Weekly Letter (Feb 22 ’16)

Dear Parents and Students,

As I mentioned a few months ago, this was our last year for the IOWA Test. After fourteen years it was both time for a change and time to find a test that better compliments our curriculum. The Department of Catholic Schools in conjunction with their counter parts in other Dioceses in California has decided to go with a new test from Renaissance Learning called The Star Test. This test has no relation to either our school or the old Star Test that SFUSD administered for years.

Testing will still be done in grades 2 – 8 but only in two subject areas; math and language arts. Each test will be taken on line and take no more than 60 minutes. Because this time frame is so less disruptive than the IOWA week-long tests, schools will be able to administer the Star Test three times per year. This will help us to more accurately measure the progress of each class and each student. Results will also be easier to share with you and progress easier to track.

Related to this change, the Marin County schools of the Archdiocese will be piloting a “trimester” program next year. Report cards will be sent home every 60 school days rather than every forty-five. This will allow students to have more time and opportunities to grasp the concepts and do the work. If the pilot program works in Marin, I suspect we will all be using it starting in the 2017-18 school year.

Though I am usually resistant to change, both of these are good changes that actually excite me. Both will benefit the kids and improve classroom instruction.

God Bless,


Terrence Hanley


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