Dear SJS Parents/Guardians,
During the week of March 5 - March 9, we will be administering the Iowa Assessments in grades 1st through 8th, the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) in grades 2, 5, and 7, and the ACRE (Assessment of Catechesis and Religious Education) in grades 5 and 8. Testing will be from 8:30-11:00. It’s critical to have your child arrive on time during our testing week. Late students will be held in the office until the end of the testing section and have to make up what they miss during an otherwise free-time.
About the Iowa, CogAT, and ACRE
The Iowa Assessments help determine how students are performing on national standards. These assessments measure achievement in several core content areas including Reading, English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. The Iowa and CogAT help teachers identify a student’s strengths and areas that may need additional support. The Iowa Assessments also measure student growth and progress in the content areas assessed from year to year, compare student performance with national groups, and evaluate programs and effectiveness of curricular changes. Test results do not have an impact on a students’ grades and his/her ability to move on to the next grade level.
How to prepare your child for standardized test taking?
• Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and eats a healthy breakfast before each day of testing.
• Make sure that your child is in school and on time on test days. Reschedule dentist appointments and other out-of-school time to non-testing days.
• Remind your child that these tests are only one measure of what he or she has already learned.
• Be positive and don’t fret. Your child will likely have some nervousness about the tests, but please be sure to encourage positivity and a “can do” attitude.
Please remember to pack extra #2 pencils, healthy snacks, and a book for your child to read silently after completing his or her test(s). Students will be asked to remain at their desks quietly until everyone has finished testing. Check out our website under “Counselor Corner” for additional “testing tips” and how to manage “test anxiety.” Also, feel free to contact me for additional questions or concerns about testing at email@example.com. Thank you very much for encouraging and supporting your child during the testing week. TOGETHER WE WILL ROCK THESE TESTS!!!
Peace in Christ,
Julie Nguyen/School Counselor
Please check out the following website on how to help anxious children cope with test anxiety.
Helping Kids Be Nutrition Conscious
adapted from Boys & Girls Learn Differently by the Gurian Institute
Remember to encourage and provide "brain-friendly" foods for your child which included: blueberries, eggs, avocados, oranges, bananas, romaine lettuce, oatmeal, spinach, milk, tuna, peanut butter, yogurt, brown rice, lean beef, broccoli, and salmon.
Encourage a breakfast rich in protein and low in carbs to get children off to a good start for their day.
Encourage eating slowly-the body/brain signal to stop eating may take up to 20 minutes to engage.
Help kids learn to recognize "bad words" on labels when they are shopping with mom and dad-like: high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated, etc.
Encourage grazing-which is healthier than eating three big meals each day. Grazing on healthy snacks (fresh food, nuts, eggs, cheese cubes) fuel the body and encourage moderation.
Encourage participation in at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Give children access to drinking lots of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration.
Since October is National Anti-Bullying Awareness Month, our school will participate in various age-appropriate lessons and activities related to the topic of Bullying. For the Middle Schoolers, I will implement Christ-centered bullying prevention lessons that provide students in Middle School with strategies and interventions to prevent bullying from occurring at our school. The Peace Be With You, is a Christ-Centered Bullying Prevention approach enhanced with Scripture, morality, theology, and a spirituality rooted in doctrinal statements and teachings. Students in elementary will receive lessons about bucket filling and learn of ways they can be bucket fillers by giving others sincere praise, compliments, accepting smiles, and displaying concerned interest.
As parents and educators, developing Christian character in our students is part of our mission. We must collaborate to prevent, recognize, and efficiently address bullying behaviors if it occurs. However, it's important not to overuse and mislabel the acts of "bullying." It is natural that children will experience challenges and sometimes make poor choices along the way in their treatment of others. As we coach them through disagreements and conflicts, it is vital that we recognize that they are all learning and will make mistakes along the way. There will be teasing, times when someone is feeling left out, days when they won’t share the swings, etc. But remember that bullying is when children have an understanding and intent to cause harm to another child repeatedly, and it usually involves an imbalance of power and is aggressive.
Our faculty and I will continue to encourage respectful, caring relationships among our students and school family. I hope that you will find opportunities to share in this dialogue at home with your children and support the bullying prevention strategies that we have in place at SJCPS. As always, please feel free to call, or email me if you have concerns about bullying or any friendship/relationship issues that I can help address. I'm confident that with a strong, caring, Christ-centered home/school partnership, we can all work together to maintain a school environment where all our students feel happy, holy, and helpful.
Saint Joseph Catholic Parish School