It is April, and we are headed into the final quarter of the school year. Next month, all of our students will participate in MSP testing. A testing schedule by grade level is attached to this newsletter. Please encourage your students to give their best effort on MSP testing. This is an important tool our staff uses to determine how effective we are in reaching students. If all goes according to plan, next year students will participate in the Smarter Balanced or SBAC assessment. This assessment will be geared to the new Common Core State Standards, adopted by 48 states. Testing will be done online at all grade levels. This test will be a national test, and will give us the opportunity to easily compare our student performance with their peers throughout the nation. This is a big change. I ask that you support our efforts to provide your child with as much prep and practice for this new test and format as possible prior to spring testing.
Common Core State Standards, or CCSS, is a somewhat dramatic shift in how schools throughout the nation organize their curriculum. There has been a lot of politicized commentary in the media about CCSS and its strengths and weaknesses. At GMES and throughout RSD, implementing this process has primarily resulted in our changing what grade level some concepts are taught and practiced in math and language arts. In addition, we have worked with curriculum director Justin Black and our District Curriculum Committee to make sure your students are taught with materials and teaching progression that will prepare them for CCSS and the new assessment. It is an exciting time to be in education, as change is the only constant!
Please feel free to call me with any questions.
Casey Crawford, Principal