In recent weeks there has been a lot of attention concerning standardized testing in the state of California. Last month Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 484, which means that students, on the whole, will no longer be tested on the California Standards Tests (CST) and the California Modified Assessment (CMA) in English Language Arts, Mathematics and History/Social Science. Instead, students will participate in a field test of the California Measurement of Academic Performance and Progress (MAPP) assessments in English/Language Arts and Mathematics.
The changes to the testing program will allow LAUSD to prepare for the upcoming computerized assessments aligning to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which will focus on the 21st century skills that today’s students need: communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. To support this effort, we will be giving writing assessments or performance tasks in all grades in ELA and Mathematics twice a year. These assessments are aligned with the CCSS and will allow students and teachers to experience the types of questions that will be asked on the new Smarter Balanced assessments, expected to be in place for the 2014-2015 school year.
This month I would also like to thank all of our parents who attended our bi-annual parent conference night. It was a well-attended evening that provided parents the opportunity to check on their child’s progress in class. If you were not able to attend or feel you need additional time, please feel free to contact the counseling office to schedule an appointment during the school day. All teachers have a daily, dedicated conference period in which they are able to meet with parents in person or by telephone. It is critical that we maintain constant communication between the school and home.
To further support your child’s academic progress, I ask that you continue to check agendas on a daily basis. This valuable tool informs parents and reminds students of critical information and upcoming events. For example, many teachers have students use their agenda to write the dates of upcoming tests, quizzes, projects, and essays. Agendas also help students monitor their progress of meeting the standards in their core classes.
As we are nearly three fourths of the way through the first semester, I would like to remind all parents the 15-week progress reporting period will occur during the second week of November. Students will hand carry the report cards home the week of November 12. Aside from Jupiter Grades, this will be the last reporting period before the final report card is issued in December. It is my goal to have all students maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average with no unsatisfactory mark (i.e., U) in work habits or cooperation.
I would like to end by once again thanking you for all of your continued support as we work diligently to build an academic foundation that will last a lifetime.
Principal & Dodson Alumni