It is usually about this time that we celebrate finding our stride for the year as we complete the “getting to know you” phase of our annual journey. No more poignant than this is the assessments we do to determine readiness for the tasks ahead of us.
One of our usual tools for this is what we refer to as the MAP test. This is the short name for the Measures of Academic Progress that has helped assess and understand the dynamics of the academic growth of students over many years in our school along with other students and schools around the world. We use this tool in conjunction with other measures of student progress to plan and tune our program each year to meet the specific and special needs of students. This year, in particular, it is an important benchmark for how kids are doing despite the circumstances of our challenges.
There are many instruments of this nature that we refer to as achievement tests. An achievement test is most easily understood as a comparison between your child’s level of performance and the average range of thousands of other kids of similar age and accomplishment who have taken the same measurement. It’s a statistically measured test that uses mathematical formulas to estimate current placement and growth over time. We never use the MAP test by itself in measuring academic growth, but look for MAP to help inform us along with other classroom measures and teacher observations of student performance. But, MAP can help us look both at individuals for greater understanding and at groups of students to determine how we might focus our attention for support, professional training, and resources.
Remember that we are also equally focused on social-emotional growth, so measurements of this kind should inform our teaching and learning, but should never be used in isolation as a grade or judgment. In order for instruments of this nature to be accurate, we must remove all stress associated with the activity and allow students to demonstrate the best of their true abilities. The best decision coming from this, or any other assessment, is to plan more effectively for the next best learning activities.
Middle School is partway through this process and High School and Elementary will follow shortly. We look forward to sharing our insights from these tools as part of our ongoing collaboration with you through meetings and conferences in the near future.
Cafeteria is Serving Up a Great Lunch!!
I just want to offer a shout out to our cafeteria, Solivoda, for the wonderful job they are doing under difficult circumstances. For elementary, they are serving individually packaged lunches with extra care for our youngest learners. For Upper School, kids have a selection of lunch choices served in special containers consistent with our hygiene protocol. I can’t applaud them enough for their efforts in bringing a healthy competent lunch to us and following all of our guidance for packaging and safety, including the compliance of all their staff for testing and daily survey. Please consider reviewing the menu and joining the program online at https://asw.solivoda.com/