Area schools are holding meetings to prepare parents for test results from new, more rigorous exams that elementary and middle school students took last spring.
The score reports are presented differently from LEAP and iLEAP exams, and principals will give a walk-through on how to read the reports and better understand what the score means, said Kaye Victorian, principal of Green T. Lindon Elementary in Youngsville.
Each elementary and middle school in Lafayette Parish has planned its own meeting with parents in anticipation of the release of student results next week. Students took the PARCC — Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers — test in the content areas of math and English and took the iLEAP or LEAP in social studies and science.
The new tests are part of the state’s transition to more-rigorous exams and higher expectations of students. The new tests are aligned with the Common Core State Standards, benchmarks for learning that also required tweaks to the curriculum to focus on critical and conceptual thinking rather than rote learning and reflect this shift with a move away from multiple-choice tests.
The Louisiana Department of Education provided school districts with resources to help parents understand the changes and how to review their student’s results to identify areas of strengths and where a student needs additional help.
Victorian, who meets with parents on Thursday, said she wants them to know there’s a network of support to ensure their child succeeds.
“I want them to know that we’re all working together as a team, no matter what test we take, that our ultimate goal is to have the best educated students we can. We do that through teamwork — teacher, parent and student,” she said.
For the past two years, the Lafayette Parish School System has held an Academic Super Bowl to provide parents with more resources and instructional examples of what students are learning in the classroom during the initial implementation of Common Core. As part of the event, students explained how to work math problems or demonstrated other hands-on learning projects. Teachers were on hand to advise parents on strategies for helping with homework and the resources available through the school system.
There isn’t funding to produce the event this year, though additional resources are available to parents at the school system’s Parent Resource Center, said Kelly Gonzalez, the school system’s parent involvement coordinator. Gonzalez provides parents materials to help with homework, including learning activities, and provides parents tips and model ways to help their children with their homework. The Parent Resource Center is located in the Vermilion Conference Center, 326 Gauthier Road.
Last month, the Education Department released district results on the new exams. Last week, high schools received their performance scores based in part on students’ end-of-course test exam results.
Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter, @Marsha_Sills.