Does Your Child Count? How?

Gearing up for MAP Testing

How our Students Test in September Has Greater Impact Than You May Realize

We are seeking your support as we work together to make HHS the best it can be.

There are, and will always be, arguments for and against standardized testing of students. As an educator for 27 years, I've heard just about all of them and could probably defend any one of them with data to support it.

The second week in September is an important week for your student and our school as our 9th, 10th and 11th graders take the fall MAP assessment. It matters that every student at Houston High School comes prepared to do their very best. Why? Because we use that information to assess our own effectiveness as a school so that we can be better for our students each day. This last year we had many of our top achieving students opt out of standardized testing and another 20% finish in 10 minutes instead of 45 minutes by clicking random answers and not giving their best effort. As you can imagine, this gives us very inaccurate data for the student and for the school as a whole, thus making it very difficult to determine the best course of action to support your student and direct the school improvement efforts we are actively engaged in.

The short story is this skewed data shows many students testing below proficient who have the ability to test proficient. Our fiscal decisions are largely connected to achievement and the data shows a need to direct the funding towards supporting students in need of additional support instead of advanced or enrichment opportunities.

The best news here is that we saw significant improvements last year when we made a conscious effort to encourage and support our kids in setting goals connected to test achievement. And, we know, with the whole community behind us, we can do even better.

We will be setting goals and doing all we can as we engage your students in meaningful activities to help them achieve both their academic and college or career goals.

We need your help to encourage their best effort on these quarterly ASSESSMENTS that help us better serve our families.

Testing is REAL; Jobs and College are Real Too.

If you click the PAIRIN link you'll be able to read about a curriculum that our staff will be working with all students on this year. The curriculum focus on what PAIRIN calls Essential Skills.

Known as Essential College and Career (EC) Skills (or social emotional or 21st century skills), researchers have consistently found that EC Skills play a significant role in encouraging student success.

Our staff has gone through a full day of training on how to use this curriculum, which we believe will meet the needs of all of our kids no matter where they are in the development of their Essential Skills.

Our goal is not only to better prepare our students for the world of higher education and work beyond high school but to increase the likelihood that they achieve higher academic standards while they are here with us.

Please take the time to read the information on the PAIRIN link and call to ask questions if you have them.

If you want to have a better understanding of how we will begin with your student, feel free to go online and take the PAIRIN personal survey (its FREE).