2013 test score letter to parents revised 10.29.13

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2013 test score letter to parents revised 10.29.13

  1. 1. PARENTS: PLEASE TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO READ THIS LETTER FROM SUPERINTENDENT TONY BALDWIN. TO HELP YOU BETTER UNDERSTAND YOUR STUDENT’S SCORES AND TO LEARN ABOUT THE NEW “HOME BASE” PARENT PORTAL, WE WILL HAVE AN IMPORTANT PARENT MEETING AT ______(OUR SCHOOL)________ ON ___(DATE)________AT __(TIME)____. AT THIS TIME YOU WILL BE PROVIDED WITH YOUR CONFIDENTIAL HOME BASE ACCESS CODE, WHICH WILL ENABLE YOU TO VIEW YOUR CHILD'S ATTENDANCE AND PROGRESS. PLEASE DON’T MISS THIS IMPORTANT MEETING! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- October 29, 2013 Dear Parent/Guardian, The State Board of Education is expected to release the results of the 2013 spring EOG and EOC assessments on November 7, and you will receive your child’s individual score from the school shortly afterward. All parents, not only in Buncombe County, but throughout North Carolina, will likely see a lower proficiency score for their student than in previous years, as has been the case in other states. Please do not be alarmed by this. New standards were put in place last year – the national Common Core standards for English/Language Arts and Mathematics, and North Carolina’s own Essential Standards for other subject areas. These are, by far, tougher standards and more demanding of our students. This is good for both students and teachers, as we must continue to challenge students to a higher level if we are to ensure they are ready for life after high school. When you get your child’s score, if it is lower than usual, it is important to understand that it is not an indication your child is not doing as well as in previous years. In fact, our students overall are continuing to learn and achieve. Similar to the first time an athlete strives to jump over a bar set higher than in the past, a lower score this go round means that the demands of the assessments and the scores required to reach proficiency are set at a higher level. These scores—the first following the implementation of the new standards mentioned above—cannot be compared to previous years’ scores with validity; rather, they serve as a baseline for improved performance in subsequent years. Student learning is undergoing a transformation. For example, rather than teaching how to arrive at an answer and then complete practice items on a worksheet, we now present students with a problem and let them discover the process for finding the answer. Students are learning to think for themselves, how to problem solve, how to collaborate with others to solve problems, how to create, and how to find answers when they don’t know the answer. These are skills that will serve them well in their future endeavors. Communication and collaboration between schools and parents has never been more important. The state is providing a new tool called HOME BASE that will enable students to access their schoolwork, grades, and learning activities. Parents will be able to view their child's attendance and progress, and teachers and administrators can monitor data on students, teachers and schools. Once the Parent Portal is accessible to you in a few weeks, I hope you will begin using HOME BASE to your and your student’s best advantage. If you have further questions, you will find more information on the school district website at www.buncombe.k12.nc.us, or feel free to contact your child’s teacher. Best regards, Tony Baldwin, Ed.D., Superintendent of Buncombe County Schools

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