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Unfortunately, Wisconsin test scores fell in 2019 and less-than-half of the state’s students met proficiency standards in math and reading. However, despite the state’s education woes, a number of Badger State school districts truly excel in academics and extracurricular activities. Let’s take a look at Wisconsin’s five best school districts.

Elmbrook Schools is the best school district in Wisconsin. The large district serves a total enrollment of over 7,400 students in several Milwaukee area suburbs and its two flagship high schools regularly place in the top ten in the state for their ACT scores and participation rates. 

Placing 2nd in Wisconsin is Hamilton School District, which comprises four elementary schools, one intermediate school, one middle school, and one high school serving six communities in northern Waukesha County. Long one of the most lauded school districts in the state, HSD has earned Advance Placement’s “AP Honor Roll” distinction for nine consecutive years. 

Muskego-Norway Schools earns Wisconsin’s 3rd spot. Comprising six schools with a total enrollment of 4,800 students, Muskego-Norway boasts a four-year graduation rate of 96% and has the highest average composite ACT score in Waukesha County for special education students.  

Wisconsin’s 4th best school district is the School District of New Berlin, made up of four elementary schools and two 7-12 middle/high schools serving 4,348 total students. The district’s remarkable 98% graduation rate bests the state average by over five percentage points. 

Rounding out the top five is Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District, consisting of ten schools in south-central Wisconsin. Nine MCPASD schools either exceeded or significantly exceeded expectations on the 2018-2019 Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction School Report Cards. 

Top School Districts in Wisconsin, 2020

RankDistrictCity
1Elmbrook School DistrictBrookfield
2Hamilton School DistrictSussex
3Muskego-Norway School DistrictMuskego
4New Berlin School DistrictNew Berlin
5Middleton-Cross Plains Area School DistrictMiddleton
6Mequon-Thiensville School DistrictMequon
7Kimberly Area School DistrictCombined Locks
8Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School DistrictOak Creek
9Slinger School DistrictSlinger
10Waunakee Community School DistrictWaunakee
11Wauwatosa School DistrictWauwatosa
12Arrowhead Uhs School DistrictHartland
13Whitefish Bay School DistrictWhitefish Bay
14Kettle Moraine School DistrictWales
15Mukwonago School DistrictMukwonago
16Hudson School DistrictHudson
17Oconomowoc Area School DistrictOconomowoc
18West Bend School DistrictWest Bend
19Franklin Public School DistrictFranklin
20Cedarburg School DistrictCedarburg
21De Pere School DistrictDe Pere
22Menomonee Falls School DistrictMenomonee Falls
23Neenah Joint School DistrictNeenah
24Howard-Suamico School DistrictGreen Bay
25Germantown School DistrictGermantown
26Pewaukee School DistrictPewaukee
27D C Everest Area School DistrictWeston
28Stevens Point Area Public School DistrictStevens Point
29Oregon School DistrictOregon
30Grafton School DistrictGrafton
31Nicolet Uhs School DistrictGlendale
32Shorewood School DistrictShorewood
33River Falls School DistrictRiver Falls
34West De Pere School DistrictDe Pere
35De Forest Area School DistrictDe Forest
36Fond Du Lac School DistrictFond Du Lac
37Port Washington-Saukville School DistrictPort Washington
38Marshfield Unified School DistrictMarshfield
39Kaukauna Area School DistrictKaukauna
40Elkhorn Area School DistrictElkhorn
41Hortonville Area School DistrictHortonville
42Milton School DistrictMilton
43New Richmond School DistrictNew Richmond
44Verona Area School DistrictVerona
45Greendale School DistrictGreendale
46Winneconne Community School DistrictWinneconne
47La Crosse School DistrictLa Crosse
48Onalaska School DistrictOnalaska
49Wisconsin Rapids School DistrictWisconsin Rapids
50Kewaskum School DistrictKewaskum
51Pulaski Community School DistrictPulaski
52Monona Grove School DistrictMonona
53Waterford Uhs School DistrictWaterford
54New London School DistrictNew London
55Baldwin-Woodville Area School DistrictBaldwin
56Burlington Area School DistrictBurlington
57Ripon Area School DistrictRipon
58Holmen School DistrictHolmen
59Kohler School DistrictKohler
60Wrightstown Community School DistrictWrightstown
61Howards Grove School DistrictHowards Grove
62Stoughton Area School DistrictStoughton
63Luxemburg-Casco School DistrictLuxemburg
64Somerset School DistrictSomerset
65Mount Horeb Area School DistrictMount Horeb
66Whitnall School DistrictGreenfield
67Prescott School DistrictPrescott
68Ellsworth Community School DistrictEllsworth
69Osceola School DistrictOsceola
70Platteville School DistrictPlatteville
71Brillion School DistrictBrillion
72Oostburg School DistrictOostburg
73Sauk Prairie School DistrictPrairie Du Sac
74New Glarus School DistrictNew Glarus
75East Troy Community School DistrictEast Troy
76Kiel Area School DistrictKiel
77West Salem School DistrictWest Salem
78Chippewa Falls Area Unified School DistrictChippewa Falls
79Sevastopol School DistrictSturgeon Bay
80Mineral Point Unified School DistrictMineral Point
81Cedar Grove-Belgium Area School DistrictCedar Grove
82Saint Croix Falls School DistrictSt Croix Falls
83Ashwaubenon School DistrictGreen Bay
84Evansville Community School DistrictEvansville
85Lodi School DistrictLodi
86Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah School DistrictElkhart Lake
87Superior School DistrictSuperior
88Beloit School DistrictBeloit
89Central/Westosha Uhs School DistrictSalem
90Monroe School DistrictMonroe
91Greenfield School DistrictGreenfield
92Maple School DistrictMaple
93Edgerton School DistrictEdgerton
94Merrill Area School DistrictMerrill
95Lomira School DistrictLomira
96Rosendale-Brandon School DistrictRosendale
97Columbus School DistrictColumbus
98Menomonie Area School DistrictMenomonie
99Chetek-Weyerhaeuser Area School DistrictChetek
100Amery School DistrictAmery

Methodology

The following variables contributed to the ranking: number of students (K-12), graduation rate, school funding per student, student to teacher ratio, percent of students scoring above proficient in standardized state Math test, percent of students scoring above proficient in standardized state Reading and Language test. Data from a total of 10,247 public school districts were used to compute a score for each school district. The following states were omitted due to lack of sufficient data: Hawaii, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Utah, and Virginia. Note that high schools in some states have their own independent districts.

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