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  • Click here for Parent letter with MCAS schedules

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  • Hello West Community,

    We are now in that busy 8 week stretch between February and April vacations, and a lot is happening. Teachers and students are deep into the EnVisions math program, and it is noticeable. As I walk through the building and visit classrooms, I see students engaged in activities that not only teach math concepts, but challenge their understanding. In ELA and Reader’s Workshop, students are reading books that are appropriate for their skill level, yet are interesting to them as well. Art, Music, Library, and PE classes are thriving with an energy that is palpable. Students are being challenged at every turn to take risks, explore new ideas, and express themselves.

    About 50 of our West grade 4 students have been chosen to participate this March in the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as NAEP. You may be thinking that NAEP is just another test, but it’s not. NAEP is different from our state assessments because it represents students across the country.

    Ever heard of The Nation’s Report Card? That’s NAEP. The assessment results are released as The Nation’s Report Card, and they help the President, Congress, and all of our educators make decisions about how to improve our education system. NAEP is what the general public will hear about on the news when reporters discuss what students are learning.

    The actual assessment takes about 120 minutes. During that time, students will take an assessment in mathematics or reading on tablets or in paper booklets. All students will be asked questions about their educational experiences that may be related to performance, such as homework and reading habits. Student scores are anonymous and will not affect student grades or academic records in any way. Instead, they will be combined with the scores of other students to produce results that reflect student capabilities nationwide.

    Students who are selected to participate in NAEP have an important job to do. NAEP will provide a national snapshot of what students have learned in school, and it is essential that students take it seriously, try their best, and answer all the questions they can.

    The MCAS schedule will be posted separately on the West webpage in a printable format by the end of the week. We are participating in the Computer Based Testing program, which means students will take the MCAS tests on Chromebooks. We will have about 75 students participating each daily session.  The testing window is from April 4 through May 18.


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