Issuu on Google+

November, 2015

Teaching and Learning Newsletter

2015 ~ 2016

Message from Heidi... Dear Parents/Guardians,

Please take some time to read the Teaching and Learning Newsletter. I am very proud of all that is happening. ASSESSMENT I As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, concerns and/or praise.

NEWSLETTER

TEACHING AND LEARNING

I hope your students and you have had a great start to the school year. Time is once again flying as we are working to accomplish many things this school year.

Heidi Mercer

NFORMATION

2-3

ELA DEPARTMENT

4

KINDERGARTEN

5

MATH DEPARTMENT

6-7

SPECIAL EDUCA-

TION DEPARTMENT

Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning

8

ATTACHMENTS M-Step

1

Lake Orion Community Schools Book Drive! Lake Orion Community Schools will collect new or gently used books November 2nd through November 13th at all schools in Lake Orion. Drop-off will be available during school hours and during parent teacher conferences (where applicable). Books may be of any reading level, preschool through adult. Teachers will select books appropriate for school use; these books will go directly to Lake Orion classrooms! Books that go unselected will be donated to a local charity. Kids in our community will reap the benefits! No books to donate? No problem. You are invited to become a book sponsor and support our book drive with the purchase of a gift card to Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Gift cards can be accepted at all Lake Orion drop off locations. Questions may be forwarded to Kate DiMeo at kdimeo@lakeorion.k12.mi.us

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORTING LAKE ORION READERS!


Page 2

ASSESSMENT UPDATES

A description of the 8 Key SAT Changes according to Michigan Department of Education In the June Teaching and Learning Newsletter, we shared that Michigan has switched the state testing for juniors (11th grade students) from the ACT to the SAT. We also shared that the SAT was undergoing 8 key changes, which are, relevant words in context, essay analyzing a source, math that matters most, command of evidence, problems grounded in real-world contexts, Analysis in Science and in History/Social Studies, the Great Global Conversation and U.S. Founding Documents, and No Penalty for Guessing. Below is a more descriptive breakdown of each key change along with important websites to visit for general SAT information and student practice. Relevant Words in Context Many questions in the SAT Suite focus on important, widely used words and phrases found in texts in many different subjects. Some questions ask students to figure out a word’s meaning based on context. The words are ones that students will probably encounter in college or in the workplace long after test day. No longer will students use flashcards to memorize obscure words, only to forget them the minute they put their test pencils down. The redesigned exams engage students in close reading and honor the best work of the classroom. Essay Analyzing a Source Students will analyze a provided source test to determine how the author builds an argument to persuade an audience through the use of evidence, reasoning, and/or stylistic and persuasive devices. They will be asked to write a cogent and clear analysis supported by critical reasoning and evidence drawn from the source. The redesigned SAT Essay asks students to read a passage and explain how an author builds an argument to persuade an audience. This task closely mirrors college writing assignments because it is asking students to analyze how the author used evidence, reasoning, and stylistic and persuasive elements. The redesigned SAT Essay is designed to support high school students and teachers as they cultivate close reading, careful analysis, and clear writing. It will promote the practice of reading a wide variety of arguments and analyzing how authors do their work as writers. The essay prompt will be the same every time the redesigned SAT is offered, but the source material students are asked to write about will be different each time. Math that Matters Most The Math Test focuses in-depth on three essential areas of math: Problem Solving and Data Analysis, Heart of Algebra, and Passport to Advanced Math. Problem Solving and Data Analysis is about being quantitatively literate. It includes using ratios, percentages, and proportional reasoning to solve problems in science, social science, and career contexts. Heart of Algebra focuses on the mastery of linear equations and systems, which helps students develop key powers of abstraction. Passport to Advanced Math focuses on more-complex equations and the manipulation they require. Current research shows that these areas are used in a wide range of majors and careers. The redesigned SAT also includes questions on other topics in math, including the kinds of geometric and trigonometric skills that are most relevant to college and careers. Command of Evidence When students take the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing sections of the exam and the Essay section of the SAT, they will be asked to demonstrate their ability to interpret, synthesize, and use evident found in a wide range of sources. These sources include informational graphics, such as tables, charts, and graphs, as well as multi-paragraph passages in the areas of literature and literary nonfiction, the humanities, science, history and social studies, and on the topics about work and careers. For every passage or pair of passages students read on the Reading Test, at least one question asks them to decide which part of the text best supports the answer to the previous question. In other cases, students will be asked to integrate the information conveyed through words and graphics in order to find the best answer to a question. Questions on the Writing and Language Test will also focus on command of evidence. Students will be asked, for example, to analyze sequences of sentences or paragraphs to make sure they are logical. In other questions, students will be asked to interpret graphics and to edit a portion of the accompanying passages so that it clearly and accurately conveys the information in the graphics.


