About WINSS Historical Downloads

Overview| Getting Started| CSV File Layout| Scope| Privacy| Tips| Useful Links | Data Errata | Contact Us

Overview

Since fall 2000, the Data Analysis section of Wisconsin Information Network for Successful Schools (WINSS) has been an important data resource used by education stakeholders to help all students meet and exceed expectations. A wide variety of data about academic performance, attendance and behavior, staff and other school resources, and student demographics has been provided through WINSS Data Analysis tools.

Since fall 2012, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has begun implementation of a new and updated public data analysis portal called WISEdash, or Wisconsin Information System for Education Data Dashboard. WISEdash began to phase out WINSS Data Analysis starting in Fall 2013. Beginning in Fall 2013, more recent years of data about WSAS, ACT, Advanced Placement Program ® Exams, Attendance, and Demographics have migrated from WINSS Data Analysis to WISEdash Data Analysis. The plan is to migrate all WINSS data topics to WISEdash over the next few years.

Comprehensive historical WINSS data about migrated topics for school years not included in WISEdash graphs will continue to be accessible through the WISEdash download page.

For WINSS to WISEdash transition updates, see Changes to WINSS and Data Access.

Zipped WINSS CSV files contain all data previously shown on WINSS Data Analysis graphs and tables for the years indicated above. These files also contain additional related data (e.g. counts and codes) that might be useful for analysis purposes. Rows are provided for all public schools and districts statewide. See "Getting Started" and "CSV file layout" below.


Getting Started

Step 1. Click on any of the blue download "Data Files" icons in WISEdash or go directly to the WISEdash Download Page.

Step 2. On the upper left of the WISEdash Download Page you will see either a "School Year" or "Download Type" dropdown. From the "School Year" dropdown menu, select the "School Year" of interest. From the "Download Type" dropdown, select "WINSS Historical Downloads". Select "Certified" from the "Data View" dropdown to the right. Data for some topics are available from 1995-96. Data for other topics are not available until more recent years.

Step 3. Click on the "Apply" button to the right of the dropdown menus. A table will appear under the dropdown menus containing a list of files available based on your selections. If topic data are available on WISEdash screens for the selected school year, then download files for that topic will contain data from WISEdash. If topic data are not available through WISEdash for the selected school year, then WINSS files will be provided in the list for that school year. All files containing WINSS data can be identified by the inclusion of "winss" in the zip file name.

Step 4. In the table that appears below the School Year, Download Type, and Data View dropdown menus, click on the name of zip file of interest to view and access individual files. For example, if you click on the zipped file named "all_topics_winss_2004-05.zip" you will see a screen that lists all the WINSS CSV files available for the 2004-05 school year.

See the "About the Data" pages for data details by topic. Unzipped files are in CSV format. You can open and view the download files in spreadsheet, data base, or other software. You can also "Save" the file(s).

Please note:

  • "All Topics" Files. "all_topics_winss_####-##.zip" includes files for former WINSS topics that have been migrated to WISEdash so far. ####-## is the school year of the WINSS data in the file. ####-## may be any school year earlier than school years included in WISEdash for the same topic.
  • Big Files. These WINSS files are large and may be slow to download. An effort was made to minimize the number of downloads required to obtain all data for any given topic. You should expect thousands if not hundreds of thousands of rows in each WINSS CSV file. Some files have more than 50 columns. Do not refresh your browser while waiting for the download.
  • Over 400 Districts and Over 2000 Schools. Expect rows for every district and, if school level data are reported, every public school in the state. Records for nondistrict charter schools are included beginning with 1999-00. For more information, see Scope section below.
  • School Types. District data are disaggregated in separate rows by school type (elementary, middle/junior high, etc.) when school data are available for this purpose. Data are disaggregated by school type because data often vary substantially by school type. Users interested in district summary data for all schools combined (regardless of school type) should focus on rows with "summary" in the school_type column of the download file. District data by grade by school type combinations are not included due to the inconsistent relationship between grade and school type and potential privacy issues. When district data are disaggregated by grade, only the school type "summary" is available in district rows of the download files.
  • Race/Ethnicity. In 2010-11, modifications were made in the collection and reporting of race/ethnicity data. Two new categories were added increasing the number of categories reported from 5 to 7 for almost all WINSS topics. Although key language used in defining the five continuing categories was unchanged, some modifications were made which should be considered when comparing 2010-11 data by race/ethnicity with data for earlier years.  The seven race/ethnicity categories appear in nearly all 2010-11 WINSS reports about students (as of 2012-13 WSAS is the exception).
  • *, NA, --. Symbols and acronyms are sometimes used to indicate that data are suppressed to protect privacy (*), data are not applicable or were not collected from specific schools for specific years (NA or N/A), or a rate or percent cannot be calculated because the denominator is 0 (--).

