Six Years of Continuous Improvement

During the 2013-2014 school year, the Sun Prairie Area School District embarked on a new initiative, the development of a strategic plan. After more than 60 SWOT analysis meetings with different community stakeholders. The findings of the SWOT analysis found the district markedly behind in technology with no 1:1 computer initiative. The lack of a long-range facilities plan with or district-wide capital maintenance plan was putting the district’s facilities at risk. Overcrowding at almost every school in the district was disrupting student access and opportunity, and with no district Facebook page or a communication engagement plan, the community felt the district was not fulfilling its obligation to communicate and engage the community. Additional SWOT analysis results included concerns about the school lunch program, a lack of gifted and talented programming, concerns about the lack of curriculum revision and outdated materials, a poor performing compensation system, and lack of any plan for staff diversification and student equity.

After Community Conversation with more than 50 community members, the SPASD developed its first Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan was launched in the 2014-2015 school year. Over the last five years, Sun Prairie has worked through our strategic plan which was focused on four main pillars: Teaching & Learning, Workforce Focus, Community Engagement, and Facilities & Operations. Within each of these pillars, our District has achieved many goals to evolve and improve for our community and children we serve.

By working collaboratively and staying focused on our strategic plan and priorities, the future is bright for the SPASD.

1. Teaching & Learning

All students surpass their annual academic growth targets and graduate ready for success.

Teaching & Learning Initiatives: 
Excellence in Special Education

Over the past six years, special education in Sun Prairie has been focused on expanding the capacity of our schools to meet the needs of every child through a strengths-based, collaborative, and inclusive way of being.

Maintained Class Sizes

Even with very tight budgets, the district has been able to maintain the already low-class sizes.

Expansion of AVID

AVID is an elementary through postsecondary college readiness system designed to increase schoolwide learning and performances for students.

Curriculum Renewal Process

We use a process called Curriculum Renewal and Design Process to decide what materials to use to teach students. Our staff reviews curriculum and instructional materials on a six-year cycle to ensure that our students have an exceptional learning experience that is aligned to state and national standards.

1:1 Devices for Students

Our District provides every student in grades K-12 with either an iPad, Chromebook or laptop.

Summer School

We offer one of the most robust summer school programs in the state of Wisconsin for students in grades 4K-5. 

3. Community Engagement

Excel in how we serve all stakeholders and build relationships with families, community members, and businesses that promote positive outcomes for students. 

Community Engagement Initiatives: 

Additional Community School Sites

We added three additional Community School Sites (Patrick Marsh Middle School, Northside Elementary & C.H. Bird Elementary). 

Awarded 21st Century Community Learning Center Grants

Our 21st Century Community Learning Center (CLC) grant-funded programs at Westside Elementary are providing before- and after-school opportunities to almost 200 youth. Program offerings include: Kids Achieve Together, Service Learning, Sports Club, and Mindfulness Club. 

Enhanced Communication to Community

Over the past six years, we have expanded our website, created a mobile app, grew our social media presence, sent families and caregivers weekly flyers, and continued to send community members print materials. 

Implemented a School-Based Food Pantry and Clothing Closet at all 5 Sites

We have partnered with the Sun Prairie Food Pantry and local faith leaders to ensure that no child, no family, is hungry. Each of the Community Schools has a school-based pantry that is available to the community. 

PLC Book Study and Speaker Series

The Parent Leadership Council (PLC) is made up of members from each of our schools. School Community Organizations (SCO's). This group meets monthly to collaborate on ideas and share learning. 

The PLC is proud to offer support materials for our families to check out and facilitate conversations to work towards continued learning to support family leadership and equity.

School Branding

After realizing that our schools did not have their names visible, we invested in school branding. Now, each school has its name above the front entrance. 

2. Workforce Focus

Proactively recruit, retain and engage talent that reflects and is responsive to our diverse community.

Workforce Focus Initiatives: 

Grow Your Own Program

Our Grow Your Own program expanded flexibility for our Grown Your Own participants to allow them to choose from a number of colleges, universities, or certification granting institutions to take classes towards a certification. 

Employee Wellness Clinic

The City of Sun Prairie and the Sun Prairie Area School District are collaborating with SSM Health at Work to provide new health care options for our employees and families with the opening of a new dedicated wellness clinic in Sun Prairie.

Professional Educators Compensation Plan

Now at or in some cases exceeding Dance County average

Compensation and Insurance Committees

Each employee group has an established committee focused on compensation and benefits, which meets on a regular basis to create a consistent discussion addressing compensation and benefits in an effort to recruit, hire, and retain the staff we need to meet the needs of our students.

Support Staff Compensation

The support staff compensation committee created a structure providing consistent annual increases tied to "cost of living" (COLA) and allowed support staff to continue increases in pay through their entire career with our school district.

Admin Support Compensation Plan

In collaboration with the Administrative Support Compensation Committee, we created a compensation structure tied to cost of living and a goal-setting component.

4. Facilities & Operations

Use District resources effectively and efficiently. Facilities and services meet the needs of our diverse and growing student population and community.

Facilities & Operations Initiatives: ​​​​​​​

No Child Will Go Without Breakfast or Lunch

We are proud to say that no student will be turned away from breakfast or lunch due to a lack of funds in their lunch account. 

Increasing the Diversity and Nutrition in Menus

The School Nutrition Program is offering a more diverse menu from different cultural backgrounds. Menus also include more healthy options such as daily salad bars at all schools so students can incorporate more healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables into their diet. 

Meal Boxes During a Pandemic

We distributed meal boxes, which included seven days of both breakfast and lunch, to children 18 years of age and under in our community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Safety Investments in our Schools

The Sun Prairie Area School District was pleased to be awarded two large safety grants from the Department of Justice in July and October 2018. Between the two grants, the District was awarded more than $750,000 in funds, which will allow us to further our current efforts to increase the safety and security throughout the District.

Space Planning: Solved Space Issues for 15+ Years

The Sun Prairie Area School District continues to be one of the fastest-growing districts in the state of Wisconsin! As a result of this, the Secondary School Planning Committee was created to explore ideas about how to serve a growing enrollment and our community's high expectations for student achievement and opportunity for all students. 

Energy Savings

The district has invested in Geothermal heating and cooling in the latest five new school buildings, soon to be six when West High School opens next fall. This, coupled with equipment and operational upgrades at our existing buildings allows us to continually use less energy overall than we did even 15 years ago, despite adding over 750,000 sq ft since then!