Delavan-Darien School District ‘Exceeds Expectations’ on State Report Cards

IMAGE: Graphic showing district and school report card scores from the Department of Public Instruction (2017 scores)

DELAVAN — The Delavan-Darien School District “Exceeds Expectations,” according to the latest school district report cards released today (Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017) by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

The district’s overall score of 82.3 was the highest it has ever been in the six-year history of the DPI’s school and school district report card system.

The district’s score is higher than all other 4K-12 districts in Walworth County.

Also, the district’s overall score and the scores for all schools in the district saw increases from the 2015-16 school year to the 2016-17 school year report cards, which were released today.

IMAGE: Robert Crist, Ed.D.

Superintendent Robert Crist, Ed.D.

“This is fantastic news for our school district, our individual schools, our students, our teachers, our families and our community,” said Superintendent Robert Crist, Ed.D. “We’ve always known that there is a lot of good that happens in our schools, and a lot to be proud of, and this year’s state report cards prove that. We have staff and families who are doing tremendous work preparing kids to be successful in whatever endeavors they choose. These scores are a reflection of that work.”

Phoenix Middle School led all Delavan-Darien school ratings with a score of 85.0, putting it in the “significantly exceeds expectations” category. It is the first school in the district to ever achieve such a ranking, and improved from last year’s score of 64.6.

Each school and school district is given a score and a rating in one of five categories: “significantly exceeds expectations,” “exceeds expectations,” “meets expectations,” “meets some expectations” and “meets few expectations.” The scores take into account state test scores, student growth, being on track for graduation, closing the performance gap among different socioeconomic and minority groups, and absenteeism and dropout rates.

“I am so excited right now,” said Phoenix Middle School Principal Hank Schmelz. “What a great Thanksgiving gift. We know our Phoenix family pulls together and we have good morale, and this is what can happen when you have that.”

Schmelz attributed the school’s high report card score on a number of other factors, including the school being focused on student academic growth, having a focus on literacy in each subject and class, having daily common planning time for teachers, having a school-wide set of common goals and having extra time for daily math instruction (90 minutes per day for all middle school grades).

“Our staff really supports each other to reach our school goals,” said Schmelz, who noted the school achieved a perfect 50-out-of-50 points on math growth and 45.4/50 on English-Language Arts growth.

IMAGE: Principal Hank Schmelz

Phoenix Middle School Principal Hank Schmelz

“We keep our focus on the growth mindset and how we are growing the kids,” Schmelz added. “We’re growing our students faster, and closing the achievement gaps faster than much of the rest of the state.”

Darien Elementary, which has all the district’s fourth- and fifth-grade students, scored 76.5 and was in the “exceeds expectations” category. Darien scored 67.5 on last year’s report card, when it was in the “meets expectations” category.

Turtle Creek Elementary’s score of 66.7 put the district’s first- through third-grade building in the “meets expectations” category, while Delavan-Darien High School’s score of 62.7 placed it in the “meets few expectations” category, just three-tenths of a point out of the higher “meets expectations” ranking. Turtle Creek scored 61.6 last year, and DDHS scored 60.5 a year ago.

Wileman Elementary, with only preschool and kindergarten students, was unranked as students in those grades are not required to take the state-mandated tests used in determining school report card ratings.

All of the district’s schools also met state goals for absenteeism rates and dropout rates, areas that, in the past, have had a negative effect on some school report card scores.

“While we’re all very proud of the improvements we’ve made and of this year’s report card scores, we recognize there is still a lot of work to do,” Crist said. “I know our staff and our students want to keep this positive momentum going and I am confident they will. It’s a great time to be a part of the Delavan-Darien School District and I truly believe we’re going to keep getting better.”

Delavan-Darien Report Card Scores


  • District: 82.3 (exceeds expectations)X
  • Turtle Creek: 66.7 (meets expectations)
  • Darien: 76.5 (exceeds expectations)
  • Phoenix: 85.0 (significantly exceeds expectations)
  • DDHS: 62.7 (meets few expectations)


  • District: 63.3 (meets expectations)
  • Turtle Creek: 61.6 (meets few expectations)
  • Darien: 67.5 (meets expectations)
  • Phoenix: 64.6 (meets expectations)
  • DDHS: 60.5 (meets few expectations)

Walworth County 4K-12 District Scores

  • Delavan-Darien: 82.3 (exceeds expectations)
  • East Troy: 72 (meets expectations)
  • Elkhorn Area: 75.9 (exceeds expectations)
  • Whitewater Unified: 72.2 (meets expectations)
  • Williams Bay: 72.5 (meets expectations)

To learn more, visit the DPI Report Card Website:

Download school report cards at: