Part I of ISTEP+ Assessments Begin this Week

This week marks the beginning of ISTEP+ Assessments for this school year (and we just got our pass/fail results from last year in January).  We have several windows of testing ahead:

  • ISTEP+ Part 1 Applied Skills (grades 3-8, 10) from February 29-March 11
  • IREAD3 (grade 3) from March 14-March 18
  • ISTEP+ Part 2 Multiple Choice (grades 3-8, 10) from April 18-May 6
  • End of Course Assessments (BGHS) from April 25-June 1

It is new this year that 10th graders are taking the ISTEP+ Assessment in English/Language Arts, Math, and Science.  This is a transition time where our high school students must take the ISTEP+ and the End of Course Assessments.  To help you understand this thinking from Indiana Lawmakers, here is an excerpt taken from the Indiana Department of Education Website:

Accountability Assessment Transition

Beginning in 2015-16, the Grade 10 ISTEP+ test replaces End of Course Assessments in Algebra I and English 10 as the assessment used for accountability in high school English/Language Arts and Mathematics.

Purpose

The purpose of the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress Plus (ISTEP+) Grade 10 program is to measure student achievement in the subject areas of English/Language Arts, Mathematics and Science. In particular, ISTEP+ reports student achievement levels according to the Indiana Academic Standards that were adopted by the Indiana State Board of Education. An Applied Skills (open-ended) Assessment (Part 1) and a Multiple-Choice and Technology-Enhanced item Assessment (Part 2), which are required components of the ISTEP+ program, are used to measure these standards.

(end of excerpt)

Of course if you are following the legislative session this year, you know that lawmakers are looking at moving away from the ISTEP+ assessment.  Of course they are looking now that we have made the move to a new testing system (Pearson) and have a 2 year contract with them for assessments.  Prompting this discussion down state is the public outcry about the testing woes from last year–and that as educators we have yet to see much data from the test last year to help drive instruction.  We are not sure how we are supposed to fill instructional gaps when no data is provided.  Isn’t that part of the purpose of assessment–to guide instruction?

Here are a couple of links below that you may want to dig into.  One gives more information on the new ISTEP+ assessment for 10th graders and the other showcases Pearson’s new online assessment system which we will be using this year.  As always–do what you know best to do to prepare your child to be successful during testing.  Make sure they get a great night’s sleep, make sure they eat breakfast, and remind them to do their personal best!

PTSC Standouts:

 

I can’t believe I didn’t have this in last week’s PTSC Update.  If you didn’t attend the BG Drama Club’s Student Directed Plays, you missed out!  Not only did you miss out on several short plays directed and performed by our students, but you also missed out on Amber Johnson and Johnny Newell’s plays–THAT THEY WROTE!  Amazing!  Great work to the writers, directors, casts, and to all who worked so hard behind the scenes.  Mark your calendars for their next production, Beauty and the Beast on April 29, 30, and May 1.

Congratulations to our 4th and 5th grade students that participated in Math Bowl this Saturday.  A lot of hard work and preparation went in to be ready for the competition.  Kudos to staff and families that made it happen after being canceled due to the snow!

Email PTSC standouts to Dr. Schmidt at stacey.schmidt@ptsc.k12.in.us.

Important Dates:

  • March 11:  Annual All You Can Eat Fish Fry at BGHS to benefit the Football Program

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 10.26.41 AM

  • March 11:  Annual Porter Township School Corporation Staff vs. Porter County Sheriff’s Department Basketball Game at BGHS at 7pm.  All proceeds benefit the School Safety Fund
  • March 16:  Online Day BGHS and BGMS
  • March 17:  End of Third Quarter
  • March 21-25:  Spring Break Week–No School
  • March 28:  School is IN SESSION!  This is our snow day make-up day
  • April 27:  Kindergarten Round-Up at Porter Lakes Elementary School

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 7.50.05 AM

  • April 29-May 1:  BG Drama Club’s Production of Beauty and the Beast

Things to Know/Do:

  • 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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