From the Principal's Desk
Beginning in April, students in grades three through five will be participating in the next generation of MCAS testing. We do not believe in extensive test preparation; our goal is for students to show what they know. Our curriculum is based on the core curriculum required by the state, so students are well prepared in terms of content for the test. Since our students are not accustomed to taking multiple choice tests, we believe that students should learn general test taking strategies, such as reviewing all the answers prior to making a selection, reading questions carefully to clarify what the question is asking, and becoming familiar with a variety of question formats. This year, students in grades three and five will continue to take the pencil and paper test; however, fourth graders are required by the state to take the computer version. Fourth grade students will be learning to navigate through the test and become familiar with the computer tools available. All tests are untimed; the state expects that it will take 60-75 minutes to complete each session. We will have a room available for students who want additional time.
Prior to administering the actual test we will be conducting a "test of the test" for fourth graders to be sure our computer system can manage the load. This will also provide fourth graders with a short practice test. Fourth graders will learn how to access the test and answer some sample questions. Students will also have experience using the toolbar, such as the highlighter and answer eliminator tools. During the test, students will be allowed to receive help in using these tools should they require it. On Monday, March 20, we will be conducting our "test of the test." To do so, we will be asking all students and staff to power off their cell phones and turn off any other electronic devices to make the best use of our WiFi.
I look forward to seeing you at International Night on March 23 in our gymnatorium.