Tracking Academic Growth

Dear Parents,

I hope you are beginning to feel in the swing of things now that we’ve been into a full month of school.  As a mom myself, I recognize how difficult it is to transition back into the homework schedules, practice schedules, and overall paperwork.  As good as it is to get back into routines, it can be overwhelming.  Here at OES, we’ve used the last 30 days to learn as much as we can about your child.  We’ve had conversations with students, lunch dates, and most importantly have assessed where students are academically after the long break.

Today, your student will come home with results from last year’s Badger assessment.  Although this test provides us information about your child’s academic skills, we won’t be using this assessment to measure growth, because the state will no longer be using this same test.   Please contact us if you have any questions about this particular test or if you would like help interpreting the results.  Although the Badger test will no longer be used, the new Wisconsin Forward state test will be given next spring.

The Aspire assessment, on the other hand, will be given to students 3 times per year (September, January, May) and will be used to measure growth in the areas of reading, math, science, and language arts.  This test is taking the place of MAP testing, and it will allow us to track student growth over several years and into high school.  The Aspire test is not a state test but rather an assessment we have chosen as a district to inform our instruction across grade levels.  We are particularly excited about how this assessment will help us determine strengths and needs as we continue to prepare students for college and career readiness.  Similarly, our Running Record assessments help us to track growth in reading throughout the year.

Assessment means nothing to us unless we are using it to adjust our instruction and communicate student progress to you.  As our goal continues to partner with you in each student’s education, we encourage you to stay in contact with us about any questions or concerns you might have along the way.  Parent – Teacher conferences are currently being scheduled for November 17 and 19.  (Information about scheduling is going home with your student today.)  Although these are important meetings, we do not want to wait until then to discuss any concerns that may hinder student progress.

Have a great weekend celebrating Homecoming and the excellent school district that contributes to our community.  Go Dutch!

Ann Steenwyk