!) His junior year, he went on a study
abroad to Nepal for a year and developed a passion for
foreign travel. He has since visited 17 countries, most recently
Brazil, and 38 states, including Alaska in the summer of 2014.
After seven years living in Madison, Mr. Larson moved to New
York City, where he worked for an interfaith relations nonprofit
organization. He went back to India and Nepal for a total of 2
½ years and had an opportunity to teach English to monks
and nuns at a Himalayan Buddhist monastery. That is when Mr.
Larson decided to become a teacher. He completed the
Graduate Teaching Licensure program at the College of St.
Scholastica-Duluth in the spring of 2014. Mr. Larson has always
believed in the effectiveness of experiential education.
Learning by doing works well for him, and he believes it will
work for our students as well. He is honored to be involved with
this great school and very much look forward to working with
everyone.
Ashland Charter Schools Governance Council
• Wendy Kloiber, President
• David Vedder, Treasurer
• Amy Syverson, Secretary
• Ann Bochler
GUIDING
PRINCIPLES
In this ever-changing world, our educational system needs to provide learning alternatives that give students
the opportunity to embrace who they are and where they find the most success.

Our school is about creating a multiage community of learners who share their gifts, value the gifts of others,
reflect and revise to improve, and nurture the learning of all around them. Our project based, personalized
learning space supports flexibility and spontaneity, student voice and choice, collaboration, innovation,
meeting students where they are and self direction to follow passions in order to ensure all students reach their
greatest potential.

The AECS teaching team builds a safe and trusting community where we strive to support one another and
celebrate individual gifts. The teaching team listens to each other and is open to all ideas. Our team manages
AECS in a manner that models a respectful learning culture.

We know we are successful as a learning community when our students value their strengths and embrace
growing edges as learning opportunities. We believe fostering the skills of a life-long learner gives students the
confidence and ability to positively contribute to their current and future communities, and to society as whole.
AECS Vision and Pedagogy
Key Components of AECS in 2013-2014
 Multiage groups for advisory, ELA,
projects, encores, and Clubs
 Grade level groups for math (with some
exceptions to meet student needs)
 Projects: Timeline, State Parks, Choose
Your Own Adventure Camping Trip,
Explorers, Olympic Athlete, Lake Superior,
Birds, Inventions, High Cliff State Park
 Habits of Mind
 Integrating technology (Chromebooks,
iPads)

 Trimester schedule
 Weekly goal setting
 Self-reflection on progress reports
 Self-directed learning
 I Can Statements for CCSS
 Non-traditional classroom furniture
 Collaboration (partners, small groups)

High Cliff State Park
Camping Trip
• Year-long project of planning a school
camping trip to a State Park
• All students researched a state park with a
small group
• Students participated in a Presentation of
Learning Night to share the information
gathered on their state park
• Students were divided into 4 planning groups
and met periodically through the year
• 2/3 of our students participated in a 3 day/2
night camping trip to High Cliff State Park
Improvements planned for 2014-2015
• Learning outside (working with the Green Schools Network program)
• Increased use of Google Apps for Education – Google Sites for students’ PLPs
and portfolios
• Revised progress report – monitoring progress of CCSS using I Can Statements
for ELA and Math
• Revised ELA curriculum approach
• Interventions for reading and math
• One-to-one with Chromebooks
• New daily schedule (encore in the morning rather than at the end of the day)
• Bootcamp for new students
• Revised Parent Orientation for beginning of the year
Budget
Performance Criteria – Article V of Contract
B. Performance criteria. The Charter School must meet at least 2 of the following 4 performance objectives to remain in good
standing with the performance contract:

