Thursday, March 26, 2015

March 26, 2015

Dear Families,

As you’ve probably heard from your children, Maine schools are giving the Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) for students in grades 3-8. This assessment satisfies the federal requirement under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) for Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA)/Literacy and Science.

This year’s MEA is different from its previous version, the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP). First, the MEA includes computer adaptive tests. The adaptive tests are customized based on a student’s answers, meaning when your child answers a question the next item in the assessment will closely follow his/her skill level thereby providing a more accurate measurement of your child’s achievement. Second, the MEA includes performance tasks. In these tasks students will be given real-world problems to solve that demonstrate their thinking skills. Third, the MEA is aligned to the revised Maine Learning Results. As stated by the Maine Department of Education, these educational standards “emphasize more complex content and concepts and the development of needed real-world skills like problem-solving, collaboration, critical thinking and communication.”

The testing window for students at NCS is April 1st - May 8th. Your child’s teacher will inform you of the specific dates your child will be taking the MEA. You can help prepare your child to do his/her very best by doing the following:

  • Explain the purpose of the test.  It is an opportunity for your child to show what they have learned in school.
  • Let your child know that you consider the test important.
  • Be sure that your child gets plenty of sleep and eats a nourishing breakfast.
  • Be sure your child is at school on time.
  • Remember to ask your child about the testing at the end of each day.

At NCS we know that standardized assessment offers important and objective data to help us measure our students’ achievement. But we also know that a standardized test cannot capture what makes each of our students special - from their many academic talents to all the awesome and amazing qualities that make each one a unique human being. This test is part of a much bigger picture, and we want to assure you that we look at the whole child in our full range of programs and assessments. If you have questions or concerns, please contact your child’s classroom teacher or me.

Best regards,
Ann Hassett

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