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    Dear Parents;
    We are about to begin a window of SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment) testing across the state.  I wanted to take a moment and share a few thoughts with you.

    The SBAC measures student learning and progress on new reading, writing, and mathematical standards that, in my opinion, are clearer, higher and of better quality for each grade level (3-8, 10).  While not perfect, having these standards in place are a good thing, as they provide focus, consistency, and measures for essential academic learning.  These standards and assessment results are still fairly new for our staff, so implementation is a work in progress.

    The SBAC results provide us with valuable academic information about our students, and for our continued growth and improvement.  Our pledge is that we will use this data to improve and hone our instructional program.  For this reason, we need every student to give it his or her very best effort.  Only then will we have valid data or information that is helpful for our work.

    Let us also keep this SBAC testing in perspective.  While it does measure academic learning for our students, it does not measure countless areas that make your child special and unique.  It won’t measure artistic talent, and how your child loves to dance, draw, or perform in a play.  It won’t measure athletic abilities, and how your child joyfully shoots hoops every night into well past dark.  It won’t measure your child’s compassion and kindness as they sit with a lonely classmate at lunch.  It won’t measure leadership skills and how your child facilitates a small group discussion at church, or leads a school drive for the local food bank, nor will it measure how your child took action on an eighth grade breakout project that actually improved our community.   It also can’t and won’t measure critical life skills like honesty, work ethic, teamwork, empathy, inquisitiveness, persistence, and so on.

    The scores we will receive will tell us/you some important aspects of your child’s academic progress, but it obviously won’t tell us/you everything.  Let’s remember that there are countless amazing, beautiful and awesome “things” that make up who your child is and is becoming.  Thankfully, these “things” cannot be measured on a standard based assessment.

    With Respect,

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