Cedar Park Middle School - April 3, 2017
From the Principal's Desk: The importance of assessment
Beginning the first week of May, Cedar Park students will begin taking the SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) for English Language Arts (ELA) and Math; the 8th grade students will also take the OAKS Science test.
Testing, especially standardized testing, has become a contested and argued topic in the last few years, with parents and educators alike agreeing that, at times, we spend too much time on testing. However, assessment of student learning is necessary and good; in fact, some testing, like the SBAC tests actually benefit students, teachers and the school overall. Please, allow me to explain.
Taking tests is a skill
The SBAC tests are a great way for students to “practice” their testing skills so they are more confident and comfortable taking extended tests when the stakes are much higher. For example, students will take either the ACT or SAT when applying to college, and it is highly recommended that students take these tests more than once, because their scores generally improve after the first round.
In addition, students taking AP (Advanced Placement) or IB (International Baccalaureate) courses in high school will be required to take a test (or several) at the end of the course; their score will determine if they earn college credit for that class. AP and IB test scores are printed on high school transcripts and are reported to universities when students apply for admission – test scores matter to colleges and universities. Testing is more than just demonstrating what a student has learned, testing is a skill.
Test scores inform our decisions
Test scores are used by schools and teachers to help determine what courses are best for students. For example, the SBAC Math assessment will help us find students who may need more remediation and support in math next year; some of our Beaverton high schools use the SBAC tests to recommend students for advanced courses. Tests tell us about what a student has learned, but they also communicate academic potential and areas of need.
Standardized tests that are aligned to state and district content standards, like SBAC, help teachers and the school reflect on and adjust instruction. Teachers use test results in their classrooms on a daily and weekly basis to reflect on their students’ learning and growth; standardized tests help them do the same on a larger scale. As a staff, we look at our school and students’ scores to plan our professional development, establish school goals, recognize gaps and needs, and celebrate successes. While standardized test scores don’t tell the entire story of a school, they give us an important piece to use for our continued improvement.
Scores reflect the school and local community
Finally, testing is one of the most efficient ways to communicate the success of a school to the local and state-wide community. Yes, there are many elements of a school that are very important that test scores don’t communicate: culture, environment, vision, values, etc., but a school report card is a quick glimpse into the academic performance of a school, which also reflects the surrounding community. At its most basic level, a successful school reflects a successful, prosperous neighborhood community.
I hope this has given you some insight into standardized testing from a school/teacher/leader perspective. I hope it helps you feel better about the time we spend testing students in the upcoming weeks. Most importantly, I hope it helps you encourage your student to do her/his best on any assessment – it really does matter.
Thank you Cedar Park parents!
- Replace old projectors in classrooms
- Lunch recess equipment (basketballs, soccer balls, etc.)
- Ear buds to support student testing
- Power cord strips for classrooms
Grant Money Brings Arts to Cedar Park
On March 22, Rainbow Dance Co. performed "iLumiDance Reavealed" to a gym full of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. This performance was made possible by a generous grant from Far West Recycling and an additional contribution by the Cedar Park Parent Teacher Club, using funds raised from the annual Fun Run.
The professional dancers lit up the darkened gym and appeared to "float" through the space. Students were inspired to express ideas through art and engineering. The show was a great combination of art and the engineering design process.
The students really enjoyed the portion of the show called "stick person" where a group of six students collaborated on a dance. After prototypes and practice, the lights went out and the stick person danced "Gangnam Style" as the audience roared in appreciation and acknowledgement for the hard work of student participants. It was clear that the performers enjoyed working together on a difficult task.
Thanks again to Far West Recycling, Young Audiences, and the PTC for their work and generous support bringing this professional art and engineering experience to Cedar Park students.
Student Art Calendar Contest
Each year, the Energy & Resource Conservation Department hosts a Student Art Calendar Contest designed to promote resource conservation at school and in our daily lives. Any student, K-12, in Beaverton School District is encouraged to submit artwork to be considered for the calendar. Calendar entries are selected by a panel of regional waste reduction and resource conservation professionals. The student artists whose work is selected receive a copy of the completed calendar in June each year. The contest theme and submission information will be released on March 12th. Click here to get to the webpage.
Creating a safe learning environment is a critical part of helping each child achieve academic success. SafeOregon is a statewide school safety tip line that gives kids, parents, schools and their communities a way to report safety threats or potential acts of violence. SafeOregon will give students another path for communicating with school administration when school safety incidents occur.
