Sun Prairie Area School District, Wisconsin

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Sun Prairie Area School District
Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
Sun Prairie Area School District seal.png
District Profile
Superintendent:Tim Culver
Enrollment:7,598 students
Graduation rate:95.1%[1]
Number of schools:12
Budget: $77.8 million
Website:School Home Page
Board of Education
Board president:Tom Weber
Board members:7 at-large members
Term length:3 years
Sun Prairie Area School District is a school district in Wisconsin that served 7,598 students in the 2013-2014 school year.[2]

About the district

Sun Prairie Area School District is located in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.
Sun Prairie Area School District is located in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin which lies in Dane County. In 2013, Dane County was home to approximately 509,939 residents according to estimates by the United States Census Bureau.[3] During the 2011-2012 school year, Sun Prairie School District was the 18th-largest school district in Wisconsin and served 7,095 students.[4]


Higher education achievement

Dane County outperformed the rest of Wisconsin in terms of higher education achievement in 2013. The United States Census Bureau found that 46.6 percent of Dane County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 26.8 percent for Wisconsin as a whole.

Median household income

From 2008 through 2013, the median household income in the county was $61,721, compared to $52,413 for the state of Wisconsin.

Poverty rate

The poverty rate in Dane County was 12.9 percent from 2008 through 2013. During that same time period, the poverty rate for the entire state was 13.0 percent.[3]

Racial and political demographics

Racial Demographics, 2013[3]
Race Dane County (%) Wisconsin (%)
White 86.4 88.1
Black or African American 5.4 6.5
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.5 1.1
Asian 5.3 2.5
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.0
Two or More Races 2.4 1.7
Hispanic or Latino 6.2 6.3

Presidential votes, Dane County, 2000-2012[5]
Year Democratic vote (%) Republican vote (%)
2012 61.1 32.5
2008 66.0 32.9
2004 72.8 25.8
2000 71.0 27.5

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[6]


Tim Culver is the superintendent of the Sun Prairie Area School District. He has been superintendent for over 17 years. Before he took the position, he worked as assistant superintendent for instructional programs in Marysville, Washington.[7]

School board

The Sun Prairie Area School Board consists of seven members elected at-large to three-year terms.[8][9]

Sun Prairie Area School Board
Member Assumed office Term Ends
Tom Weber 2011 2017
Steve Schroeder 2012 2016
Mike Krachey 2012 2015
John Whalen 2006 2015
Carol Albright 2014 2017
Caren Diedrich 1998 2016
Jessica Moehr 2014 2015

School board elections

See also: Sun Prairie Area School District elections (2015)

Members of the Sun Prairie Area School Board are elected at-large to three-year terms on a staggered basis every year. Two seats were up for election in 2014, three seats will be up for election in 2015, and two seats will be up for election in 2016.[9]

Public participation in board meetings

The Sun Prairie Area School Board maintains the following policy on public testimony during board meetings:

1. It is the intent of the School Board, as the representative body of the district, to provide the opportunity for any citizen of the district to address the Board.

2. The Board shall schedule time at the beginning of each regular Board meeting for members of the public to speak to items not on the agenda and items on the agenda that are not listed under “New Business.” This time may be extended beyond one-half hour upon majority approval of the Board members.

3. The Board shall allow members of the public to comment on items listed on the agenda under “New Business” at the time they are addressed by the Board during the meeting, in accordance with board operating principles and ground rules.

4. The Board President shall be responsible for recognizing citizens and maintaining order at the meeting.

5. In order to assure that all persons who wish to speak to the Board may be heard and treated fairly, and at the same time conduct its meetings efficiently, the Board adopts the following procedures:

a. In accordance with the intent of the open meeting law, the Board cannot take action on any item not published on the agenda. While the Board may discuss any matter raised by the public, usually an issue will be referred to the District Administrator for necessary response or recommendation.
b. Three minutes will be allocated to each speaker who will have the opportunity to speak once to an issue. Exceptions to this rule shall be made only if the majority of the Board agrees.
c. All speakers will state their name and address and complete and turn in a Public Comment Registration Form for each topic they address. All comment forms will be included as attachments to the minutes. Anyone not wishing to speak, but desiring that their opinion be attached to the minutes, must also complete a Public Comment Registration Form. Comments submitted will be read into the minutes following the three minutes rule. A separate form is to be filled in for each topic.
d. The Board will not hear complaints of school personnel in public session. Policy BDDI addresses this.
e. Members of the public may request items to be placed on the Board agenda that relate directly to Board business, as determined by the President. Such factors as time, agenda, and urgency of the proposed request will also be considered.
f. The Board invests in the president authority to recognize members of the public as the Board conducts its official business when, in the President's judgment, it is in the best interest of the school district.
g. Any of the above rules may be suspended by approval of a majority of the Board.[10]

—Sun Prairie Area School District website, (2015), [11]


Details on the district's revenue and expenditures in recent years can be found in the tables below. The following charts show the percentages of revenue and expenditures by type for the 2013-2014 school year.[12]




The district's total revenues increased by 8.4 percent between the 2011-2012 school year and the 2013-2014 school year. Local revenue and federal aid decreased during that time period while state aid and revenue from other school districts increased.

