March 1, 2019
Dear CES Families,
I hope this letter finds you well, and that you enjoyed the February break with your family. In a few weeks, New York State assessments in ELA, math, and Science will be upon us. The schedule for state assessments is as follows:
· ELA (Grades 3-5): Tuesday, April 2nd and Wednesday, April 3rd
· Math (Grades 3-5): Wednesday, May 1st and Thursday, May 2nd
· Science (Grade 4): Monday, June 3rd
Last year, thanks to the teamwork and support we received from you, CES achieved a whopping 99% participation on the NYS assessments! In part because of this success, CES is recognized in New York State as a “School In Good Standing” with New York State. This was a huge accomplishment, and this year, we need to keep up the great work. Every student’s participation makes a difference.
With this in mind, here are a few things to know about the test. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) has implemented a compelling array of revisions after listening to concerns expressed by parents, teachers, students, and community members.
· Testing days for ELA and math have dropped from 3 days per subject to just 2 days.
· Assessments are no longer timed; students may use as much time as they need.
· Assessment results will not be stored in students’ permanent records or transcripts.
· Assessment results will not be used to measure teacher effectiveness.
· Assessment results cannot be used on their own to determine program decisions for students.
“So why should my children participate in the assessments?”
· Assessment data allows our teachers and administrators to examine how CES students are performing compared with their peers from across the state.
· Assessment data gives us a tool to ensure that our teaching methods are truly effective.
· CES teachers are involved in grading the NYS assessments.
· Participation in the assessments gives your child practice taking a standardized test, so that they are confidently prepared for Middle School and High School test-taking experiences.
To encourage everyone to take part, every student in Grades 3-5 will receive a freet-shirt that says “Success!” Our faculty and staff will share in the school spirit with t-shirts that say “No Stress.” Our goal for student participation this year is 99%. Once we meet this goal, we’ll celebrate in June with a BBQ party and live DJ.
I’d like to invite you to an Operation Opt-In Workshop on Wednesday, March 27th at 6:30 pm. I will provide you with further information about the NYS assessments and the recent, compelling improvements to them, and answer any questions you may have. I look forward to seeing you then.
John Rivers, Principal
Catskill Elementary School