Hi All

 

We have received word that BOCES, which administers our assessment score distribution, has begun mailing the Grades 3-8 score reports to parents.  These assessment results, which were released in late August, became the immediate subject of newspaper articles, editorials, and talking points throughout the state.  As expected, the various sides wasted no time sharing their opinions regarding the usefulness of Common Core, validity of testing, and appropriateness of this year’s cut scores.  As in the past, the debate tended to range in a circular direction with a great deal of confusion and few positive ends.  It is precisely for these reasons that the South Huntington School District has chosen to avoid the political entanglements, which have plagued several Long Island school districts, and remain calm amid the media-driven turbulence.  We are very proud of the cooperative work endeavored by our students, teachers, and parents and remain committed to keep testing in perspective while proceeding in a contemplative manner. Quality classroom instruction will always be the focus, and our staff stands ready to continue on that productive path.

 

The real value of these assessments rests in our ability to identify areas of strength, replicate effective practice, and improve upon specific needs. The examinations also enable us to modify personal programs and individualize instruction.  When utilized appropriately, an assessment can provide an important quantitative complement to the qualitative data provided by teachers and parents alike.  Assessment should never be a game of “gotcha” but instead a tool to improve curriculum and target specific student needs.  The assessments provided us with important collective and individual information, which will prove valuable in crafting quality classroom instruction.     

 

Our English Language Arts and Math results, which were above the county average in the majority of categories, affirm the effectiveness of many of our classroom strategies, as 683 Math and 231 ELA students improved at least one proficiency level. Additionally, our students performed well on the first Common Core Algebra Regents, and plans are underway to expand those strategies into the Geometry course. We look forward to building upon areas of particular success and enhancing practices to those subgroups and grade levels where results were below desired expectations. The reality is that our faculty and staff remain dedicated to the cause and will pursue any technique and resource that enhances the students' chances for success.   

 

In addition to the BOCES mailing, we have asked our computer company to post the individual student scores to the Parent Portal by September 15th. Your child’s performance level is also available through your building principal.  Again, while we know that these individual results are important to parents, they provide just one small component of a child’s collective progress.  We will continue to teach, assess, and evaluate through a variety of methods and maintain the balanced approach that characterized the year gone by. 

 

As always, feel free to contact any of our instructional team members if you have any questions.

 

Be well,

Dave Bennardo