March 15, 2017
Thoughts from Tuesday Night
Dear Loma and CT Parents and Guardians:
Weather Related News
The Board of Trustees has formally approved our application for an attendance waiver for the three days we were closed due to emergency storm conditions. This form was submitted to the County Office of Education requesting that our schools be exempt from having to “make-up” the three days of instruction at the end of the planned school year. California state law dictates that schools be in session 180 days. In addition, there are required minimum numbers of instructional minutes by grade level. We always deliver more than the minimum number of required instructional minutes and will still be in compliance even if we are only in session 177 days. If our request is granted as anticipated, we will conclude our year as planned on June 8th. Fingers crossed!
Spring Assessments Coming Soon
It feels like spring! In the world of education, spring also signals the beginning of California state assessments. This spring, our 3rd through 8th grade students will again participate in the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System, which is California’s statewide testing program. The tests in the CAASPP System provide information to teachers, parents/guardians, and students about students’ progress and readiness for college and career. Both schools will begin testing in April. The tests are not timed, and we want kids to take all the time they need to do their best.
Standardized tests provide a snap shot of our students’ performance relative to others in the state on a set of common tools. These assessments are not designed to be the “gold standard” of testing. They are one measurement among others that we use to both validate and adjust our programmatic efforts. This year marks the beginning of the final shift away from the older “STAR” testing format in science to the new web-based science assessment.
This year, your child will take the following assessments:
Grades 3 through 8:
Smarter Balanced online tests for ELA and Mathematics
Grades 5 and 8:
Smarter Balanced new online test for Science (pilot year)
Smarter Balanced Assessments
The California Department of Education (CDE) has developed several resources to help students and parents understand the grade expectations of the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments:
The Parent Guides to the Smarter Balanced Assessments (in English and Spanish) are posted on the CDE’s CAASPP Web page, under the Students and Parents Tab, at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/index.asp?tabsection=3#ssr. Separate guides have been developed for each of the three grade spans tested: grades 3–5, grades 6–8, and grade 11. Each guide explains the grade-level expectations for students in ELA and mathematics and provides sample test items.
The practice and training tests, which can be found on the CDE’s Smarter Balanced Practice and Training Tests Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sa/practicetest.asp, can help parents and students experience the type of test items that students will encounter on the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments. Answers to the practice test and scoring rubrics for the performance tests are posted on the Test Administrator (TA) Resources for the Smarter Balanced Practice and Training Tests Web page at http://www.caaspp.org/ta-resources/practice-training.html.
• For information about the content, types of questions, and other targeted resources for the science tests, please see the CDE’s CAASPP Science Assessment Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/caasppscience.asp.
• If you would like more information about the CAASPP System, please visit the Parent/Student tab of the CDE’s CAASPP Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/index.asp?tabsection=3#ssr.
Water Testing Update
As a district, we operate our own water treatment system which is monitored by the State Water Board using an external testing company. We were recently notified that in December, our water quality assurance provider failed to test our system for nitrates as annually required. Even though this failure was not an emergency, as our customers, you have a right to know that we did not meet our monitoring requirements. Staff completed the testing immediately after we were notified and no nitrates were found in our water system. For more information, you can see the official notice here: https://www.loma.k12.ca.us/Page/118
Wild Times @ CT English MS
Early Release EVERY Wednesday @ 1:30 pm
3/24/17 CT Spring Dance 7-9pm Loma Forum
3/24/17 End of 3rd Quarter grading period
3/25/17 Family Science Day-Loma Blacktop & Forum
3/28/17 8th grade student & parent Washington DC mtg. 7pm Loma Forum
4/3/17through 4/7/17 Spring Break-NO SCHOOL