Page 3 Page 3 ASSESSMENT UPDATES continued

SAT continued: Problems Grounded in Real-World Contexts Students will be asked questions grounded in the real world, directly related to work performed in college and career. The Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section includes questions on literature and literary nonfiction, but also features charts, graphs, and passages like the ones students are likely to encounter in science, social science, and other majors and careers. Questions on the Writing and Language Test ask students to do more than correct errors; they ask students to edit, revise, and improve texts from the humanities, history, social science, science, and career contexts. The Math section features multistep applications to solve problems in science, social science, career scenarios, and other real-life situations. The test sets up a scenario and asks several questions that give students the opportunity to dig in and model it mathematically.

On October 14, 2015, juniors at Lake Orion High School and Learning Options took the PSAT/NMSQT. Not only did taking the assessment provide opportunities for the juniors to qualify for National Merit Scholarships, it also provided staff and students an opportunity to “try out” taking the College Board assessments. In Spring of 2016, the Sate of Michigan will require all 9th graders to take the PSAT 8/9, the 10th graders are required to take the PSAT 10, and 11th graders are required to take the SAT. In addition, 11th graders will take both the ACT WorkKeys the M-STEP.

Analysis in Science and in History/Social Studies When students take the SAT assessment, they will be asked to apply their reading, writing, language and math knowledge and skills to answer questions in science, history, and social studies contexts. In this way, the assessment will call on the same sorts of knowledge and skills that students will use in college, in their jobs, and throughout their lives to make sense of recent discoveries, political developments, global events, and health and environmental issues. Students will encounter challenging texts and informational graphics that pertain to the aforementioned issues and topics in the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section and the Math section. Questions will require them to read and comprehend texts, revise texts to be consistent with data presented through texts and graphics and solve problems grounded in science and social science contexts.

For more information on M-STEP visit: http://www.mi.gov/mstep

The Great Global Conversation and U.S. Founding Documents The U.S. Founding documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Federalist Papers, have helped to inspire a conversation that continues to this day about the nature of civic life. Authors, speakers and thinkers from the United States and around the world, including Edmund Burke, Mary Wollstonecraft, Nelson Mandela, and Mohandas Gandhi, have broadened and deepened the conversation around such vital matters as freedom, justice, and human dignity. Every time students take a College Board assessment, they will encounter a passage from the text from this global conversation. In this way, the assessments will inspire a close reading of these rich, meaningful, often profound texts, not only as a way to develop valuable college and career readiness skills but also as an opportunity to reflect on and deeply engage with issues and concerns central to informed citizens. No Penalty for Guessing The College Board Assessments will not deduct points for incorrect answers. Students will earn points for the questions they answer correctly. Students are able to give their best answer to every question because there is no advantage to leaving questions blank. Helpful SAT websites to visit: Student practice www.SATPractice.org or www.khanacademy.org/sat General SAT information www.collegeboard.org (click on the new SAT tab)

The Michigan Department of Education has created an informative publication for parents called M-STEP: What it is, What it Means—and What if Offers. The document describes the assessment program that all student in grades 38 and 11 will be taking during the Spring 2016.

See ATTACHMENT 1 for M-STEP information


Page 4 Teaching and Learning

Lake Orion Community Schools ELA Department Grade Level Reading Recommendations

ELEMENTARY BOOK PICKS BY KATE DIMEO Cork and Fuzz (series) By Dori Chaconas and Lisa McCue

Cork is a muskrat. Fuzz is a possum. From their first meeting in a hollow log to playing pin-the-tail-on-the-turtle, from collecting rocks to dodging falling pinecones, Cork and Fuzz are always up to something unusual! They are a level J, approximately $4 each and available via Amazon. There are currently 9 books in the series and I can’t wait for book 10! Who Would Win? Polar Bear vs. Grizzly Bear (series) by Jerry Pallotta

What would happen if a polar bear and a grizzly bear met each other? What if they were both hungry? What if they had a fight? Who do you think would win? This book is just one of an engaging 10 book series that will appeal to extreme animal lovers of all ages. As a read aloud, these books appeal to even our youngest audiences but are level P, so are meant to be read by older readers independently. The books are approximately $4 and can be purchased through Amazon but are also frequently featured in Scholastic book orders. Sasquatch Escape (series) By Suzanne Selfors Get swept away by a fantasy book with hairy beasts, magical unicorns and fire breathing dragons. Dr. Woo’s hospital for imaginary creatures will leave you wanting the next volume! Luckily, there are 5 books in the series. The books are level S and approximately $6 dollars. They are often available from Scholastic and are a popular purchase on Amazon.