Revenue by Category
School Year Local Other School Districts State Aid Federal Aid Other Revenue Total
Total % of Revenue Total % of Revenue Total % of Revenue Total % of Revenue Total % of Revenue
2011-2012 $36,615,440.06 51.4% $498,578.00 0.7% $32,641,151.64 45.8% $888,557.85 1.2% $573,057.95 0.8% $71,216,785.50
2012-2013 $35,291,140.20 47.4% $658,610.99 0.9% $37,102,708.41 49.8% $1,145,925.32 1.5% $297,874.68 0.4% $74,496,259.60
2013-2014 $35,161,689.00 45.2% $750,000.00 1% $40,988,676.00 52.7% $791,947.00 1% $96,500.00 0.1% $77,788,812.00
Averages: $35,689,423.09 48% $635,729.66 1% $36,910,845.35 50% $942,143.39 1% $322,477.54 0% $74,500,619.03


From 2011 to 2013, the district's total expenditures increased by 6.6 percent. During that time, debt service expenditures decreased while staff expenses, expenditures on students services and operational expenses increased.

Expenditures by Category
School Year Staff Expenses Student Services Operational Expenses Debt Service Other Budget Total
Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget
2011-2012 $39,845,060 54.8% $8,718,117 12% $11,266,578 15.5% $194,765 0.3% $12,661,877 17.4% $72,686,397
2012-2013 $40,174,418 54.4% $8,316,562 11.3% $11,079,692 15% $197,955 0.3% $14,051,437 19% $73,820,064
2013-2014 $41,967,159 54% $9,075,526 11.7% $12,383,879 15.9% $185,018 0.2% $14,177,230 18.2% $77,788,812
Averages: $40,662,212.33 54% $8,703,401.67 12% $11,576,716.33 15% $192,579.33 0% $13,630,181.33 18% $74,765,091

Teacher salaries

The average teaching salary in the Sun Prairie Area School District is $43,179.[13]

Schools in Sun Prairie Area School District


Sun Prairie Area School District served 7,598 students during the 2013-2014 school year. Enrollment in the district increased by 12.7 percent from 2009 to 2013.[2]

Total enrollment
Year Enrollment Year-to-year change (%)
2009-2010 6,633 -
2010-2011 6,975 4.9
2011-2012 7,095 1.7
2012-2013 7,373 3.8
2013-2014 7,598 3.0

District schools

Sun Prairie Area School District operates 12 schools, which are listed below in alphabetical order:[14][15][16]

Sun Prairie Area School District
School Name
Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School
C.H. Bird Elementary
Creekside Elementary
Eastside Elementary
Horizon Elementary
Northside Elementary
Patrick Marsh Middle School
Prairie Phoenix Academy
Prairie View Middle School
Royal Oaks Elementary
Sun Prairie High School
Westside Elementary

Academic performance

See also: Public education in Wisconsin
Education policy logo.jpg

Education policy in the U.S.
Public education in the U.S.
School choice in the U.S.
Charter schools in the U.S.
State public education information
Higher education by state
Glossary of education terms
Education statistics
See also

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction administers annual Wisconsin Student Assessment System (WSAS) tests to students throughout the state. These tests assess proficiency in math and reading among students in grades three through eight as well as 10th grade. WSAS tests also evaluate proficiency in language arts, science and social studies at grades four, eight and 10. The Department of Public Instruction publishes results from WSAS tests as part of each district's Annual District Report Card.[17]

The Annual District Report Card compares district performance with state performance based on four criteria:[17]

  • Student Achievement: This category compares reading and math performance by district students to state and national standards.
  • Student Growth: This category compares year-to-year performance on reading and math sections in WSAS tests.
  • Closing Gaps: This category compares test performance by low-performing groups in the district to similar cohorts across the state.
  • On-Track and Postsecondary Readiness: This category uses benchmarks including ACT scores, graduation rate, attendance rate and math achievement to assess post-graduate preparedness.

