By Superintendent Wayne Weber
This is the time of year when public school students across the state are taking the mandatory state assessments that make up the Wisconsin Student Assessment System (WSAS). The WSAS is made up of the following:
● Wisconsin Forward Exam at grades 3-8 in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics, at grades 4 and 8 in Science, and 4, 8, and 10 in Social Studies
● ACT Aspire at grades 9 & 10
● ACT Plus Writing at grade 11 for Reading, English, Mathematics, Science, and Writing
● ACT WorkKeys at grade 11
The student scores on those assessments contribute to the school and district scores on the state report card. As I have stated previously, there is much more to measuring a school’s success than the scores on a single standardized assessment. However, we still want and expect our students to do well. As a means to this end, we do our best to provide them with every opportunity to succeed.
I received the following email from Laconia and Cirrus High School Counselor, Diane Raue, on March 2 following our high school ACT testing. I wanted to share the email with you because I believe Ms. Raue did an excellent job articulating the teamwork that takes place throughout our district on a regular basis. That teamwork helps our schools succeed.
“I just wanted to let you know that we've survived another round of ACT and WorkKeys testing. We have a few make-up tests to do March 21st/22nd, and a few students with accommodations to finish, but other than that, the tests are done and packaged for pick up. In speaking with the room supervisors, we all feel that the students worked well and appeared, for the most part, to put forth their best efforts.
The reason I'm writing to you, however, is because of the staff here at Laconia/Cirrus. In lieu of sending a "Good News" to each of their parents, I wanted to let you know how supportive they are and what a positive contribution they make to the testing experience. (I'm letting them know how much I appreciate them tomorrow....with food, of course!)
Whether the staff member was assigned a direct testing duty, such as room supervisor, or had to take on additional students or cover a class, it was done, and done well. My back-up room supervisors checked with me each morning to see if anything needed to be done. Staff members monitored the halls during passing to limit noise....even far away from the testing location. Andrea Schneider (Food Service Director) came in each morning to prepare breakfast for the students. These are just a few of the many examples of how helpful everyone was.
At various conferences other counselors will ask what we do for ACT prep. I don't know that we do anything spectacular or extra-ordinary, but I do think that what works is that we are all in this together. Whether it's Linda Sattler using ACT-like reading passages for her SLO (Student Learning Objectives) or Shaun Hiemstra doing ACT prep bellringers, the job of preparing students isn't left to one grade level or subject level, and that's what makes us successful. Even the seniors helped by not accessing their lockers for the two mornings and carrying all their belongings in their backpacks. While that might not seem like a big deal, it contributed to a better testing environment, and I did thank them for their cooperation this morning while speaking to them.
While I certainly hope that we see some awesome scores, I feel confident that we provided our students with the best possible testing experience, and that we will continue to do so because of the great staff here.”
One more reason for our Spartan Pride!