l. The Charter School will meet the Annual Measureable Objectives established by the state and obtain an overall accountability
score and rating of "meets expectations" or greater as determined by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
2. All students will show academic growth in reading and math.
3. All students with disabilities will make progress toward meeting their Individualized Education Plan.
4. 85% of students will meet the learning targets (student learning objectives) established in the project-based learning curriculum.
Performance Criteria
GOAL
1. The Charter School will
meet the Annual
Measureable Objectives
established by the state
and obtain an overall
accountability score and
rating of "meets
expectations" or greater as
determined by the
Wisconsin Department of
Public Instruction.
The Alternate School Accountability Determination process resulted in AECS receiving an
Alternate Rating-Satisfactory Progress rather than Alternate Rating-Needs Improvement.
Performance Criteria
GOAL
2. All students will show academic growth in
reading and math.
DATA
Data compiled from fall 2013 and spring 2014
MAP tests. Not all students enrolled at the end
of the year took the fall test.

All students made growth in reading and math;
however, we do not have concrete evidence
to show that.
3
rd
Math 3
rd
Reading 4
th
Math 4
th
Reading 5
th
Math 5
th
Reading
34/36 32/36 26/29 22/29 27/28 21/28
94% 89% 90% 76% 96% 75%
Performance Criteria
GOAL
3. All students with disabilities will make
progress toward meeting their Individualized
Education Plan.
DATA
 All students with IEPs made progress
towards meeting their goals.
 Information retained in CUM files.
Performance Criteria
GOAL
4. 85% of students will meet the learning
targets (student learning objectives)
established in the project-based learning
curriculum.
Data gathered from individual student progress reports.
Progress Report by Grade Level

# of Students
Collecting
Data
Measuring Performance Criteria
What did we learn?
• We need to have better pre-
and post- data to measure
student achievement.
• The MAP test is only piece of
data for math and reading.
We need to have other
measures to triangulate the
data for each student.
• Tracking of CCSS learning will
be done using I Can
Statements in students’ PLPs.


Nationally Standardized Achievement Test Results
Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014
A B C D E
Grade Subject
Median
Scale Score
Scale Score at
the 25th
Percentile
Scale Score at
the 75th
Percentile
3rd Reading 197 180 200
4th Reading 205 190 209
5th Reading 209 197 217
A B C D E
Grade Subject
Median
Scale Score
Scale Score at
the 25th
Percentile
Scale Score at
the 75th
Percentile
3rd Math 194 184 201
4th Math 209 194 213
5th Math 217 203 223
A B C D E
Grade Subject
Median
Scale Score
Scale Score at
the 25th
Percentile
Scale Score at
the 75th
Percentile
3rd Reading 204 185 204
4th Reading 211 193 213
5th Reading 213 200 219
A B C D E
Grade Subject
Median
Scale Score
Scale Score at
the 25th
Percentile
Scale Score at
the 75th
Percentile
3rd Math 202 190 207
4th Math 211 199 218
5th Math 220 207 227
A B C D E
Grade Subject
Median
Scale Score
Scale Score at
the 25th
Percentile
Scale Score at
the 75th
Percentile
3rd Reading 205 189 209
4th Reading 209 197 217
5th Reading 213 203 222
A B C D E
Grade Subject
Median
Scale Score
Scale Score at
the 25th
Percentile
Scale Score at
the 75th
Percentile
3rd Math 206 193 212
4th Math 213 202 222
5th Math 225 210 231
Complete the following tables and submit with the Implementation Renewal Charter School Grant Application.
Charter School Name: Ashland Elementary Charter School
Authorizer: Ashland School District
Name of Nationally Standardized Test: NWEA MAP
Fall Date Administered: September 2013
Spring Date Administered: May 2014
Provide results of the standardized achievement test administered in reading and math. Please provide the following:
1. Mean or median scale score for the school in reading and math for each grade level.
2. Scale score at the 25th and 75th percentiles in reading and math for each grade level.

Fall 2013
Spring 2014
Winter 2014
Fall 2013
Winter 2014
Spring 2014
End of the Year Parent Climate
Survey Results
As of 7/16/14, the survey was completed by 37 out of 89 families (42% participation).
End of the Year
Parent Climate Survey
2013-2014
Yes 30 81%
Somewhat 7 19%
No 0 0%
My child enjoyed his/her year at AECS.

