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About the Data - School-Supported Activities

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Overview

Data about school-supported extra-/co-curricular and community activities for students enrolled in Wisconsin public schools are available on the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Website.

Where to Find Data about School-Supported Activities
School Years  WISEdash   School District 
 Performance Report 
 WINSS Historical 
 Data Files 
Beginning with 2007-08 -- X --
1996-07 through 2006-07 -- -- X

WINSS Data Analysis was DPI's primary public data portal for information about school-supported activities until fall 2014. More recent years of data will continue to be available as part of the School District Performance Report (SDPR), and SDPR data files have been added.

Data about extra-/co-curricular and community activities are reported annually for all public schools and districts statewide as part of the SDPR. Below you will find detailed background information, definitions, and related links to facilitate use and appropriate interpretation of these data on the DPI Website.


Cautions

  1. The focus is on counting and comparing offerings at the school level so school level reports may be more useful than district or state reports. Activities offered may vary widely across schools even in the same district due to differences in size, mission, and other factors.
  2. Counts of community activities should be compared with caution. These counts do not reflect the nature and breadth of each counted community activity, and similar community activities may not counted in a standardized way across schools. Many community activities take place in the classroom and are not offered school-wide. Certain school extracurricular activities may contribute to the community, but schools count them as extracurricular offerings and not community offerings. Some related community activities are likely to be counted as separate activities in one school and a single activity in another.
  3. Where educational services are provided often affects the range of activities available to specific students groups. For example, while most students are educated within school buildings, many students are served off-school grounds or in nontraditional settings, such as libraries, hospitals, residential care centers, county corrections, community-based organizations, etc. Some locations may limit the nature and scope of activities offered and participation rates. Where schools or districts serve significant numbers of students at nontraditional locations, participation rates may not be comparable to rates for other schools or districts.
  4. Note that counts of students participating in school-supported activities are for the entire school year, but enrollment counts are as of a date in fall of that year. For this reason, participation rates (participants divided by enrollees) should be considered estimates. Also note that it is possible for a reported participation rate in a specific activity category to exceed 100% due to student mobility during the school year especially in schools where true participation rates are high.

Definitions of Key Terms

For definitions, see the WISEdash Glossary (includes terms used in SDPR and in WINSS files).


Counting Offerings/Students and Calculating Rates

All extra-/co-curricular counts and rates are for grades 6 through 12. All school-sponsored community activities counts and rates are for grades 9 through 12.

Counting Offerings

Extra-/Co-Curricular Offerings. The number of extra-/co-curricular activities available to students in a school in each of three categories: academic, athletic, or music. As an example, football should be counted as one activity, even if it is offered in more than one grade. Examples of co-curricular activities in each category are provided in the "Data Definitions and Directions" for the School Performance Report Collection.

Community Activities Offerings. The number of school-sponsored community activities available to students in a school in each of two categories: voluntary or required. The activities may take place off of school grounds or may happen in the school. Community service activities may be carried out as school-wide events, separately organized programs, or projects conducted by school-sponsored clubs (e.g. Girls/Boys Club, National Honor Society). Examples of service activities could include cleaning up a local park, visiting the elderly, or collecting and distributing food to those in need.

Offerings Per School - Average. At the school level, number of offerings at the school. At the district or state level, the sum of number of offerings across all schools in the district or state, divided by the number of schools in the district or state that enroll students in the grade range covered by the report. For extra-/co-curricular activities, the grade range is 6-12. For community activities, the grade range is 9-12. Consider, for example, a district that has three schools enrolling students in grades 6-12. If School A offers football and basketball, School B offers basketball and swimming, and the School C offers swimming and wrestling, then athletic extra-/co-curricular "Offerings Per School (Average)" for the district would be 2. Averages are provided in WINSS historical data files at the district and state levels to provide information about the number of different offerings at a typical school in the district and state.

Counting Students

(Fall) Enrollment. 3rd Friday of September enrollment in the grade range covered by the report. For extra-/co-curricular activities, the grade range is 6-12. For community activities, the grade range is 9-12.

Students Participating. Unduplicated count of students taking part in activities in a single activities category. For any given school, each participant is counted only once in each activity category even if the student participates in multiple groups or activities in that category at that school. For extra-/co-curricular activities, the categories are academic, athletic, and music. For school-sponsored community activities, the categories are voluntary and required. Examples are provided below:

  • A student who participates in football, basketball, and golf is counted only once in the athletic extra-/co-curricular activity column.
  • A student who participates in an FFA blood drive, and a forensics team food drive is counted only once in the voluntary school-sponsored activity column. However, the student also may be counted in the required school-sponsored activity column for 30 hours of volunteer work required for graduation.
  • A student moves between schools during the school year and participates in activities of the same type in these schools. The student might be counted separately in the same activity category for each of these schools.

Calculating Participation Rates

Participation Rate. Students participating divided by enrollment. See Counting Students above.


Data Changes Over Time

Source of enrollment data changed in 2004-05. For details, see Data Sources below.


Data Sources

Data about school-supported activities (counts of offerings and participants) are collected as part of the School Performance Report collection.

Enrollment counts (used as the denominator in calculating participation rates) come from the following sources:

  • Prior to 2004-05, enrollment counts came from the PI 1290 fall enrollment collection.
  • Beginning with 2004-05, enrollment counts are based on Individual Student Enrollment System Count Date (3rd Friday of September) records.

See cautions about 2004-05 enrollment counts.


Frequently Asked Questions about School-Supported Activities

  1. Do community activities include service learning?

    Community activities could also include service-learning community service that integrates classroom instruction with service activities. Service learning is different from other community service because it must:

    • Be organized in relation to an academic course or curriculum;
    • Have clearly stated learning objectives;
    • Address real community needs in a sustained manner over a period of time; and
    • Assist students in drawing lessons from the service through regularly scheduled, organized reflection or critical analysis activities, such as classroom discussions, presentations, or directed writing.
    Example of service-learning: Students in a high school science class studying the environment help preserve the natural habitat of animals living at a local lake. Through classroom studies, the students learn about the environment. The students keep the area around the lake clean, post signs providing information to the public, and study soil and water composition as well as the impact of industrial development on wildlife. Throughout the project, students write about their experiences in journals and participate in class discussions about the project and its effect on their lives and the local community.

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