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Upcoming Events
Today
4/24/2015
4/27/2015
5/8/2015
5/12/2015
- PTA meeting
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
- PTA MEETING
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
 
Welcome to Amity Elementary School
SBAC Testing Begins on April 2nd
March 9, 2015
 
Dear Amity Parent/Guardian:
 
I have important news regarding the new, state-mandated assessment.
 
This spring, most Idaho students will take the first administration of the Smarter Balanced tests (SBAC). The tests will be given to students in grades 3-8 and 10. The SBAC will be computer adaptive tests in Math and English Language Arts and last approximately 7- 8 hours.
 
These new tests have been developed to assess the Common Core State Standards in Math and English Language Arts, which Idaho adopted in 2011. To learn more about these standards please visit our district’s Idaho Core Standards Resource webpage.
 
What Parents Can Expect
This is a new system with a new way of scoring. Therefore, it is not possible to directly compare new scores with old ones. The new assessments measure knowledge and skills in a different way.  These areas have been deemed important to students’ futures, including problem-solving, writing and critical thinking.
 
Because the tests are offered in a longer and very different format than students are accustomed to, we know the number of students performing at grade-level will be lower than in the past. However, a dip in scores should not be interpreted as a decline in student learning or educator performance. Any time we raise academic standards, we know it takes a few years for students to reach the new goal we have set for them.
 
Preparing and Supporting Your Child
  • Discuss the new tests with your child. Talking about the SBAC with your student can lessen the anxiety about taking a new test.
  • Talk to your child’s teacher and ask for their advice on how you can help at home.
  • With an older child, explain that the new assessments were created to help him or her better prepare for college and career.
  • Explain to your child that the tests will be long and very different. Tell your child you have high expectations and that you are there to help every step of the way.
  • Encourage your child to think critically in everyday life, such as when you are in the grocery store or at the dinner table. Ask more “why” questions and let them know it is okay if they don’t answer right away. Problem-solving takes time.
  • Provide a quiet, comfortable place for studying at home and make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and a nutritious breakfast before the SBAC test.
  • Explore the SBAC Practice Tests with your child.
  • Review the SBAC test results with your child and don’t hesitate to bring the teacher into the discussion, as needed.
 
Please let us know if you have questions. We are here to help. Contact me directly at 854-4220 or Tim.Lowe@boiseschools.org, or feel free to contact your child’s teacher directly.
 
Sincerely,
 
Tim Lowe
Spring is just around the corner!
     It's hard to believe, but we are already well in to the third quarter of our school year.  Students had a terrific first semester, and they are continuing to learn new things every day.  As spring is approaching, our teachers and students will soon begin their final preparations for district and state assessments.  Most notably, our 3rd through 6th grade students will participate in the first full administration of the new Idaho Standards Achievement Test by the Smarter Balance Consortium.      
      The test will assess what they know and are able to do in math and language arts (which includes reading).  Both of those tests will be broken down into two parts - a computer adapted portion that will "level" students based on their responses to questions, and a performance task which will measure their ability to apply their knowledge.  In total, the tests are expected to take approximately 7-8 hours for students to complete.
     Parents will be notified when their child's class is testing.  It is imperative that students not miss school on those days, because making up the test is very difficult (especially the performance task).  Please make sure that they are well rested and eat a good breakfast that morning.
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