Six Years of Continuous Improvement

Six Year Report Front Cover

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the school lunch program, a lack of gifted and talented programming, concerns about the lack of curriculum revision and outdated materials, a poor performing compensation system, and lack of any plan for staff growth and student equity.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.

Read more about our Six Years of Continuous Improvement here.

Read more about our Strategic Plan Refresh process here.

1. Teaching & Learning

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

Teaching & Learning Initiatives: 
Excellence in Special Education

Special Education in the District has expanded 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 tight budgets, the District has been able to maintain our small class sizes.

Expansion of AVID

AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a middle school through post-secondary college readiness system designed to increase school-wide learning and performance for students. 

Curriculum Renewal Process

A Curriculum Renewal and Design Process has been implemented to decide what teaching materials to use.

1:1 Devices for Students

Every student in grades K–12 is equipped with either an iPad or Chromebook.

Summer School

We offer one of the most robust summer school programs in the state of Wisconsin that includes busing.

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 Community School sites: Patrick Marsh Middle School, Northside Elementary School, and C. H. Bird Elementary School.

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

We increased our communication with our community in various ways, including expanding our website, creating a mobile app, growing our social media presence, and creating and sending print materials, including calendars, newsletters, and annual reports.

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 or family is hungry. Each of the Community Schools has a school-based pantry and clothing closet 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 (SCOs). This group meets monthly to collaborate on ideas and share learning. The PLC is also proud to offer support materials for our families to check out and facilitate conversations to work toward continued learning to support family leadership and equity.

School Naming and Mascot Committee

A School Naming & Mascot Committee was formed to engage the community, staff, and students in the process of naming Central Heights Middle School and choosing the mascot for Sun Prairie West High School.

2. Workforce Focus

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

Workforce Focus Initiatives: 

Employee Wellness Clinic

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

Affinity Groups

Affinity groups for our employees of color meet on a regular basis. These groups are creating structures of communication with District leadership, resulting in tangible actions by the District.

Expansion of Wellness Department and Programming

Our Staff Wellness Committee continues to work diligently to provide engaging wellness activities and opportunities for our staff and their family members, while continuously building and strengthening our supportive community partnerships.

Health Insurance - 5 Year Rate Hold

We aggressively bid a 5-year rate hold from our health insurance provider for our HMO Plan, which saved the District $600,000.

Implemented a Comprehensive Recruitment and Hiring Process

Our Human Resources team aligned our practices with the strategic goals of recruiting and hiring high-quality employees that reflect the community of Sun Prairie.

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

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.

Lunch and breakfast menus also include more healthy options, such as daily salad bars at all schools, so that 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

We implemented Visitor Management Systems, the security system that accurately identifies individuals who come to our buildings, at all of our fourteen schools. Visitors have to present a valid government-issued ID as they enter the building.

Space Planning: Solved Space Issues for 15+ Years

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. Through this space planning process, we solved space issues for 15+ years.

Energy Savings

We invested in geothermal heating and cooling in the five newest school buildings (soon to be six) when Sun Prairie West High School opens in the fall of 2022. 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 square feet since then.