The Center Mile

March 24, 2023

School News & Happenings

Hello Center Students, Families, and Caregivers,

Beginning next week, our students will commence state testing with MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System). If you are interested in reviewing a sample ELA, math, or STE practice test for your child’s grade level, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has posted practice tests and tutorials here. The practice tests provide a glimpse into the MCAS assessment and are informative in providing insight into what, and how, your child will be assessed. All students, in grades 3-5, will take their MCAS test on a district-provided Chromebook. Students have been practicing typing, and learning/refreshing their knowledge of CBT tools with their teachers and with Mrs. Backiel. Students have also practiced taking tests online in order to familiarize themselves with the MCAS platform and presentation. Test administrators have practiced with students as well.

Testing of this scope for young students can be very stressful if an overemphasis is placed on the testing. MCAS results are only part of a larger picture that we compile each year, and over the course of many years, in assessing a student. Please join us in reinforcing the message to students that while MCAS testing is important, we want them to be balanced and hard-working students. Education is a process, not a one-time test.

Please read, below, for helpful pieces of advice for families prior to testing and for more information about your child's testing schedule

If you ever have any questions or concerns regarding MCAS, please contact us through the main office or via email.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Shelley Dulsky


Lenore Zavalick

Assistant Principal


2023 Center School MCAS Testing Dates

MCAS testing will take place beginning next week! Please note the dates and help ensure that your student is well-rested and fed and at school on these days.

3rd Grade

April 11, 2023 – English Language Arts Test 1

April 12, 2023 – English Language Arts Test 2

May 9, 2023 – Math Test 1

May 10, 2023 – Math Test 2

4th Grade

March 29, 2023 – English Language Arts Test 1

March 30, 2023 – English Language Arts Test 2

May 3, 2023 – Math Test 1

May 4, 2023 – Math Test 2

5th Grade

April 4, 2023 – English Language Arts Test 1

April 5, 2023 – English Language Arts Test 2

May 1, 2023 – Math Test 1

May 2, 2023 – Math Test 2

May 16, 2023 – Science/Technology/Engineering Test 1

May 17, 2023 – Science/Technology/Engineering Test 2

Helping Your Child Prepare

The following are helpful pieces of advice for parents prior to testing (from the National Association of Principals):

Get them fed. The more nutritious food your children eat, the better they will do in school. Properly fueled and with stable blood sugar levels, their concentration is enhanced. Always give them a healthy breakfast while cutting back on high-sugar cereals, pastries, and undiluted juices (which can have the same sugar content as sodas.)

Get them moving. Tests cause stress, but, sports, exercise, and dancing can relieve it. Physical activity that gets students completely away from academics for a few hours each day can actually help them perform better on tests. Get them breathing. Teach your kids a simple breathing exercise that you’ll do with them once or twice a day and in times of stress (as in right before a test): Take a deep breath, hold to the count of three, then exhale slowly through the nose to the count of 10.

Get them to bed on time. Elementary and middle school children need up to 10 hours of sleep each night to do their best in school. They also need to curtail the excitement from video games, television, movies, and texting for at least 30 minutes before sleep.

Important! Please, also, ensure that your child leaves their wearable technology (eg., Smartwatch/FitBit) at home. They will not be allowed in the classroom during MCAS.

Class Placement Information Coming Soon!

As we begin the class placement process for next year, we will look to create class lists as we have in previous years. As always, our goal is to share the name of your child’s next teacher and their class list on the last day of school. Please be on the lookout for more information about how you may provide us with optional input for class placement purposes soon.

Notes from Nurse Dumas

Dear Parents,

Just a friendly mid-year reminder to always call or email when your child is absent as early as possible. Also, please state the reason for your child's absence. I still track Covid numbers along with Flu and Strep Throat.

Parents of 4th-grade students, please be reminded to send a current copy of a physical with immunization records. Thank you.

Carla Dumas, BSN, RN, NCSN

Center School

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Seeking Substitutes!

We are renewing our connections with Substitute Teachers. If you or someone you know is interested in substitute teaching at The Center School please contact our Assistant Principal Lenore Zavalick:
Center School Virtual Backpack

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