And We Wait…

For those of you with children that took last year’s state assessment (ISTEP+) you may be wondering why you haven’t seen scores returned.  As you may remember, in the late spring of 2014 new standards were rolled out and approved which would be implemented in the fall of the 2014-2015 school year.  Teachers worked hard over the summer to modify curriculum and instruction to meet the demands of the new standards as there would also be a new assessment in spring of 2015 covering these new standards.  This was a very fast turn-around time for teachers to modify curriculum and instruction and our teachers worked hard to do so.  This new assessment contained questions in different formats than what had previously been used along with a new set of technology enhanced questions.

It is typical to see changes in test scores when a new assessment is rolled out.  Things are complicated further when the assessment also is over new standards.  Other states that have moved in similar directions have seen scores drop in what is called an “implementation dip”.  While educators have asked lawmakers to look at a way to keep these changes in mind in how accountability is calculated as assessment now drives school letter grades and teacher compensation (and other states have done this)–it looks like they will continue to apply the letter grade process and let the chips fall where they may.

So why are our scores not yet back?  Don’t we typically use these to drive our instruction (making tweaks in areas where consistently students did not score well or helping individual students in skill deficit areas)?  Absolutely, and this has been a challenge for us.  However, the state has to go through a process of setting cut scores on the new assessment which has taken them a significant amount of time.  We do not anticipate scores being returned until sometime in December with a public release of scores in 2016.  Unfortunately we do not control when the data is released to us.

Additionally, the state is working now to finalize a contract with a new testing vendor moving from CTB to Pearson.  Educators are hopeful that this new testing vendor will build into the process a way to have more immediate assessment feedback as putting the data in the hands of teachers is the best way to help remediate skill deficit areas for students.

Watch for more information to come!

PTSC Standouts:

Have you read about Ty Bothwell and his heroic actions?  Great story you can read here!  We are proud of you and thankful for your quick actions!


Pictured above is Jonah Parpart, receiving a check from former PTSC teacher (Mr. Herlitz) which Jonah than donated to PTSC for further work in the Stanley Nature Preserve.  Jonah completed his Eagle Scout project working in the Stanley Nature Preserve and has made it significantly better!  Head over to the Stanley Nature Preserve and check it out!  Thanks, Jonah, for all of your hard work!


Pictured above are the Conference Champions!  Congrats, Ladies!

Congratulations to BGHS Boys Soccer on the win that gave Coach Sherwin his 200th victory!  Outstanding!

Email PTSC standouts to Dr. Schmidt at

Important Dates:

  • October 6:  The BGHS girls tennis team would like to invite you to a fundraiser night at the Valparaiso Panera tomorrow Tuesday October 6th from 4 to 8pm.  If you bring in the flyer below or show a digital version of it on your phone when you order the tennis team will earn a percentage of your receipt.  Any money earned will go towards team uniforms.

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 12.13.38 PM

  • October 14:  Online Day, BGHS and BGMS
  • October 17:  Stuff the Bus and Souper Supper to benefit the Porter Township Food Pantry


  • October 21:  End of 1st Quarter
  • October 26:  Parent Teacher Conferences–30 minute early dismissal
  • October 27:  Parent Teacher Conferences–30 minute early dismissal
  • October 29:  No School, Fall Break
  • October 30:  No School, Fall Break
  • November 18:  Online Day, BGHS and BGMS
  • November 26:  No School, Thanksgiving Break
  • November 27:  No School, Thanksgiving Break
  • December 21-January 1:  No School, Winter Break
  • January 15:  End of 2nd Quarter/1st Semester

Things to Know/Do:

  • Did you watch the video posted last week with your kids?  If not–there’s still time! Heroin:  Not a Problem, An Epidemic–Have you had the chance to watch this video put out by the Porter County Sheriff’s Department?  This is a powerful look at the growing problem in Porter County–and is something that every parent should watch.  It is even more powerful to watch it with your child.  Take the time to watch it today!

  • Now hiring substitute teachers! Please contact Linda Dusek at the administration building if you are interested in substitute teaching and she will help you start the application process and discuss qualifications.
  • Do your friends and neighbors know how to find our weekly updates? Even if your neighbors don’t have kids in school tell them about our weekly updates so they can hear the great news of what happens at PTSC!
  • Every Wednesday is a 30-minute delayed start. If we have a 2-hour delay, students will arrive at school 2 hours after the regular start time for the building.
  • We are also looking for bus drivers to drive our extra-curricular runs. If you are interested, please apply online. It’s a great way to earn some money and attend extra-curricular events!

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