MIDDLE LEVEL BOOK PICK BY CHERENE AHLBORN We Were Liars By E. Lockhart

How far would you go to escape suffocation? Very rarely does a Young Adult novel turn all you thought you knew upside down while offering rich prose that forces the reader to gutwrenchingly examine their own perceptions. In E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars, an extended family holds court on their own seemingly perfect private island. But, as the adage goes, the grass is always greener on the other side. The Sinclairs work very hard at keeping up appearances. No feathers are ever ruffled, nor tennis whites ever mussed. 15 year old Cadence, who was reared to relish the bubble in which she lives, meets outsider Gat, and finds herself questioning not only the value of being perfect, but the idea that gasping for breath proves you’re alive. In a novel filled with emotional and provoking metaphors, Lockhart gives his teens dimension and intellect, while recognizing the same in his readers.

Although We Were Liars does contain vivid references to violence and underage drinking, a mature reader, looking for an original examination of the complexities of family and perception, will relish Cadence’s discovery of who is smothering her.

HIGH SCHOOL BOOK PICKS BY KELLY DAY Fiction The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

For readers that are interested in a little mystery, a little magic, and a lot of quirkiness, The Night Circus delivers on all accounts. The premise surrounds two illusionists who have been bound together in a contest of magical skill. Morgenstern takes readers underneath the big top and winds them through the dark and shifting passageways, mimicking the flow and twists of the story. This book is recommended for advanced high school readers and up, and available on Amazon. Non-fiction Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robison

Growing up, Robison always knew he was a bit different. He struggled socially to connect with his peers and family members, he was frequently labeled as an outcast, and he eventually dropped out of high school. Later on, however, he found that he was able to use his interests and skill-set to work as an engineer for a toy company and as part of the crew for the band KISS. As an adult, Robison is finally diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, which causes him to reflect upon his life experiences through a new lens. This is recommended for ages 16+ and is available on Amazon.


Page 5

Lake Orion Community Schools is committed to early intervention and has hired interventionists with grant dollars to support our kindergarten students. We have been doing this for a few years and it has demonstrated to help students make great improvements in many areas, especially reading. The teachers and interventionists work together to review data and determine which students might benefit from additional support. These decisions are made collaboratively and then the interventions are provided by the interventionist. Some students get support for a small amount of time and others much longer. We are always reassessing and adjusting the groups appropriately. Students who are pulled out of class on a regular basis will have an intervention log sent home at the end of every month to inform parents on what the student is working on and the progress they are making. We are fortunate to be able to provide this valuable service. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your building principal, your child’s teacher, or the interventionist.


Page 6

...from the Math Department Supporting your child’s math development at home As a parent, you can help your child be a whiz at math, even if it wasn’t your best subject. B e p o s i t i v e a b o u t m a t h . E x p r e s s c o n f i d e n c e i n y o ur child’s ability to do math. Don’t stress either your own fear of math or how difficult math is or how much you admire anyone who can do math. Remember, everyone can and does use math all the time. Mistakes in math actually make your brain grow. Most people are held back not by their innate ability, but by their mindset. They think intelligence is fixed, but it isn’t. Your brain is like a muscle. The more you use it and struggle, the more it grows. It is about perseverance and trying different ways to solve the problem. Let them get creative. They can draw a picture, solve it using trial and error, or even work backward!

Show your kids math at work in their world. Get your kids used to math by thinking out loud when making calculations. Then, let your children work out some real-life puzzles themselves. For example:  Let them measure when you bake.  Ask them to figure out how long of a hose you need to reach from the faucet on the side of the house to the garden.  Let your child figure out how many miles you’ll be driving on your next trip by using the information on a map.  Sort silverware by knives, forks, and spoons. Sort cards by suit or numbers. Make math a game. Math games are fun and inexpensive. They are a wonderful way to get your kids to enjoy working with numbers, as well as improve their number skills. Here are a few suggestions:  Many games that we take for granted are excellent math lessons. “Go Fish” teaches counting and grouping in sets. Games that use play money teach how to make change. Board games that use dice teach addition and counting. Backgammon teaches addition, subtraction, and strategy.  Play store with the items in your cupboard.  Math “War” can be played using a regular deck of cards, and players need to multiply, add, or subtract the two cards on the table. The quickest/most accurate, wins the two cards. Encourage creative problem-solving. Problem-solving is the basis of good mathematical thinking, and the problems don’t have to involve numbers. Have them think out loud, and be able to reason their way through a problem.  “How many different ways are there to walk to school?”  “What’s another way to arrange the furniture in this room?”  “How many different ways can I measure flour to get half a cup?”

