Message from the Superintendent: February 2014

suptmessage-bannerWith only 10 school days left until the start of state testing season, the next few weeks are an extremely important time for our students, our teachers, and our schools. Parent and family support during this period is essential for our students to do their best – so we ask that each of you make a commitment to ensuring that your student is well-prepped and ready to succeed once testing gets underway in March and April.

As you know, the implementation of the Common Core State Standards this year will also affect state assessments – specifically the LEAP/iLEAP and End of Course (EOC) tests. While these assessments will mirror the previous year’s test in terms of design, number and type of test items, this year’s tests will be aligned with the Common Core State Standards and reflect the increased rigor brought to our classrooms by these standards.

Some of the ways you can help your student get ready for these assessments include:

I want to specifically highlight the practice tests in English language arts and math for grades 3 to 8. I encourage you and your student to explore this resource, download the practice tests, and work through some of the problems on the test to get a better understanding of what kind of material will be covered on this year’s LEAP and iLEAP tests. The practice tests include the same number of items as the actual tests, and answer keys and rubrics are provided for each practice test posted on the site.

I also want to take this opportunity to share some of the steps we have taken as a district to prepare both teachers and students for the Common Core aligned state assessments.

In terms of teacher support, we have been working to prepare teachers for these tests through multi-layered teacher and principal training that began this past summer and continues throughout this semester. In turn, our teachers have worked to integrate the rigor of the CCSS into daily lesson plans and homework to help students transition to the new standards. In addition, schools are administering interim assessments at four points throughout the school year, and are replicating the testing environment during the administration of interim assessments to further prepare our students for to meet or exceed state standards.

In the past two years, our students have demonstrated their capacity for growth and increased academic achievement – and we know that students can continue to grow this year. With your support and the continued hard work of our talented teachers and school staff, our students will reach their highest potential. Thank you in advance for your partnership in this endeavor. Working together, our students will continue to achieve academic excellence.