(05/07/2008)
Press Release

CALHOUN MIDDLE-HIGH SCHOOL

The staff of Calhoun Middle High School focused their energies on WESTEST during a staff development session on April 25. The staff began by reviewing current practices utilizing last year's WESTEST data.

They re-examined the process of identifying a student's strengths and weaknesses. With this information, teachers can target the most critical needs of our students.

The staff discussed and reviewed the processes being utilized in the classrooms to explain test data to students. Student ownership of test scores is becoming evident as students take a personal interest in their learning.

The staff worked to create the best grouping arrangements for the students to maximize their comfort and effort during the testing week.

On Thursday, May 8th all students will be involved in a trial run, by reporting to their assigned testing room for about 30 minutes. This activity will give student the opportunity to practice their testing experience.

Teachers will discuss with students their expectations, behaviors and any supplies they will need to bring with them. The goal of this practice is to eliminate test anxiety for the students.

During the week of WESTEST, May 12 - May 16, Middle/High cooks will be serving the students' favorite breakfast foods to encourage everyone to eat a good meal before testing.

ARNOLDSBURG ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

On April 25th the staff at Arnoldsburg Elementary began final preparations for the WESTEST. 

Mr. Sterns reviewed standardized testing protocol and discussed positive habits for test taking.  Some of these habits include getting adequate rest before taking the test, eating a well balanced meal and having a positive outlook about the test.

  A letter to parents pointing out the importance of students doing their best was discussed.

  The Team developed optimal groups for testing. The Westest Team included Janice Westfall, Seana Miller, Bill Queen, Angie Sims, Jan Jarrell, Tammy Webb, Renita Benson, Connie Summers, Bobbi Bell, Jill Trippett and Bryan Sterns.

This is an important aspect of how Arnoldsburg prepares for the WESTEST.

   The Team agreed that a quiet and controlled hallway during testing would be best for students during the testing window.

  Finally, the 3rd and 4th Grade teachers reviewed preparations for the WESTEST. 

These included study review and problem areas that plague students. A schedule for snacks, breaks and rewarding students for making their best effort was also developed.

Other meetings in the afternoon included a SPARK meeting with elementary physical education, health and music teachers.

PLEASANT HILL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Teachers at Pleasant Hill School participated in a variety of trainings pertaining to different subject matter.

Bonnie Sands, Technology Integration Specialist, trained first through fourth grade teachers on the Classroom Performance System.

This system will allow teachers to track student learning at different benchmarks throughout the year and/or other classroom assessments.

Mrs. Sands helped teachers enter fast grade lessons and type assessment questions into the program. Mrs. Sands showed samples of the reports the program provided and discussed how the data could be used to drive instruction.

Kathy Wood, RMT, presented a training on differentiated instruction in kindergarten looking at core content and assessment.

Patty Haught shared the screenings used in the preschool creative curriculum program.

The screenings will be sent to kindergarten teachers along with DIBELS and core assessments for early data driven instructional planning.

Mr. Bugby and Mr. Golinsky attended a Spark (Sports, Play & Active Recreation for Kids!) session with Mr. Westfall at Arnoldsburg school.

Spark has several goals: 1) Improve physical education content offerings and instructional methodology of teachers. 2) Motivate teachers to embrace new ideas and apply those ideas to their teaching. 3) Increase physical activity opportunities throughout the school day for all students. 4) Modify the school environment to make it more conducive to physical activity promotion and facilitate lasting change.


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