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Principals Message

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Principal’s Message

Date: April 8, 2012 Author: admin Categories: Principals Message

Welcome back, BA families!

STAR on the Horizon
A few weeks back I told you I would share more information about STAR testing. In California public schools, 2nd – 11th grade students are required to take these standardized tests that report individual progress and give schools feedback about student learning overall.

I am pleased to report that San Carlos school district children generally do very well on these assessments. Teachers work hard to teach, children work hard to learn, and parents do their part by being involved in their children’s lives in ways that support their well being, academic learning, and social and emotional progress. Thank you all for your part in that.

I want to remind you that here at Brittan Acres, our students’ education is quite a bit broader than the narrow band of learning tested and reported through STAR. The tests are intended to measure reading, writing, and math skills only, while students at BA also spend considerable time learning science, history, life skills, art, physical education, and music. Only rarely during their K-4 years do children sit silently at desks for sustained periods of time, reading test questions and filling in bubbles. Instead, most student activity at Brittan Acres includes working in large and small groups, listening and talking, collaborating to solve problems, and sharing ideas through a variety of modalities.

Begins Monday, April 30
Teachers will soon begin talking to students about the testing, as a way to prepare them to do their best, and to reduce their anxiety by frontloading information. Eventually the students will practice with the format. We will begin the actual testing the week of Monday, April 30. The tests are untimed, but most students will test no more than about 90 minutes each day. The rest of the day will consist of school as they know it.

As always, please do your best to be sure students are well rested and well fed every day during STAR testing. It will help all of us do our best and feel successful in this process.

Finally, if you are interested in looking at released STAR test questions, they are available here.

Best wishes,
John Triska