From the Principal's Pen

February 21, 2020

STAR Assessment Reports

Your child has taken the second STAR assessment for this school year, and score reports will be in your child's Friday folder today. Students in grades K-12 will continue to participate in the STAR Early Literacy, STAR Reading and STAR Math Assessments throughout this year.

STAR Assessment Parent Guide

The text below is taken from the Parents' Guide to STAR Assessments from the Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Learning. This guide will explain what a STAR assessment is, as well as what these assessments measure. Additional information regarding your child's individual results will be shared at your upcoming parent-teacher conference.

Your child has taken a STAR assessment during this school year. Students in grades K-12 will continue to participate in the STAR Early Literacy, STAR Reading and STAR Math Assessments throughout this year. This guide will explain what a STAR assessment is. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s teacher.

What are STAR assessments?

Renaissance Learning™ pioneered computer adaptive testing in the classroom in 1996 with the introduction of STAR Reading and has been improving upon it ever since. As a result, GPS has access to a number of testing products that all function the same, are all built with the same high level of measurement accuracy, and all share the same design principles.

STAR Early Literacy™ is the leading computer-based diagnostic assessment of early literacy skills developed for PreK–3 students. STAR Early Literacy tracks development in seven domains:

• General Readiness

• Graphophonemic Knowledge

• Phonemic Awareness

• Phonics

• Comprehension

• Structural Analysis

• Vocabulary

STAR Reading Enterprise™ is an assessment of reading comprehension and skills for independent readers through grade 12. STAR Reading Enterprise tracks development in five domains:

• Word Knowledge and Skills

• Comprehension Strategies and Constructing Meaning

• Analyzing Literary Text

• Understanding Author’s Craft

• Analyzing Argument and Evaluating Text

STAR Math Enterprise™ is an assessment of math achievement for students in grades 1–12. STAR Math Enterprise tracks development in four domains:

• Numbers and Operations

• Algebra

• Geometry and Measurement

• Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability

What are computer-adaptive tests?

All STAR assessments are computer-adaptive tests (CATs). Computer adaptive tests continually adjust the difficulty of each child’s test by choosing each test question based on the child’s previous response. If the child answers a question correctly, the difficulty level of the next item is increased. If the child misses a question, the difficulty level is decreased. CATs save testing time and spare your child the frustration of items that are too difficult and the boredom of items that are too easy.

How long does it take to complete a STAR assessment?

STAR tests are designed to be as efficient as possible. On average, students will complete the STAR Math Enterprise test in about 20 minutes, the STAR Reading Enterprise test in about 15 minutes, or the STAR Early Literacy test in 10 minutes. However, some students may require more time.

What are STAR assessments used for?

The STAR assessments are often used to screen students for their reading and math achievement levels. STAR Reading and STAR Math assessments help determine reading and math achievement levels in order to help educators personalize learning opportunities and target instruction.

STAR assessments can also be used to monitor your child’s growth throughout the year, to estimate their understanding of state standards, and predict their performance on the state test. In addition, STAR can help your child’s teacher determine appropriate instructional levels and skills that your child is ready to learn.

When are STAR assessments administered?

The STAR assessments are administered at a minimum of three times a year in the fall, winter, and spring. Specific dates are listed on the district assessment calendar which can be accessed through the district website, from the school and classroom teacher.

What kind of score does my child get?

For every STAR assessment, a student receives a scaled score (SS), which is based on the difficulty of the questions and the number of correct answers. Scaled scores are useful for comparing your child’s performance over time and across grades. STAR Reading and STAR Math scaled scores range from 0–1400. STAR Early Literacy scaled scores range from 300–900.

STAR offers educators a variety of scores and reports. Some STAR scores compare your child’s performance to specific criteria or to a standard (criterion-referenced scores). STAR reports also include scores, which compare your child’s performance to other students who have taken the same test (norm-referenced scores). The criterion and norm-referenced scores are based on the scaled score.

Why did my child’s score vary from one assessment window to another?

Computer adaptive testing makes it possible for students to be tested using items that appropriately match their current level of proficiency. Adaptive Branching, the item selection procedure used in the STAR Assessments, effectively customizes every test to the student’s current achievement level. Initially, students are tested based on the student’s age and grade placement. Subsequently, it is based on the student’s actual performance on previous tests and during the current one. Using Adaptive Branching, the software chooses test items on the basis of content and difficulty, with the objective of matching item difficulty to the student’s ability. As a result, your child’s scaled score will vary (increase or decrease) from one test to the next test.

How can I help my child prepare for a STAR assessment?

