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About the Data - Staff

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Overview

Staff FTEs and student to staff FTE ratios are available on the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Website. These ratios and related staff FTE counts provide information about local staff resource allocation and availability.

Where to Find Data about Student to Staff Ratios
School Years  WISEdash   School District 
 Performance Report 
 WINSS Historical 
 Data Files 
Beginning with 2007-08 -- X --
1996-97 through 2006-07 -- -- X

Student to staff ratios are updated annually and reported for all public schools and districts statewide as part of the School District Performance Report (SDPR). Below you will find detailed background information, definitions, and related links to facilitate use and appropriate interpretation of this information.


Cautions

  1. Data for certain staff working in, or on behalf of, schools may be collected only at the district level due to the multi-school or districtwide nature of their assignments. For these reasons, school level staff counts/ratios may only partially reflect staff resources available to the school, and these counts/ratios may not be comparable across schools.
  2. WINSS and SDPR counts and ratios may differ from those available from other sources. When differences exist they are likely due to how staff are categorized or which schools are included in the counts.
  3. In 2014-15, DPI implemented a new staff data collection system called WISEstaff. Data included in this transition year collection may not be comprehensive so should be interpreted with caution.
  4. If 2004-05 student to staff ratios for your district are much higher or lower than expected, then the likely cause is 2004-05 student enrollment counts that don't reflect reality. Major changes in WI student data collection systems were implemented in 2004-05. 2004-05 student counts were included in this transition year collection and are not comprehensive. Consequently, 2004-05 ratios of staff to students and students to staff should be interpreted with caution. If reported 2004-05 enrollment counts are higher or lower than actual counts then student to staff ratios will be higher or lower than actual ratios. For more information, see cautions about the 2004-05 ISES enrollment data.
  5. In 2003-04, the PI-1202 Fall Staff data collection became a Web-based collection resulting in more data standardization, automated validations, and error checks. Data for 2003-04 and beyond is expected to be more complete and consistent than data for earlier years. Pre- and post-2003-04 staff data may not be comparable.

Definitions of Key Terms

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

For details about how staff data are collected and the data used to determine staff categories, see WISEstaff/PI-1202 Data Collection Information.


Calculating Ratios

The student/staff ratio is the student enrollment count (all grade levels) divided by staff full-time equivalency (FTE). All student counts and staff FTEs are as of the Third Friday of September (TFS). Student counts are headcounts, and staff FTEs reflect the amount of time required to perform assignments stated as a proportion of a full-time position.

Counting Students

Student counts used in calculating ratios match TFS enrollment counts as reported in WISEdash (Certified Data View). For more information about these counts see About the Data - Enrollment.

Counting Staff

Staff FTEs are collected for each assignment performed (e.g. Spanish teacher, principal, or teacher's aide) for each district/school. Staff FTEs are associated with the district (and school if applicable) where they work regardless of hiring agency. For example, a Spanish teacher who works half-time in a specific school would be counted as .5 FTE for that school. If that Spanish teacher also works in another school half-time, then the teacher would be counted as .5 FTE for the other school as well.

For WINSS and SDPR reporting purposes, each staff assignment is grouped into one of three categories: administration, licensed staff, and aides/support/other. These three categories are based on the "Position Type Classifications" in the "Assignment Table" used in collecting staff FTEs. The only assignments performed by staff that are not included in staff FTEs are sporadic and unpredictable short term substitute or extra-curricular activities ("Assignment Type" code 2). For more information about "Assignments," "Position Type Classifications," and "Assignment Types", go to the Fall Staff data collection webpage and download the "Assignment Table".

Notes

  • Criteria used for the grouping of TEACHERS found in the “Teacher: Experience in Education”, “Teacher: Highest Degree”, and "Teacher: Wisconsin License Status" tables:  For these tables, teachers are defined as staff who have been reported having an assignment with a position code of 53 (Teacher) or 84 (Speech/Language Pathologist). Eliminated from this grouping of teachers are subcontracted teaching staff ( subcontracted staff are not required to report experience or highest degree) and teacher staff with and assignment code 53-0970 (Teacher / Intern).

  • All public schools required by law to submit School Performance Report data (e.g. graduates, dropouts, attendance etc.) are included in these FTE staff and student counts. This includes schools operated by districts (under ch. 119 or ch.120, Wis. Stats) and nondistrict charter schools (under s. 118.40(2r) , Wis. Stats.).

  • Statewide WINSS/SDPR staff FTEs and student counts have never included data for State Department of Corrections or State Department of Health Services. Also staff working in CESAs (Cooperative Educational Service Agencies) and CCDEBs (County Children with Disability Education Boards ) have never been included; these agencies are not required to submit School Performance Report data.

  • Staff FTE per 100 students, previously displayed in WINSS graphs, can be calculated by dividing FTE staff by student enrollment and multiplying the quotient by 100. All data required for this calculation are included in WINSS "student_to_FTE_staff_ratios" files.

Data Changes Over Time

Beginning in 1996-97.

  • Short term substitutes were excluded from staff FTEs.*
  • Statewide staff FTEs included schools operated by the Department of Public Instruction.
  • Staff FTEs and student to staff FTE ratios are available at the state and district levels.

Beginning in 2007-08.

  • Staff FTEs and student to staff FTE ratios are available at the school level.
  • Certain staff with districtwide or multi-school assignments are reported separately in a "no specific school" category and are included in district and state level FTEs/ratios only.

Beginning in 2012-13.

  • Sporadic and unpredictable short term substitute or extra-curricular activities (assignment type code 2) are excluded (not just short term substitutes) from staff FTEs.*
  • Statewide staff FTEs exclude schools operated by the Department of Public Instruction. (This change provides more consistency across WINSS topics which generally include only data for school districts and nondistrict charter schools. This change affected statewide FTEs by a small fraction of a percent and had no impact on local FTEs.)

Beginning in 2014-15.

  • DPI implemented a new staff data collection system, WISEstaff.
  • Staff members are assigned a unique identification numbers called WISEids. These identification numbers are used to join individual staff records, including WISEstaff records, over time and across topics.

* Staff assignments and FTEs are collected at the beginning of the school year and, because districts don’t know in advance the FTE associated with these assignments, any FTEs submitted are unreliable.

For information about changes in student enrollment data over time, see About the Data - Enrollment.


Data Sources

Student to Staff Ratios - Data Sources by Data Tool/Report
Data Element WISEdash (Certified Data View) School District Performance Report WINSS Historical Data Files
District/School NA              For enrollment, Indvidual Student Enrollment System (ISES) Count Date (Third Friday of September) records; for staff FTE, Fall Staff collection (WISEstaff/PI-1202). Accountable district and work agency are used for enrollment and staff FTE, respectively. Prior to 2004-05, for enrollment, PI-1290 Fall Enrollment collection; otherwise, same as SDPR.
Student Enrollment Count NA Indvidual Student Enrollment System (ISES) Count Date (Third Friday of September) records. Beginning in 2004-05, same as SDPR; prior to 2004-05, PI-1290 Fall Enrollment collection.
Staff FTEs NA Fall Staff collection (WISEstaff/PI-1202). Same as SDPR.

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