April 03, 2019
While springtime brings longer days and hopefully warmer weather, it also brings with it our mandated Ohio standardized tests. All students in grades 5-8 will once again take the Ohio AIR exam in Math and English Language Arts. In addition, students in grades 5 and 8 will take a science exam. The maximum amount of tests taken by any student in grades 5-8 is three. As with last year, students will be testing in an online format using Chromebooks.
Standardized testing remains a controversial subject and an unfortunate part of modern American education. Schools often are forced to focus heavily on these tests as they serve as the primary evaluative measure for districts. Despite the disparity of financial resources between various districts in Ohio, we all are judged by the same performance measures. Considering the resource disadvantages that face many schools in our region of the state, the teachers and staff members of Eastern Local Schools have done exceptionally well in providing our students with a quality education. We also greatly appreciate the support of parents and families and the role that each of you play in the academic successes of your child. Together, we all make a difference for our students every day!
For your convenience, the testing schedule for grades 5-8 (including grades 3 & 4) has been placed on the reverse side of this letter. In addition, it is available on our website at www.easternlocal.com. Despite the controversies around standardized testing, the data gained from student performance scores is valuable in making instructional decisions and working to improve student academic outcomes. The data is often used to help in structuring class schedules and, when applicable, in making decisions regarding promotion, placement, and retention of students that are struggling to be successful in the classroom. It would be beneficial to your student(s) if you are able to discuss the upcoming testing schedule with them, how they are preparing, and what other factors can have an effect on performance (e.g. getting enough sleep, eating a good breakfast, etc.)
Because of the limited amount of time to administer all of the tests required, attendance during the testing time (especially on testing days) is very important. As testing is primarily done during the morning hours, it is also important that students are in homeroom prior to the tardy bell. It is also important that students put forth their best effort in completing these tests as they provide valuable data about student learning needs and achievement levels. This information also assists teachers and administration in making decisions regarding scheduling and placement. As a salute to their prompt attendance and hard work, students who are present (and on time) for all test days, and give their best effort on each test, will be given a ticket to attend an ice cream party after the testing window is complete. In addition, students who score at least proficient and/or raise their performance score from the previous year’s test by at least 15 points (per administered test) or average an increase of 15 points across all tests, will have the opportunity to attend a free “fun day” at the Fun Barn in Nelsonville, OH at the beginning of next school year (Date and time TBD)!
We appreciate your child’s involvement in this process and look forward to their feedback, as well as feedback from parents, regarding the online assessments. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the school at (740) 985-3304
Principal, Eastern Middle School