Weekly Letter (Sep 26 ’16)

Dear Parents,

This letter will be dedicated to our recently completed STAR Renaissance Tests. After nearly twenty years of administering the IOWA Test to students in grades 2-8 the Archdiocese decided to switch to a new standardized test. When I first heard about the change I was in favor of it because every once in a while change for the sake of change is good. Having lived through the last three weeks of using the

STAR Renaissance Test, I can tell you I love it!

Students take the tests on line; one Math test, one Reading test. The total test time is less than an hour per test and we will administer both tests three times per year. This will give us a baseline, a mid term and an end of year test, all in less time than the old IOWA Test took in one very intense week.

Attached to this letter are copies of each class’ test average. The students will be given a copy of their own personal test results to bring home to you this week. If you do not get a copy by Friday, please email me and I will send another. The Parent Report for each individual is somewhat technical but easy to figure out. If you need a Spanish language version please call the school and we will send one home. Also, each teacher will have a copy of this report at Parent / Teacher Conferences (November 7-10).

The “same” STAR Renaissance Test will be administered again in January, but it really will not be the same test. It has been set up to increase the level of difficulty if the student gets a correct answer or decrease the level of difficulty if the student gets the wrong answer. In this way each student gets an accurate assessment of his or her own academic skill levels.  So, when we test again, your child will start out on the level that she / he has already proven she / he can do. The test questions should get harder for each student until they reach their accurate placement. Do not be overly impressed by high scores. This test measures potentialover a 20-40 minute span, it does not show evidence that a 5th grader can jump right into college. Conversely, do not get too discouraged by low scores. The feedback teachers can glean from low scores helps them to focus on the real needs of each student.

Have a great week!


Terrence Hanley


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