Yes 31 84%
Somewhat 4 11%
No 2 5%
I felt the AECS teachers cared about my child's learning this year.
End of the Year
Parent Climate Survey
2013-2014
Yes 25 68%
Somewhat 11 30%
No 1 3%
I felt my child learned this year at AECS.

Yes 20 54%
Somewhat 16 43%
No 1 3%
I knew my child's gifts (strengths) and growing edges (areas needing improvement).
End of the Year
Parent Climate Survey
2013-2014
Yes 15 41%
Sometimes 19 51%
No 3 8%
I knew what my child was doing at school.
Yes 18 49%
Sometimes 11 30%
No 8 22%
I noticed that my child took more initiative in his/her learning this year.
End of the Year
Parent Climate Survey
2013-2014
Yes 25 68%
Sometimes 10 27%
No 2 5%
I noticed that my child gained confidence this year.
Yes 15 41%
Sometimes 14 38%
No 8 22%
I noticed that my child is a more innovative problem solver this year.
End of the Year
Parent Climate Survey
2013-2014
I was satisfied with my child's year at AECS.
Yes 21 57%
Somewhat 14 38%
No 2 5%
End of the Year
Parent Climate Survey
2013-2014
Email 32 21%
Phone Call 15 10%
Paper letters home 15 10%
AECS in Review weekly email 20 13%
Talking to my child 19 13%
School Messenger email 11 7%
School Messenger phone call 14 9%
Face-to-Face meetings 18 12%
Google Drive 3 2%
Other 3 2%
What forms of communication
worked best for you?
End of the Year
Parent Climate Survey
2013-2014
 Choose your top 5 FAVORITE
parts of having your child be a
student at AECS this year.
The variety of furniture 6 3%
My child switching rooms 1 1%
My child having different teachers 8 4%
My child being in multiage classes (working with students from different grades) 15 8%
My child wrote goals in a goal booklet 3 2%
My child wrote on his/her progress report 5 3%
My child not having a desk 4 2%
My child learned how to manage supplies without a desk 1 1%
Project Time 9 5%
Advisory Time 0 0%
Math instruction 1 1%
Reading & Writing instruction 2 1%
Club Time- independent inquiry time 9 5%
Birthday Posters 1 1%
My child eating lunch in the classroom 2 1%
Field Trips 7 4%
Camping Trip to High Cliff State Park 16 9%
Having Guest Speakers 6 3%
Advisory Book Challenge 2 1%
Using Chromebooks, iPads, and computers 12 6%
My child having multiple opportunities to work with a partner or group 12 6%
My child's schoolmates 5 3%
My child's AECS teachers 8 4%
My child presenting his/her work 9 5%
My child creating a PLP (personalized learning plan) 7 4%
The Student-Led Conference 7 4%
Not having regular homework 6 3%
Having classroom libraries 3 2%
Going outside for learning 8 4%
My child learning about the 16 Habits of Mind 7 4%
My child creating a portfolio of work 5 3%
End of the Year
Parent Climate Survey
2013-2014
 Choose your top 5 LEAST
favorite parts of having your
child be a student at AECS this
year.
The variety of furniture 4 3%
My child switching rooms 3 2%
My child having different teachers 2 2%
My child being in multiage classes (working with students from different grades) 1 1%
My child wrote goals in a goal booklet 1 1%
My child wrote on his/her progress report 8 6%
My child not having a desk 9 7%
My child learned how to manage supplies without a desk 5 4%
Project Time 3 2%
Advisory Time 2 2%
Math instruction 12 10%
Reading & Writing instruction 6 5%
Club Time- independent inquiry time 6 5%
Birthday Posters 7 6%
My child eating lunch in the classroom 6 5%
Field Trips 0 0%
Camping Trip to High Cliff State Park 1 1%
Having Guest Speakers 0 0%
Advisory Book Challenge 6 5%
Using Chromebooks, iPads, and computers 3 2%
My child having multiple opportunities to work with a partner or group 1 1%
My child's schoolmates 4 3%
My child's AECS teachers 1 1%
My child presenting his/her work 0 0%
My child creating a PLP (personalized learning plan) 5 4%
The Student-Led Conference 9 7%
Not having regular homework 14 11%
Having classroom libraries 2 2%
Going outside for learning 0 0%
My child learning about the 16 Habits of Mind 3 2%
My child creating a portfolio of work 2 2%
End of the Year Parent Climate Survey 2013-2014
More core work on spelling and math

