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Changes in Our Testing Program

It’s time to change! Online standardized testing is becoming the norm, and Warren-Walker School is embracing the change a few steps at a time.

We have chosen three grades to start online testing this year – first, fifth, and eighth. First graders will be switched to taking the Educational Records Bureau’s Comprehensive Testing Program (CTP) online, whereas in the last few years they were taking the Stanford 10 which was not adequately aligned to our program. Most likely, next year we will need to incorporate second grade in the online testing program, and we thought it wise to introduce the process this year in first. As I say each year at the Coffees with the Heads of School, much of the point of standardized testing every year is teaching the students how to take tests. Our first graders are used to computer programs where they must choose answers, much like they will be doing when taking the CTP. It makes sense to make the move now.

Our fifth graders are very tech savvy, and should make the switch to online testing quite effortlessly. The content standards of the CTP will not change, so our students should perform well, much like they have in the past.  They will also take the Otis Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) online.

As for eighth grade, they will soon be taking high stakes tests, like the college entrance examinations (SAT, ACT, etc.). All of these tests will be administered online, so it’s best for the students to gain experience in the comfort and familiarity of the new computer lab at the Middle School.

We have attended conferences and workshops, purchased testing rights, downloaded the necessary browsers and sample tests, checked and double-checked for adequate bandwidth, and we are as ready as can be for this change on all three campuses. As always, we ask parents to support our efforts to make the testing experience as low stress as possible for our students, by reinforcing that testing is important (but not earth-shattering!), ensuring they get plenty of rest, and eat a good breakfast. In addition, plan ahead and make every effort to avoid scheduling off-campus appointments during school hours from May 13 through 31. Remember, the best state to be in while testing is to have a relaxed body and an alert mind!

The faculty works tirelessly each year to teach the necessary academic skills and test-taking strategies. Come mid-May, let the testing begin!

Posted by pvolker on Sunday April, 7, 2013 at 12:18PM

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