Weekly Reflection: A peek inside the schoolhouse door…

Dear Families of 3rd -6th graders,

Beginning on Monday April 17th , we will be taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) and 5th graders will be taking the Science MSP. My purpose in sending this letter and Marvista’s SBA and MSP schedule, is so that you avoid scheduling any appointments that would require your child to miss school on their assigned testing day.

The SBA and MSP are our state-required annual check-up on learning. It measures how well students and schools are performing on our state's learning standards. While no test is perfect for assessing the whole student or school, the SBA and MSP are better tools than previous state tests and they align with our state and school learning standards. It goes beyond multiple choice questions to measure skills like problem solving and critical thinking that are important for success in college and the workplace.

Washington’s learning standards define what students should know and be able to do by the end of each grade. Meeting the standards means students are prepared for success as they move forward, and, ultimately, that they are ready for college and career. Results show us where students may need extra help or more of a challenge.

You can help, as you do every day, by ensuring your student consistently gets enough sleep, eats breakfast, and is on time to school. Another area that you can assist with at home is to have your student practice their typing skills to familiarize him or herself with the keyboard layout. Listed below are some free websites you can use at home.

Dance Mat Typing: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing/

Rapid Typing Zone: http://www.rapidtyping.com/

Typing Web: http://www.typingweb.com/

KeyBr.com: http://www.keybr.com/

Attached is the schedule for each class. The English Language Arts Test (indicated in pink) is broken up into 3 parts to prevent fatigue. The Computer Adapted Test (CAT), the Performance Task (Part 1) and the Performance Task (Part 2). The Performance tasks include reading articles about a topic, analyzing the text and writing an essay about the topic. Math tests are indicated in orange and there is a CAT and only one Performance Task. Fifth Graders will also be taking the Science MSP.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you for your support,