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This week our 2nd – 6th grade students are busy preparing for the upcoming ERB tests. I am visiting each classroom with the message of my confidence in their preparation and my encouragement to “Do their best on the test!” (Tomorrow ask them about the cool pencils and bookmarks). These tests are important in that they provide a snapshot in time on how our students are mastering the language arts and math skills for their grade level. We receive the student scores during the summer and carefully analyze the data for areas of strength as well as instructional content we need to continue to improve upon. You will also receive your child’s test results, with a comparison to national and independent school norms. All of this information is valuable on an individual student level, a grade level, and for the overall school. At the same time I will remind you that not all of our learning is measured on a standardized assessment. The critical thinking and work on depth and complexity that we are doing with USC is translated into overall learning but will not have a specific scoring component. It is important to remember that testing is one piece of information on the overall growth of your child for the year. As we prepare for the tests I am hopeful that you will do the same at home. Attached to this week’s newsletter and sent home today is an important parent letter on testing information and I encourage you to carefully read this for your child’s success next week. We are all looking forward to a good week of testing, and I thank the teachers and parents in advance for the work you are all doing to make sure we have a positive experience.