It is important for you to encourage your child to try their best on the assessment. Since STAR is a general measure of student ability in math or reading, students perform best on the assessment in the same way they perform best in school—when they have had plenty of rest, attend school regularly, and have eaten. The teacher who gives the test uses pre-test instructions to explain the test to your child.

How will I know how my child is doing?

Please ask your child’s teacher for the results from any of the STAR assessments. Teachers can run a Parent Report for any of the STAR tests. Often teachers may share this information during a parent/teacher conference. Due to federal privacy laws, Renaissance Learning is not able to release individual student’s data directly to parents.

To learn more about our comprehensive assessment process please visit:

IMPORTANT - March Parent Conferences

As you know our staff has been very focused on increasing Parent Engagement at JC this school year. We devoted extra time to parents in the fall preparing for the fall conferences. The feedback on those conferences was very positive from both parents and teachers. The GREAT NEWS is we will now be offering winter conferences to ALL parents. This is a new initiative for our school and something being offered as a pilot only at Julian Curtiss and New Lebanon Schools. Parent/Teacher conferences will be offered on March 11th from 1:00- 6:00 pm and March 18th from 2:45-6:45. March 11th is an Early Release Day for the students. Students will be released at 12:45. You will be receiving notices and schedules from your child’s teacher(s) by Friday, February 21st. Please sign up for your winter conference as soon as you receive notice from your child’s teacher.

You should have received a hard copy of the parent pre-conference questionnaire in your child's Friday folder today. Below is a link to an electronic questionnaire if you prefer to submit your information that way. Please complete either the written form or the electronic form here and return to school by Monday, March 2nd.

Being informed about what your child does at school and family support of learning at home is important for ALL children. Education is a team effort - teacher, student, and family!

Pre-conference Questionnaire - English

Cuestionario para conferencias - Español

Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten Registration for the 2020-2021 school year is coming up soon! If you know of new families to the Julian Curtiss district, please make sure they know about the Kindergarten Parent Presentation on March 9th at 9:30 am.

CCI Reading Incentive

Dear JC Parents,

Community Center Inc. (CCI) is celebrating 65 years of partnering with Greenwich schools to support students and families. CCI is a social service agency dedicated to building skills that empower clients to overcome educational, social, and economic barriers so that they can reach their full potential. CCI organizes Homework Club, summer programs, after-school reading groups, and provides individual counseling to students and families in the JC community.

To commemorate this amazing achievement, CCI has invited JC students to take part in a reading incentive program. Starting on Monday, March 2, 2020, JC students will be given an activity sheet called, “65 Ways to Be a Reader, ” the students may choose as many reading activities as they like from the attached. You do not have to complete all 65 to be part of the fun! Have your child color in each task that they complete and return the form to Dr. Blomberg or Mrs. Iannazzo by Friday, March 27th.

On Friday, March 27th, when your child submits their65 Ways to Be a Reader” form they will...

  • earn a cool “I love to read” wristband.

  • be entered to win a pizza party for their class, and an ice cream party for their class.

  • be entered in a raffle with other participating schools for a brand new bike for themselves.

Happy Reading!

CCI & the JC Staff


Estimadas Familias de JC:

Community Center Inc. (CCI) celebra sus 65 años de colaboración con las escuelas de Greenwich, brindando apoyo a sus estudiantes y familias. CCI es una agencia de servicios sociales dedicada a desarrollar las habilidades que capaciten a sus clientes a superar barreras educativas, sociales y económicas para que puedan alcanzar su máximo potencial. CCI organiza el Club de Tareas, programas de verano y grupos de lectura después de la escuela. También provee asesoramiento individual a estudiantes y familias de la comunidad de JC.

Para conmemorar este increíble logro, CCI ha invitado a los estudiantes de JC a participar en un programa de incentivos para leer. A partir del lunes 2 de marzo de 2020, los estudiantes de JC recibirán una hoja de actividades llamada "65 maneras de ser un lector". Los estudiantes pueden elegir tantas actividades de lectura como deseen. ¡No tienen que completar las 65 actividades para ser parte de la diversión! Haga que su hijo/a coloree en cada tarea que complete y devuelva el formulario al Dr. Blomberg o a la Sra. Iannazzo antes del viernes 27 de marzo.

El viernes 27 de marzo, cuando su hijo/a presente su formulario "65 maneras de ser lector" ...

● ganará una pulsera que dice "Me encanta leer".

● participará en un sorteo para ganar una fiesta de pizza y una fiesta de helados

para su clase.

● entrará en un sorteo con otras escuelas participantes para ganarse una

bicicleta nueva.

¡Feliz lectura!

CCI y el personal de JC

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