Try to come up with more than one solution for everyday problems. Get Involved at School

Talk to teachers. Teachers have materials that you can copy and ideas that you can use at home. They also have access to books, kits, and professional organizations that can enlarge both your own at-home math lessons and the math program at your school. Visit Khan Academy. Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. We tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more. Our math missions guide learners from kindergarten to calculus using state-of-the-art, adaptive technology that identifies strengths and learning gaps. www.khanacademy.com Volunteer in your child’s class. By being in the classroom during math, you can see how concepts are taught and follow through with the lessons at home. This has two advantages. First, it reinforces the classroom lessons. Secondly, you are more at ease with math and with the concepts your child is learning. You are also showing your child that you are present, concerned and value their academic lives as well. Adapted from an article in “The Learning Community” www.thelearningcomunity.us.


Page 7

Fluency Beyond Basic Math Facts - Middle School and Beyond In early elementary, students need to be fluent in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts in order to be able to efficiently recall facts while computing multi-digit problems. The Michigan Standards for Mathematics explicitly gives early grade level (K-6) fluency standards. Whenever the word fluent appears in a standard, it is typically interpreted to mean quickly and accurately. It is similar to the meaning of being fluent in a foreign language. To be fluent is to flow: not halting, stumbling or reversing. If a student constantly has to compute the answers to basic facts, less of that student’s thinking capacity can be devoted to higher-level concepts than a student who can effortlessly recall the answers to basic facts.

A key aspect of fluency is that it does not happen in a single Grade/ Course 6 7 8 Algebra I

Geometry Algebra II

grade, rather requires the attention of student understanding along a determined path. Fluency is not meant to come at the expense of understanding but is an outcome of a progression of learning. Conceptual understanding, sufficient practice and extra support are needed at each grade level to meet the standards that explicitly call for fluency. How does one talk about fluency in light of secondary mathematics? Students in middle school begin their work with proportional reasoning that will lead to functional fluency as they progress in their mathematics courses. What is functional fluency? Functional fluency is students looking at any representation of a function and moving seamlessly from one form to another. Students also understand the parent function for the function type and the associated transformations.

Standard

Recommended Fluency

6.NS.B.2 6.NS.B.3 7.NS.A.1,2 7.EE.B.3 7.EE.B.4 8.EE.C.7 8.G.C.9

Multi-digit division Multi-digit decimal operations Fluency with rational number arithmetic Solve multistep problems with positive and negative rational numbers in any form Solve one-variable equations of the form px +q = r and p(x +q) = r fluently Solve one-variable liner equations, including cases with infinitely many solutions or no solutions Solve problems involving volumes of cones, cylinders, and spheres together with previous geometry work, proportional reasoning and multi-step problem solving in grade 7 Solving characteristic problems involving the analytic geometry on lines Fluency in adding, subtracting, and multiplying polynomials Fluency in transforming expressions and seeing parts of an expression as a single object Fluency with the triangle congruence and similarity criteria Fluency with the use of coordinates Fluency with the use of construction tools Divide polynomials with remainder by inspection in simple cases See structure in expressions and use this structure to rewrite expressions Fluency in translating between recursive definitions and closed forms

A/G A-APR.A.1 A-SSE.A.1b G-SRT.B.5 G-GPE.B.4,5,7 C-CO.D.12 A-APR.D.6 A-SSE-A.2 F.IF.A.3

The Michigan Standards for Mathematics does not explicitly set fluency expectations for the high school content standards. However, fluency in Algebra can help students get past the computational details and focus on structure and patterns. The fluency suggested in the table are considered important to allow for a smooth transition beyond the college and career readiness for further studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These suggestions were from PARCC Model Content Frameworks Version 4.0, © December 2014. http://www.parcconline.org/resources/educator-resources/ model-content-frameworks How can you support your students’ functional fluency at home? For elementary students there are many games and apps that are devoted to math fact practice to support fluency. For the upper grades this practice is a little harder to come by. The following resource lists all the middle level fluencies and has several pages of practice that can be used to increase students accuracy on each skill. https://www.engageny.org/resource/mathematics-fluencysupport-grades-6-8

At the high school level, these resources are even harder to come by. The best way is to type the standards listed in the table above into Google. You may find tutorials, worksheets and videos that provide practice. The following site might be a good start! http://www.mathworksheetsgo.com/sheets/algebra/ polynomials/


Page 8

FROM THE SPECIAL EDUCATION DEPARTMENT…..