How does SafeOregon work?
Students, parents, and school staff can access SafeOregon through the web form on the SafeOregon website, or by text, email, live call and mobile app.
Why is there a need for a tip line system?
The number one reason why students do not report is the fear of retaliation from their peers. SafeOregon can be accessed from the privacy of a phone, home computer or other Internet equipped device, eliminating the possibility of being identified by another student and thus, decreasing the likelihood that a school safety threat would go unreported.
For more information, please visit the District’s SafeOregon Tipline webpage.
Parents! We need you!
One of our most important programs that encourages students to be college ready is in desperate need of volunteers to facilitate student study sessions in the afternoon on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday from 2:15 - 3:00. We will train any volunteer, and college students can actually get paid.
If you have time on any of these weekdays and are interested in working with great kids, please contact Rich Feely at email@example.com for more information.
Middle School Student Survey
Middle school students will be surveyed this year through StudentSource. The survey will be available in English and Spanish. The survey window is April 9 - June 15.
Please communicate the following to parents prior to the survey.
Each year the District surveys students, staff, and parents to gather information for planning, program evaluation, and assessment of progress on the District's Strategic Plan.
The student survey takes about 20 minutes during the regular school day. The data gathered from the survey are anonymous; your child will not put his/her name or other identifying information on the survey. Like other surveys, results will be presented only about groups.. No individual data will be reported.
Student surveys of middle and high schools include three optional questions for students to identify their gender, ethnicity / race, and sexual orientation. These questions allow for additional levels of analysis of questions on inclusion, safety and bullying.
Your child may skip questions or stop filling out the survey at any time. Refusing to participate or withdrawing from the survey does not affect your child's grades or class standing in any way. If you or your child does not want to participate, your child can read or do some other activity while his or her classmates complete the survey.
After reviewing the survey, if you do not want your child to participate, please notify <insert school contact information>.
Encuesta Anual de Estudiantes
Cada año, el distrito lleva a cabo encuestas para los estudiantes y el personal con el fin de obtener información para la planificación y la evaluación del programa así como del progreso del Plan Estratégico del Distrito.
La encuesta de estudiantes toma aproximadamente 20 minutos durante el día escolar. La información que obtengamos de la encuesta es anónima; su hijo no incluirá su nombre o cualquier información de identificación en la encuesta. Al igual que otras encuestas, los resultados que se presentan son sólo acerca de los grupos. No se proporcionará información de su estudiante.
Las encuestas del estudiante de las escuelas de secundaria y preparatoria incluyeron tres preguntas opcionales para los estudiantes identificar su género, grupo étnico/raza, e inclinación sexual. Estas preguntas permiten niveles de análisis adicionales en cuanto a la inclusión, la seguridad y la intimidación.
Su hijo puede no contestar las preguntas o dejar de contestar la encuesta en cualquier momento. El negarse a participar en la encuesta o no terminar de contestarla, no afecta las calificaciones o rango de su hijo. Si usted o su hijo no quieren participar, su hijo puede leer o hacer alguna otra actividad, mientras que sus compañeros de clase completan la encuesta.
Una copia en blanco de la encuesta, está disponible en la escuela de su hijo y se encuentra publicada en
Después de revisar la encuesta, si usted no quiere que su hijo participe, por favor notifique a <insert school contact information>
Latino Night and Family Fun Night are coming April 12!
Latino night is from 5:00-6:00- topics will include 6th grade Outdoor School, forecasting, and other topics. There will be time for general questions and answers, as well.
Family fun night is from 6:00- 7:30. Teachers host a variety of fun activities in classrooms, from Kahoot with prizes, and "escape room," to board games and Sphero robots. There will be a concession stand at Family Fun Night, as well. We'll have pizza, chips, treats/candy, water, and soda available for purchase.
Students need a full day of learning
Important Volunteer Reminders
Volunteers are an important part of the WE in the District’s goal of WE empower all students to achieve post-high school success. Thank you very much for sharing your valuable time and talents with students and staff.
As a reminder, for the safety and welfare of students and staff, ALL volunteer activities must be coordinated and tracked through myvolunteerpage.com, the District’s online volunteer management system. Volunteers must sign in and sign out through the volunteer computer located in the school front office.
