Dear Parents and Guardians,
Every spring, students across Colorado take the state's standardized tests in science, math, and language arts. In 2014, students will be taking the new online Colorado Measure of Academic Success tests in the following grades and subjects:
Social Studies: Grade 4 (Spring 2014) - Grade 7 (Spring 2014) - Grade 12 (Fall 2014)
Science: Grade 5 (Spring 2014) - Grade 8 (Spring 2014) - Grade 12 (Fall 2014)
The new assessments are based on the new Colorado-developed science and social studies standards. The Colorado Academic Standards (CAS) are the expectations of what students need to know and be able to do at the end of each grade in each subject. These standards provide the foundation for the skills and knowledge to enable students to be successful in higher education and their chosen careers.
- Computer-based tests will replace pencil and paper tests. Computer-based assessments allow for more engaging and innovative questions that enable testing of higher-order thinking skills.
- The computer-based tests will ask students to answer a variety of types of questions, show their work and explain their reasoning. They will assess critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.
- These tests will assess the knowledge and skills all students need for the careers of tomorrow, including the ability to communicate effectively, apply math to real-world situations, critically analyze literature and informational texts, and demonstrate problem-solving techniques.
- The updated tests will provide meaningful data for all students, including high- and low-performing students. Teachers and families will get detailed reports, helping them better understand each child's mastery of the standards.
We believe these new assessments will be a valuable tool in helping to ensure that your child is successful in these critical subjects. Effective teaching based on standards and assessment of student learning must go hand in hand to guide measurable student learning and success.
Because this is the first time these assessments will be given by computer, state officials acknowledge that we may experience technical "glitches" in the system. The Colorado Department of Education and the Cherry Creek School District have tested the system thoroughly and worked to eliminate the possibility of problems occurring, but as with any technology, we cannot guarantee something unexpected will not occur. In the event of a problem, teachers, principals and other staff will work with students to help relieve any anxiety and frustration.
Polton will be administering the tests on April 14-16 for 5th graders and April 21-23 for 4th graders in the mornings. Although we have time allotted to administer make-up tests, it is beneficial to students and for instructional time to have tests completed during the regularly scheduled time. Please let us know if you have any questions.