8 Ways Parents Discourage Their Kids From Reading by Allison McDonald No parent intentionally tries to discourage their child from reading. But sometimes our actions do just that. Kids may be resilient, but they are also really sensitive, and how we handle reading in our homes can work for or against our kids’ reading attitude. Once a child writes reading off, it’s much harder to reel them back in and get them to give it a second shot. Here are eight things to avoid . 1. Don’t put down your child’s reading materials. Comics and books with crude humor often get dragged through the mud, as do character-driven books. Their choices may not be your favorite, but when you say no to a book, what your child may hear is no to reading. Instead of banning their beloved reading material , find a way to add in some more desirable books into the mix. 2. Don’t provide the wrong level material. No one likes reading something that makes them feel stupid. If the books are too hard, they will frustrate your child. If the books are too easy, they will bore your little reader. You don’t need to know your child’s exact level; their interest will let you know. Go to the bookstore or library when you have a chunk of time and let them explore. Take out a bunch of books and try them out. Find favorite authors and read everything they’ve written, then start again with a new author. 3. Don’t use reading as a punishment. Saying things like “Go to your bedroom and read!” or “If you do that again, I will make you go read.” sets kids up to associate reading as a negative thing. Keep punishments and reading separate. 4. Don’t forget to give your child books as a gifts. Gifts are special, and starting at birth books make the best gifts – especially if you read them with the person who gave them to you. Book fairs at schools are a great place for kids to get excited about books, and we use them as treats!

5. Don’t explain to your child they aren’t really reading yet when they are only looking at the pictures. If we tell our children they aren’t readers, they will believe it, and to a child this isn’t as fluid as it is for adults. They don’t see that reading is developmental, and this blow to their confidence can really stick with them. If they aren’t decoding words yet, let them know that they can “read the pictures” and tell the story that way until they can read the words too. 6. Don’t forget to let your kids see you read for fun. Studies show that kids with parents who read often for pleasure are more likely to read for fun themselves. So if you want a kid who loves to read, let them see you reading too. 7. Don’t over-correct and over-practice. It’s exciting when your child starts to read independently, but forcing them to read and reread text until they have it perfect is not the most effective way to encourage or instruct. Read with your new reader and help when they ask for it. If they miss a word but the meaning is intact, don’t interrupt. If the meaning of the sentence is all screwy, wait for a natural pause and ask them, “Did that make sense?” You can revisit the word if it didn’t. Use the pictures and the rest of the text as clues if the word is too tough to decode. If you have to do this often, the text is too hard for your child. Choose something easier, or if they are insistent take turns reading so there is some fluency being modeled. 8. Don’t forget to read to your kids. Every day. Even those days when you just want them to go to sleep already!! Check out Scholastic Parents Raise a Reader blog for more simple ways to bring literacy into your family. Together with Amy from Teachmama.com I share with readers tips, tricks and tried and true ways to Raise a Reader.


ATTACHMENT 1 High education standards and aligned assessments are critical to the success of all Michigan students Business Leaders for Michigan and President’s Council, State Universities of Michigan

Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress - Spring 2016 WHAT IT IS, WHAT IT MEANS — AND WHAT IT OFFERS Expecting More Getting children ready to take their place in the world is challenging. The knowledge and skills students need for a well-paying job continually evolve to meet current and future workplace demands. To ensure students can meet these demands, the State Board of Education routinely strengthens Michigan learning standards. These standards broadly outline what students need to know and are able to do in each subject and grade level to be career- and college-ready upon high school graduation. The standards also serve as a foundation from which teachers develop classroom curriculum and lesson plans. Today's standards challenge students to: 

Understand subject matter more deeply.

Learn how to think critically.

Apply what they learn to the real world.

Make learning more relevant in their lives.