More daily info

More individualized plans and ways to learn without him knowing
that he is learning.

More 1:1 support when needed. having title 1 teachers to help the
children that need it, more 1 on 1 time.

We can't think of anything at the moment.

more positive publicity, heard so many negative things around the
community that weren't true

Smaller math classes and more tables to sit at for work time.

I would rather have a more traditional parent/teacher conference
where I could feel a little more free to talk to teachers about things
that I didn't necessarily want my children to hear about.

more focused reading

In the beginning of the year I felt like I didn't know what was going
on. But communication got better.


If you could change one thing about AECS, what would it be?

Move the school to a separate building so AECS kids don't
get teased by the non-AECS kids.

More student choice

More student choice and more outside time

more regular communication from my chil'/s advisory teacher

individual lockers for each student

More time on academics less fluff

Making sure students participate equally.




End of the Year Parent Climate Survey 2013-2014

The progress reports were enormously long and repetitive without
communicating essential information. Yes, my child should develop
an understanding of herself as a learner; however, she doesn't have
the knowledge base or cognitive development to understand what
comprises academic proficiency. When I read her progress report, I
want to know how she is doing in math, science, etc, and how I can
help her gain essential knowledge to continue to grow
academically. This year, I didn't know that my child wasn't learning
what she needed to be learning in math until I looked closely at
something she brought home and discovered all of her answers were
wrong. I went in to talk with her math instructor, who waved off my
concerns. The teacher said she wasn't worried because my child
would never use these math skills in real life, anyway. When my child
took the MAP assessment at the end of the year, her math score
dropped from a percentile in the eighties to one in the fifties. The
math processes that are being learned in upper elementary pave
the way for learning complex mathematical processes in Algebra
and upper level math. Just because this math instructor doesn't use
these processes in her own "real life," this doesn't mean that others
don't; in fact, failing to learn these processes would limit my child's
potential to pursue many math and science related fields.
If you could change one thing about AECS, what would it be?

I more clear assessment of my childs skills. I felt it was difficult to gage if
my child was in an A range or really struggling

Make project time more productive more community based projects
and closely monitored writing skills

There needs to be more teacher direction in math classes - I saw several
pictures with students sitting in the hall doing their math. They should
really have a safe, clean place to sit. The floor is disgusting - would you
sit on the floor??

more understanding of what my child was doing and how she was
doing with making friends

To have the positives of having another learning opportunity outshine
the negatives.

Get the Chrome books and iPads to work more reliably so that so much
time wasn't lost to just getting the to work. For example, students were
often given 15 minutes to complete and assignment but spent more
than 10 minutes just trying to get signed in and get the electronic
devices to work. Perhaps less complicated user names and passwords
could also be assigned. If the devices will not work quickly and
effectively that is lost time my child could be learning via some other
mode of instruction, not wasting their learning time just trying to get
signed into a device.
End of the Year Parent Climate Survey 2013-2014
Project learning is a great idea, keep it up and in a few years, the
school will be wonderful.

Picking 5 least favorite, was very difficult

child's handwriting became progressively worse asthe year went on

I couldn't choose any least favorite things. Every aspect had great
benefits. Thank you for all of your hard work!

Grateful for all your hard work!

charter school had a great first year. congrats!

Improve childs organizational skills

Appreciate all the time the teachers invested in AECS

the children were awful to my child, and nothing was done about it.