Sun Prairie Area School District received an overall score of 75.1 during the 2013-2014 school year. The district's overall score led to an "Exceeds Expectations" designation from the Department of Public Instruction. The following tables compare district performance with state performance and detail the accountability ratings for schools in the district, according to the 2013-2014 Annual District Report Card:[17]

Annual District Report Card grades, 2013-2014
Category District score State score
Student achievement 76.5 66.4
Student growth 67.1 62.4
Closing gaps 68.0 66.3
On-track and postsecondary readiness 88.7 85.3

Accountability ratings for schools in the district, 2013-2014
Category Number of schools Percentage of schools
Significantly exceeds expectations 0 0.0%
Exceeds expectations 9 75.0%
Meets expectations 2 16.7%
Meets few expectations 0 0.0%
Fails to meet expectations 0 0.0%
Alternate Accountability - Satisfactory Progress 1 8.3%
Alternate Accountability - Needs Improvement 0 0.0%

Historical data

The state's Annual District Report Card includes a review of district and state proficiency information in mathematics and reading for the previous five years. This review includes data from the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (WKCE) and the Wisconsin Alternate Assessment for Students with Disabilities (WAA-SwD) for students from grades three through eight and 10. The following tables compare the district's percentage of proficient and advanced proficient students with state levels from the 2009-2010 school year through the 2013-2014 school year:[17]

Mathematics proficiency comparisons, 2009-2013
School year District proficiency rate (%) State proficiency rate (%)
2009-2010 59.7 47.0
2010-2011 58.6 46.8
2011-2012 62.2 48.3
2012-2013 62.3 48.2
2013-2014 63.5 48.8

Reading proficiency comparisons, 2009-2013
School year District proficiency rate (%) State proficiency rate (%)
2009-2010 44.8 35.7
2010-2011 41.8 35.7
2011-2012 44.3 36.0
2012-2013 43.7 36.4
2013-2014 44.5 36.7


Superintendent resigns

In December 2014, Dr. Tim Culver, superintendent of the Sun Prairie Area School District, announced he would retire from the district effective June 30, 2015, after serving for over 17 years. During his time as superintendent, the district grew from an enrollment of 4,000 to nearly 8,000 students. Culver helped launch full-day kindergarten, the city's 4K program and the Sun Prairie Education Foundation. He is leaving the district to become superintendent of the Oak Creek-Franklin School District in July 2015.[7]

Changing teacher pay models after Act 10

The Sun Prairie Area School District is now requiring teachers to take 60 hours of professional development courses in order to step up to the district's next pay level. The district is also adjusting salaries for teachers with certification in high-need subject areas to help retain and attract good teachers. This model follows a new trend in changing teacher pay plans after Wisconsin's Act 10 came into effect.[18]

Act 10 prohibits unions from negotiating anything more than base wages up to the rate of inflation, leaving the rest of a teacher's salary up to the school district. This has created an atmosphere of competition, as districts can now offer signing bonuses, raises and to pay resignation fees for teachers who leave a district mid-year. Prior to Act 10, teachers had many incentives to stay in a district long term. This new competitive atmosphere came with a rise in teacher turnover in some districts. If teachers are unhappy with a district's pay plan, they know other districts might have better offers.[18][19]

Tim Culver, Sun Prairie's superintendent, said it's valuable for a district to be able to reward teachers who have degrees in competitive fields like engineering and agriculture. Under the new plan, the district can offer more money to teachers with multiple degrees.[18]

Contact information

Sun Prairie Area School District seal.png

501 South Bird St.
Sun Prairie, WI 53590
Phone: (608) 834-6500
Fax: (608) 837-9311

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 'Wisconsin Information System for Education, "HS Completion (Single Year): Sun Prairie Area," accessed January 15, 2015
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wisconsin Information System for Education, "Enrollment (Single Year): Sun Prairie Area," accessed January 15, 2015
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 United States Census Bureau, "Dane County, Wisconsin," accessed September 24, 2014
  4. National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed January 27, 2014
  5. Dane County Clerk's Office, "Election Results," accessed January 27, 2014
  6. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
  7. 7.0 7.1 The Sun Prarie Star, "Sun Prairie Area School District superintendent announces retirement," December 17, 2014
  8. Sun Prairie Area School District, "School Board," accessed January 15, 2015
  9. 9.0 9.1 Sun Prairie Area School District, "Meet the School Board Members," accessed January 15, 2015
  10. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  11. Sun Prairie Area School District, "Board Policies: Public Participation At Board Meetings," accessed January 15, 2015
  12. Sun Prairie Area School District, "2013-2014 School District Annual Meeting," accessed January 15, 2015
  13. Teacher Salary Info, "Average Teacher Salary in Sun Prairie Area School District," accessed January 16, 2015
  14. Sun Prairie Area School District, "Elementary Schools," accessed January 16, 2015
  15. Sun Prairie Area School District, "Middle and Upper Middle Schools," accessed January 16, 2015
  16. Sun Prairie Area School District, "High Schools," accessed January 16, 2015
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, "Report Cards," accessed January 16, 2015
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Wisconsin State Journal, "A teacher 'marketplace' emerges in post-Act 10 Wisconsin," September 7, 2014
  19. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "In wake of Act 10, school districts changing teacher pay formulas," August 18, 2014