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Outreach Committee News: November 2012

“Assessment” was the topic during the first Coffee with the Director on October 26. Sitting at a table in a corner of the cafeteria during the PTO bagel sale, Honey Creek Director, Al Waters met with about five parents – most of whom had children in early or middle elementary – and answered questions about the various ways that students’ learning progress is measured. Al explained that teachers gather information about students beginning in kindergarten. These early assessments identify how many letters and sounds an individual kindergartner can distinguish, whether they can recognize numbers and how high they can count. Al explained the difference between summative assessment, which tells where a student is at, and formative assessment, which helps identify where a student is going. Sometimes assessment can surface a need for early intervention to help a student to learn. The help might be as simple as proper eyeglasses for a student with farsightedness. In second grade students are first exposed to testing using the “Terra Nova.” Al also explained how the recent changes to the MEAP scoring had required an adjustment to five years of past scores. As Al put it, a challenge posed by standardized testing is for education to retain a focus on skill-building rather than “regurgitation” of information. Coffee with the Director is a new, monthly event during which parents can meet with the school’s head administrator to ask questions about various aspects of education at Honey Creek Community School. The sessions are planned for the fourth Friday of each month, however, because of the Thanksgiving holiday, the next Coffee with the Director will occur at bagel day on Friday, November 30. The topic for the November 30 session is “technology.”

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