Is there anything else you would like the AECS teachers to know?
It seemed the teachers often gave to long of a list of instructions for
some of the younger kids and spent to much time instructiong not
teaching and giving examples. Plus being unwilling to repeat instructions
even thought the were confusing or complicated with many steps. As a
parent I often felt it difficult to help/ advise my child because not only
was I unsure of what was going on in the classroom, but I had no idea
about what was expected of my child as far as deadlines or what they
were working on ( the weekly update always told what they did but I
never knew what they were doing). Also my child often felt like he was
trying to hit a moving target and couldn't because there were too many
different sets of instructions, deadlines often changed, too many
assignments/projects were going on at once and he did not feel
confident he knew what process he was supposed to use, or that he
was not allowed to finish a task before more tasks.

Some kids may not respond to keeping up with basic skills in this non-
traditional setting. Just be mindful of that. Thanks.

more structure. I think you assummed kids were engadged when they
might not be.

Thank you for the endless hours you have put in to create an alternative
learning opportunity for the students in our district.

I really liked the camping trip I wish it wasn't so far away.

The programs were wonderful!! more on social skills and communication
with the parents
End of the Year Parent Climate Survey 2013-2014
Thank you again for a fantastic year of learning for Abby! We can
only imagine the tremendous amount of work that went into pulling
off the first year of the AECS and really appreciate all that you did!!

I would like to see stream-lined progress reports with specific
information from teachers about academic progress (not so much
narrative about items that can't be objectively measured). I would
also like to see one teacher who takes my child's individual learning
as their personal priority. It would be helpful to have children place
forms in a "parent-communicator" folder. My child stuffed forms in her
bag or lost them. Nightly homework, especially a few minutes of
math, would also benefit my child. We are very satisfied with the
reading and language arts instruction!

I liked everything about the charter school. no issues at all! nice job!

Is there anything else you would like the AECS teachers to know?
I would like to thank the AECS teachers from this past year. They did a
wonderful job with making learning interesting and fun! It was a huge
adjustment for my two children because not only was it a different
school and way of learning, but also a new bus to ride, new building,
and all new people. It was a rough first two weeks for them and I
seriously considered putting them back into the school they had been in
previously. But Mrs. Stricker and Ms. Hilgemann were wonderful, very
caring and helpful and willing to find ways to work things through and
help y children adjust. And they ended up having a wonderful year and
loving it!! I'm very sad to see both of these very wonderful and talented
ladies leave the school but am also happy with the ones remaining and
am confident that they will help hire teachers who are also very nice
and good at their job. Thank you again, Mrs. Stricker, Ms. Hilgemann,
Mrs. Zoesch, Mrs. McKuen, and Ms. Reise for the awesome year the kids
had and the many memories they've made!

I can't understand why the teachers were gone so much.

Although I like the weekly newsletter, I often felt like I had no idea how
my child was doing. I like the daily communication log in previous
classes that went home every day.

I liked that the kids were involved in the conferences, however I want
the teach to tell me how they are doing. I felt like there was minimal
direction and guidance from the teachers on my child's progress.
AECS School Review by WISN
AECS engaged in an extensive school review during April and May of 2014. The review
included:
1. Interviews with the AECS Staff, the Superintendent and all members of the
2. Multiple observations days.
3. Self-Study Survey of all the Staff, Administration and Governance Council
4. Review of findings with a focus group of stakeholders.
a. Identification of strategic issues and goals.
ASHLAND CHARTER SCHOOLS

Ashland Elementary
Charter School
(AECS)
GOALS

1. Expand membership and grow capacity of the
Governance Board
2. Update and strengthen the AECS mission and vision
3. Develop and implement an effective marketing
strategy
4. Develop and implement an advanced orientation
process for all stakeholders
5. Continue developing the facilities to match the
vision and mission of the school
6. Establish Collaboration and Planning Time
7. Develop a constructive partnership with LSI and
Ashland School District