This evening is the first of our three K-6 conference nights. This is a great time to do a mid-year check with families to share academic and social progress. Teachers gather and collect data on how their students are achieving regularly throughout the year. They assess their students to evaluate instruction, implement interventions, monitor progress, and provide feedback.
This is also the time of year we engage with practice assessments. Our students in grades 3-6 have been working hard on the Optional Local Purpose Assessment (OLPA) test of math, a practice for the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA). Students in grades 2-6 are also working on the MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) in reading and math, a nationally normed test of the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA). Students will take the final versions of the MCA and MAP from March 10-May 30.
The assessments that teachers administer and the testing that we implement give us a good picture of how each individual child is progressing and achieving. This also helps teachers when it is time to record how students are doing in our Standards Based Grading (SBG) environment. We know what each child’s strengths and growth areas are so we can adjust curriculum and instruction accordingly.
It may seem like we are assessing and evaluating students a lot (we are) but this data helps us make sure we are meeting the needs of each and every student and making the best decisions for staffing, resources, scheduling, curriculum, and instruction.