CSV file layout

Each row/record of each WINSS download file includes fields or columns of data about a specific education agency, student group, and topic. Reading from left to right, all files regardless of topic start with education agency data followed by (if relevant) student group data then topic data. In general, WINSS files about the same topic have the same layout across years so they can be combined using spreadsheet software by copying and pasting rows/records.

Education Agency. All files have a fixed set of education agency information: year, agency_key, agency_type, CESA, county, (athletic) conference_code, district_number, school_number, school_type, charter, district_name, and school_name. Year is the school year of the data which is represented by the 4-digit calendar year of the school year end date. Agency_key, district_number, and school_number are assigned by DPI and are available in WINSS files to facilitate joining records across files. Agency_key is the EDSTIX agency key and is the same across WINSS topics for the same year / agency combination. CESA, county, and athletic conference codes facilitate aggregation of WINSS data by WINSS users interested in data for a specific CESA, county, or athletic conference. In most files you will see the following agency_types: 03 = Districts, 04 = Public schools within district (includes charter schools other than 4C and 49), 4C = multi-district charter school (s. 118.40(3)(c), Wis. Stats., not chartering authority), and 49 = Nondistrict charter schools (s. 118.40(2r), Wis. Stats). These agency_types are subject to a wide range of state- and federally-mandated data collection requirements.

Student Group. Student group information varies by topic because its relevance and availability varies by topic. Most topics include data about grade level placement, race_ethnicity, gender, economic_status, disability_status, and english_proficiency_status. Some topics also include data by primary_disability, migrant_status, or native/primary language group. Grade_label is the grade range of the relevant data collection or a specific grade level within that range. Students in the Pre-K or Pre-Kindergarten group include all students below 5-year-old kindergarten. All data about students included in each row are limited to students enrolled in the grade level or grade range identified by the grade_label regardless of school_type or agency_type.

Topic. Topic information varies by WINSS topic. For example, "What percent of students attend school each day?" includes total_fall_enrollment_pk-12, actual_days_of_attendance, possible_days_of_attendance, and attendance_rate. "What percent of students did not advance to the next grade level? " includes total_fall_enrollment_k-12, completed_school_term, number_of_retentions, and retention_rate. All the data included in WINSS graphs and on-screen tables are available in these download files. In addition, counts used in calculation of averages, rates, or percents will be included in these files if left off WINSS graphs/on-screen tables due to lack of space (not for privacy reasons).


Scope

These WINSS download files include data for schools operated by districts (under ch. 119 or ch.120, Wis. Stats) and, beginning in 1999-00, nondistrict charter schools (under s. 118.40(2r) , Wis. Stats.).

In general, all students enrolled in public schools are included in WINSS student data. Students need not occupy a seat in a school building to be included in WINSS data about students. Districts submit data for all students who receive their primary PK-12 educational services either (1) directly from district employees or (2) from third parties under the direct supervision of districts. Third parties might include technical colleges, community-based organizations, nonprofit-nonsectarian agencies, universities, school to work program providers, cooperative educational service agencies, out-of-state school districts, private schools, residential care centers, Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Wisconsin School for the Deaf, County Children with Disabilities Education Board schools, etc. If a district is accountable for a student's educational outcomes, then the student is included in the district's data. Criteria that apply to counting of students in school districts also apply to nondistrict charter schools (under s. 118.40(2r) , Wis. Stats.).

WINSS files do not include data about schools operated by State Department of Corrections or State Department of Health Services. Also data for students enrolled in private schools are not included. In accordance with current laws, these schools submit a more limited range of data to the WI Department of Public Instruction. Because WINSS combines data across subtopics, topics and collections, data for these schools are not reported on WINSS.


Protecting Privacy

These are public files so some topic data are suppressed to protect student privacy. Rules applied to WINSS data are different from those applied to WISEdash data, but both sets of rules are designed to accomplish the same purpose and comply with the same laws. For more informaton, see Why are data for some student groups not reported?


Tips

  • Some spreadsheet software will remove leading zeroes used in joining files. If you want to maintain leading zeros in the agency_key, district_number, school_number, and/or agency_type fields, then refer to software instructions.
  • To sort rows, open the file using spreadsheet software, e.g. Excel.
  • Does the file contain more rows/records than you want? You can use Excel to highlight the top row containing fieldnames then select Data->Filter-> to view or copy rows of interest.
    • District-level summaries (all school data combined). Select school_type=summary and school_name=blank.
    • School-level summaries. Select school_name<>blank.
    • Charter schools only. Select school_name<>blank and charter=Y.
    • Any specific CESA, county, or athletic conference. Choose the variable of interest from the field names at the top of the file and use filter to select the specific CESA, county, or athletic conference.

Useful Links


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