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Standardized Testing (K-7th Grade)

Categories: Lower School, Upper School
Location: Lower and Upper Schools

It’s the time of year again for standardized testing! Testing is scheduled for April 16-23, from 8:15-11:00 each day.

What Tests We Administer
All students in grades K-6 will take the Iowa Assessments. In addition to the Iowa Assessments, students in grades 2, 4, and 6 will take the newly revised CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test), also. Both the CogAT and Iowa Assessments are norm-referenced tests. The Iowa Assessments measures students' achievement and provides a comprehensive assessment of student progress in major content areas. The CogAT measures students' thinking ability and will assess students’ abilities in reasoning and problem solving using verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal (spatial) symbols.

Also, all 5th grade students will be administered the Assessment of Catechesis/Religious Education (ACRE for students). The ACRE assessment is an integrated approach to faith knowledge assessment for knowing and living Catholic faith. ACRE is designed to assist in the evaluation of catechetical/religious education programs in Catholic schools and parishes. As an integrated assessment tool, ACRE provides faith knowledge questions (cognitive domain) and questions related to religious beliefs, attitudes, practices, and perceptions (affective domain). As a multilevel, age appropriate tool, ACRE is used in grade 5 (Level 1); grade 8 (Level 2); and grade 12 (Level 3) at HSP.

How We Interpret Results
Please remember that standardized test results are not necessarily the most appropriate means of evaluating a child’s need to be placed at a particular grade level. The test results are, however, a critical tool in assessing the extent to which our students are acquiring the educational background and skills that will enable them to succeed in their future studies. The tests are also an excellent means of identifying areas of relative strengths and weaknesses in the performances of student groups, which can alert us to the need for curriculum and instructional changes.   In addition, we will be able to take an “external” look at the performance of our students, independent of our school’s existing measurements of student learning and academic achievement. Both tests give great information on how students learn and think.

How To Prepare Students for Testing
Before testing, the teachers will inform their students as to the importance and purpose of standardized testing, the value of pacing oneself during the test, and what to do if unaware of the answer to a specific question. Teachers have also decided to reduce the homework load during this week.

Below, I have also included some helpful hints that might aid you in helping prepare the students for the testing week:

Have the student in attendance and on time to school, especially during these testing dates.  

Please try to maintain a typical or routine lifestyle at home during the testing period and try not to schedule outside activities that may be unusually demanding of students’ energy.  

Make sure that students have ample rest/sleep during the week.

Students should have a nutritional and balanced breakfast before school.

Because there is a break between subtests each day, students are allowed to bring and eat a healthy snack during this time.  If you think your child might need a snack to help renew much-needed energy before the next testing section, I recommend that students bring water and nutritional snacks such as: cut or whole fruits, high protein, high fiber cereal in a baggy, dried fruit, cheese, string cheese, whole-grain crackers, cut or whole vegetables, etc.

Feel free to call me at (404) 255-0900, ext. 113, with any questions or concerns that you might have regarding the above.

Donna Hayley
Lower School Director of Student Success


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