esting season is upon us. Students in grades 3-11 are busy taking their annual standardized tests. For students in grades 3-8, this is the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS). For students in grades 9-11, this is the Iowa Tests of Educational Development (ITED). Each year, the district designates a week as the official testing week. This year, the official testing week begins Feb. 27. High school testing runs through, Monday, March 3 and middle school testing through Tuesday, March 4. For two hours each day, students work through a battery of tests that measure achievement in a variety of areas. The results of these tests are used to measure individual student achievement. The results are also used by the Department of Education to determine if a particular school district is effectively meeting the academic needs of its students.
Needless to say, these tests are very important and it is critical that students perform at their best. Students are encouraged to get plenty of rest and to eat a healthy breakfast. No one performs at his or her best if he or she is still sleepy and hungry! Also, students are strongly encouraged to take these tests seriously and to put forth their very best efforts. These test results are meaningful only if they represent students’ true abilities.
In other news, the middle school is continuing to work toward the goal of having a school-wide homework policy in place. Unfortunately, a significant number of our students do not complete their homework assignments on a regular basis. Without the extended practice that homework provides, student learning suffers.
The faculty has been working to put together a plan that proactively addresses the problem of students not completing their homework assignments. Through our Middle School Site Council, parents have been involved in the process. Our plan is to have a proposal for the board to consider at the March 10 meeting.