Dear Grade 4 Parents,
In anticipation of severe weather expected for Tuesday, March 19, 2013 and might result in numerous school closings and delayed openings, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has made the decision to postpone the administration of the Grade 4 Long Composition Assessment to Monday, March 25, 2013. This new date maintains the security of the Long Composition Prompt and ensures testing is equitable among all fourth grade classrooms in Massachusetts.
Please be sure your grade 4 student attends school on Monday, March 25, 2013, to participate in this important assessment event.
All other MCAS testing dates are as follows:
- Grade 5-Wednesday, March 20 & Thursday, March 21
- Grade 4-Long Composition Monday, March 25
- Grade 3-Tuesday, March 26 & Wednesday, March 27
- Grade 4-Tuesday, April 2 & Wednesday, April 3
Thank you for your support and understanding!
Fox Hill School
Massachusetts is one of 43 states who have adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to guide and shape curriculum, teaching and learning. Our new report card was developed using the Common Core State Standards and reflect what we are teaching and children are expected to be learning in each grade. The CCSS were developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association of Best Practices in partnership with a wide variety of educators and parents. Massachusetts was a leader and a key participant in developing CCSS due to the fact that Massachusetts has some of the most rigorous learning standards in the United States since Educational Reform Act in 1990. Many of Massachusetts past educational learning standards are integrated into the CCSS, however, there are some key and important changes in the new CCSS. First, the CCSS has established higher reading expectations and benchmarks by expecting students to be more proficient in reading books with increased text complexity. Second, CCSS expect and require students to engage more with informational text (50% by Grade 4) and write about information obtained from non-fiction text with increased understanding and proficiency. Third, CCSS expect and require students to master fewer math concepts but expect students to manipulate numbers mentally to engage in math reasoning by explaining their understanding of numbers and math in writing. Writing about math and how to solve math problems requires deep understanding of math concepts and their relationship to each other.
Below is an excellent video created in New York City Public Schools that summarizes some of the important components in the CCSS along with how teachers are adjusting and adapting their teaching to meet the demands of the CCSS. New York is also an adopter of the CCSS.
Response to Intervention is a system of student support that relies heavily on strong leadership, family engagement, professional development, fidelity of implementation, and a school culture that values student growth and achievement. While no one support area is more important than the other and each support area is dependent upon the other, collaborative school/family problem-solving is a critical and powerful process to a successful response to intervention support system.
The Problem-Solving Team and Problem-Solving Process at Fox Hill School is the collaborative school/family support system made up a group of adults from a variety of disciplines that include the student’s parents. A problem-solving team session is requested by a staff member or a parent when a student does not respond over time to intervention. If a problem-solving session is needed, the student’s parents are invited to collaborate with the classroom teacher, grade level teachers, school psychologist, guidance counselor, reading specialist, a special education teacher, and the principal to identify the area of academic need, develop learning goals, select specific interventions, and set a time frame to monitor progress.
The Problem-Solving Team is a necessary and powerful component prior to a request for a special education evaluation. Fox Hill School conducts weekly problem-solving team meetings to address student needs. Its success rate is high for meeting student needs and stimulating growth in the core curriculum. Any parent wishing to understand more about the problem solving process is welcome to view the video clip for the Department of Education in Colorado: Response to Intervention – Meeting the Needs of All Students. This video clip is an excellent explanation and representation of what the problem-solving process looks like at Fox Hill School. Any parent with any further questions is welcome to contact the principal at EJohnson@bpsk12.org.