Achieving More Just as “world-class” athletes continue to break records that were once thought unreachable, today’s learners aim higher as state standards rise to meet future workforce demands. As student knowledge increases, student achievement on state assessments over time should increase and will help ensure all students are prepared for success in college and the workplace.

What is M-STEP? New learning standards require new ways to measure how much students know and can do. That’s why in 2014-15, Michigan replaced the 44-year-old MEAP test with the new Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP). Most schools have chosen to administer M-STEP online rather than paper and pencil.

10.15.15

M-STEP is aligned to Michigan’s challenging learning standards and is administered each spring to students in specific grades outlined in the Which Assessments Do Students Take section below. M-STEP has fewer multiple choice questions and more questions that require problem solving and critical thinking skills than the previous MEAP assessment.

Why are State Assessments Important? Once each year, all students in Michigan take a highquality state assessment, whether it’s the M-STEP general assessment or the MI-Access alternate assessment. State assessments provide: 

An important snapshot of student achievement at a state, district and building level.

Valuable information to parents on their child's academic achievement.

Important data for teachers, schools and districts to help guide instruction.

These assessments are required by both state and federal law in order to ensure all children are learning and receiving a high-quality education. State assessments take up or require less than one percent of student instructional time during a school year. All other assessments are determined at the local district or building level.

Which Assessments Do Students Take? M-STEP is administered to students in the following grades and subjects: 

English language arts (ELA) and mathematics are assessed in grades 3 through 8. New in 2016, students in grades 3, 4, 6 and 7 no longer will take a ELA performance task, reducing test time by 2 hours.

Science is assessed in grades 4 and 7.

Social studies is assessed in grades 5 and 8.


High School Students

When Do Students Take M-STEP?

9th and 10th Grade Assessments

To provide schools and districts scheduling flexibility, the online M-STEP is administered any instructional day within a select three-week window in the spring. MI-Access and WIDA have longer test windows.

New state law requires all 9th and 10th grade students to take a state summative assessment in the spring, called the PSAT (PreSAT). Summative assessments measure what students are expected to know and be able to do at specific grade levels and in specific content areas.

Spring 2016 Test Windows and Release of Test Results

Therefore, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) will provide for the statewide administration of the PSAT in spring 2016. For more information on the PSAT, please contact your local high school.

Grades 5, 8 & 11 – April 11 through April 29

Grades 3 & 6 – April 25 through May 13

Grades 4 & 7 – May 9 through May 27

11th Grade Assessments

SAT – April 12, Makeup April 26

The Michigan Merit Exam (MME) is the general assessment for students in Grade 11.

WorkKeys – April 13, Makeup April 27

PSAT – April 12 or 13, Makeup April 26 or 27

The MME includes:

MI-Access – April 11 through May 27

WIDA – February 8 through March 25

A free SAT with Essay college entrance exam. SAT is the nation’s most widely-used college admission test and is aligned with Michigan’s academic standards.

A work skills assessment (ACT WorkKeys).

M-STEP science and social studies assessments.

Beginning in the spring of 2016, the SAT will serve as a college entrance exam and the M-STEP English language arts and mathematics assessments, reducing testing time by up to eight hours.

Release of Test Results The Spring 2015 M-STEP state assessment results will be released in the fall. Student performance will be described as one of four levels: not proficient, partially proficient, proficient, and advanced. The M-STEP is a very different test than tests administered in past years, therefore, results should not be compared to those from prior years.

Nonpublic School Students Free Practice Tests for All High School Grade Levels To prepare students for the College Board’s PSAT, and the SAT with Essay, Michigan students now have free access to the Khan Academy for online test practice. For more information on the PSAT and SAT, please visit: the College Board’s Michigan website (www.collegeboard.org/michigan).

Assessments for Special Populations An alternate assessment called MI-Access is available to students with disabilities whose Individualized Educational Program (IEP) team has determined that general assessments, even with accommodations, are not appropriate.

All nonpublic schools can elect to administer the state assessments to their students during the assessment windows identified by the Michigan Department of Education. The latest assessment window information is available on the MDE Student Assessment home page

(http://mi.gov/mde/0,4615,7-140-22709---,00.html).

Home-School Students Home-schooled students also have the opportunity to take the state assessments. To do so, the home-school student should contact the school district in which the student resides to make arrangements. The student’s scores will be reported individually and not included in district results where they were tested.

For More Information on M-STEP There also is an assessment, called World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA), for students who are learning the English language. To find out more about these and other assessments, please contact your local school district.

please visit www.mi.gov/mstep.


November 2015 Teaching and Learning Parent Newsletter