To use the computer sign in, you need the username and password you created for the Volunteer and Background Check Application process. To retrieve, or reset either of these, go to myvolunteerpage.com and click on the “Forgot Username or Password” link. Your username and a temporary password will be emailed to you. To create a new permanentpassword, click on the “My Profile” tab on your myvolunteerpage.com home page. Please write down and save these for future use.
Parent/Guardian Volunteers, your Myvolunteerpage profile is NOT linked to your student(s) information and will not follow you to different locations. If you would like to add or remove a school from your profile, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating the changes you would like made.
If you are no longer volunteering, you can also email email@example.com and indicate that you would like to remove your profile from the system.
Please note, your volunteer profile will be archived if you have not logged hours on your profile, or have not signed in through the volunteer computer for two (2) years after initially being cleared by the District to volunteer.
Talking Points: How to talk to your middle schooler
Asking “How was school today” might not get you very far. Instead, ask questions like these for a better picture of your student’s day:
“What is the coolest think that happened? What wasn’t cool about school?”
“Pretend you are the teacher. How would you describe your day?”
“What made you laugh?”
“What was the most creative thing you did?"
“How were you kind and helpful today? How was someone kind or helpful to you?”
Beaverton High Cheerleading Tryouts
Shannon McCauley is the Head Cheerleading Coach at Beaverton High School. Cheerleading Tryouts are coming up!
*Tryout Packet online at https://www.leaguelineup.com/handouts.asp?url=beavertoncheer
*Open Practices: April 2nd, 5th, 9th, 12th, 16th, and 19th
*Tryouts: April 25th-27th
*Must have parent permission slip (included in tryout packet) and physician physical to participate in open practices and tryouts if new to BHS
*BHS Cheer Instagram: @beavertonhigh.cheer
*BHS Cheer Website: https://www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=beavertoncheer
*BHS Cheer FB: https://www.facebook.com/beavertonHScheer/home
*Questions? Contact Coach Shannon at firstname.lastname@example.org
Band, Choir or Drama Photo's?
Our yearbook advisor, Kate Hitsman is searching for band, choir and drama photos that parents may have taken during performances. If you have some photo's you would like to share please contact Kate at:
6th Grade Outdoor School is Coming Up!
Attention all 6th grade families: mark these important dates!
Drop off times for packed belongings
Since students leave EARLY Monday morning, we need all supplies dropped off BEFORE the Monday students leave for camp. Please drop off your child’s belongings at one of these two times ONLY, in a specially designated area for your child’s team (you’ll be directed to the location once you are at school). All items need to be clearly marked with your child’s name (first, last, and team name) in marker or on masking tape.
Friday, May 18th between 4:00-4:30 pm
Sunday, May 20th between 3:00-4:30 pm
May 21-23- 6th grade outdoor school
May 24-Non-student/Teacher day for students and teachers attending outdoor school
We are excited to announce the locations for this year's 6th Grade Outdoor School:
Team Yukon-(link to camp info) Magruder
Team Limerick-(link to camp info) Trickle Creek
Team Amazon-(link to camp info)Cedar Ridge
We encourage all families to visit the NW Outdoor School Science Website (www.nwoutdoorschool.org). Check out answers to Frequently Asked Questions, preview important forms that you will be filling out (we will send you these forms in a packet except for the handbook...don't print them out), and learn (link) how to send your children mail while they at camp!
ODS registration packets will be sent home with students within the next two weeks. If you do not have internet access and need a paper copy of documents provided to you, please contact your child’s teacher and notify them, as follows:
Yukon/SCC- Contact Mary DeLong
Amazon-Contact Bianca McGrew
Limerick/EGC- Contact Darla McClelland
What does respect look like?
Your student’s daily dealings with adults and kids alike will be more pleasant if they speak and act respectfully. Try these tips for helping him/her learn respect:
Respectful replies. Think about something that you and your student disagree on (say, whether the video game time should be limited). Model having a respectful discussion about it. You might say that the brain and body are growing and that playing outside and getting physical activity is needed to stay healthy. Then, suggest a respectful response, such as, “I want to be healthy, but I love video games." Have your student brainstorm other situations where people have different opinions but still speak to each other with respect.
Everyday acts. When you mow the lawn or clean up after your dog, you can teach your child about respect with your neighbors. Explain that keeping your neighborhood clean and neat makes it nice for everyone. Ask them to think of other respectful things that neighbors should do. If you share an apartment laundry room, you might say that you respect neighbors’ time by removing the clothes from the dryer so others can use the machines.