Student Success is Propelled by Paragon

Why test?

The Student:

• To identify starting points for monitoring year-to-year academic development
• To help develop a personalized learning plan
• To determine how best to adapt materials and instructional practices to address each student’s needs
• To identify academic strengths and weaknesses in order to guide the learning process toward achievement of curriculum goals, including possible early intervention strategies
• To track on-going skill development in incremental measures

The School Community:

• To obtain information on which to base instructional decisions
• To determine instructional gaps that need to be addressed
• To offer content and teaching strategies that will ensure student mastery of the school’s academic standards
• To use results as one of many sources of data collection by which to gauge   school effectiveness
• To promote student learning

What parents can do at home to prepare students for test taking:

1.  Talk to your child’s teacher often about your child’s progress;
2.   Make sure your child does his/her homework;
3.   Have a variety of age appropriate books and magazines at
4.   Don’t be overly anxious about test scores, but use them as a
point of reference;
5.   Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and is well-
rested before test day;
6.   Make sure that your child eats a well balanced diet. Hunger can
detract from a good  test performance;
7.   Encourage your child to prepare for tests by studying in a quiet
area, free from  distractions;
8.   Encourage your child to study over a period of time rather than
“cram” the night    before;
9.   Encourage your child to ask questions about topics s/he
doesn’t understand;
10.  If your child is nervous at test time, ask the teacher for tips on
helping your child to relax;
11.  Make sure that your child is in school during the testing
sessions. Do not plan any doctor or dental appointments on
test dates;
12.  Encourage your child to listen carefully to all test-taking
directions given by the teacher and to ask questions about any directions that are unclear;
13.  Make sure that you are aware of your child’s performance and that you can interpret the results when they become available
Special Note to Parents About Stress and Challenging Times:

Test times can be stressful times, even when students are well-prepared and parents have provided the best of support, as outlined above.  There’s something about the departure from “normal” classroom activities that makes even the calmest student a little anxious.  As we all know, there are many challenges in our world at large, as well.  Ongoing economic worries may be reason for sustained anxiety in some families, while personal connections to or extensive news about catastrophic events, such as the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, may impact others. Even in the best of times, families can experience periods of stress for any number of reasons.  During stressful times, it is important to think about the impact that parents’ anxiety has on children.  Some of the very techniques for helping students be well prepared for tests may be just the ticket for the whole family at these times, too! Creating that sense of normalcy and stability is more important than ever. Eating a healthy meal together at home and making sure you and your child get enough sleep are just two of the ways to maintain a healthy mind, body, and perspective. Why not check out books from the library and read together or sit and talk about your day instead of engaging in a pricey evening activity?  These activities help children find answers to questions that may worry them, so they feel both safe and empowered, and they contribute to a sense of stability at home, without tapping into the wallet. They also help boost academic achievement! Be sure to communicate with the school if you are experiencing challenges that may affect your student, as well.  This communication can help us provide appropriate support for students at school and help you make connections to needed services.  Remember that together, we can provide the stable and positive environment your child needs during test time and all the time!

The two websites below may be helpful to you whenever your family works through challenging times. The first site provides suggestions for families who are experiencing the effects of an economic crisis, but the ideas offered may be helpful during any time of heightened family stress.
The next site provides excellent information on talking with your children and helping them cope during events such as global disasters.

Dawn D. Eidelman, Ph.D.
Chief Education Officer
Mosaica Education, Inc.