Why PRA Values CMAS

Dear PRA Parents and Guardians,

It is the time of year when we are preparing our students and the community for state standardized assessments. Our main focus is to work together to make this experience meaningful and purposeful for each and every student at PRA. As we approach our CMAS testing season, we want to thank you for your continued support of the PRA community, and underscore why test results are so important for all of us here at PRA.

As a staff, we spend time reviewing and analyzing our test results consistently to gain an understanding of what we are doing well, and where we can improve. In prior years, we have used results to improve in the areas of nonfiction text comprehension and math computation, just to name two examples. The only way we can continue to improve and ensure the validity of our results is if every student does their best on the test.

Secondly, standardized test scores are one of multiple factors in helping support student differentiation and meet students at their level to help close gaps and accelerate their learning.

In addition to data and support with student differentiation, it is equally important that we focus on high stakes testing. High stakes testing is a significant factor in college admissions, and is also an integral part of our academic culture. As such, we don’t want our students to wait until high school before they start taking tests seriously. On the contrary, now is the time for our students to put pressure on themselves to do well as “practice” for what is in store for them later in their educational and professional careers. If any of our students suffer from anxiety or poor test-taking habits, now is the time to discover ways we can support them and provide them tools to be successful.

As a staff that prides ourselves on high quality instruction, teacher accountability is essential to the success of our students. Teacher accountability helps us grow as a rigorous academic community. Test scores are a factor in our analysis of teacher and administrator effectiveness.

Which leads us to PRA pride! Our test scores are a direct reflection of Prospect Ridge Academy – the higher the scores, the higher our standing in the community. High-test scores bring with them recognition, funding, and affirmation of our commitment to academic success. Doing well on CMAS is a point of pride for our students, staff, and community, and helps us attract families who share our value of creating academic leaders.

Thank you in advance for your continued efforts in helping make PRA a great place for learning!

 

Regards,

K-8 Leadership Team

Kera, Sarah, Steve, Casey

PRA Pride

Our test scores are a direct reflection of Prospect Ridge Academy – the higher the scores, the higher our standing in the community. High-test scores bring with them recognition, funding, and affirmation of our commitment to academic success. This year we earned a John Irwin School of Excellence for our previous achievement, which is a validation on how we are helping our kids grow into responsible and productive adults. Doing well on CMAS helps us attract families who share our value of creating academic leaders. 

At PRA, we use our testing results to drive our decision making.  As a K-8 staff we spend time analyzing and discussing our assessment results to gain an understanding of our accomplishments and set goals for improvement. Data analysis can provide a snapshot of what students know, what they should know, and what can be done to meet their academic needs to reach their highest potential. With appropriate analysis and consistent interpretation of data, we can make informed decisions that positively affect student outcomes and overall growth. The only way we can continue to improve and ensure the validity of our results is if every student does their best on the test.

 

2019's math results in our middle school showed that, although we are growing as a school, it is time for us to refresh our program to better align with CCSS standards. Without changing our curricula, we are undergoing a curriculum alignment that will continue to push the boundaries of rigor while also spiraling in more traditional grade level content.

 

2019's math results in elementary showed that, we improved in both achievement and growth which is a celebration. Staff will be continuing to use our DDI (data-driven instruction) model to discuss specific performance on math units and skill development. 

 

2019's english language arts results in elementary showed that, we remain stable in achievement but dropped in growth.  After some analysis as a staff we attribute this drop primarily to the discrepancy in our reading and writing scores, with writing as an area of focus. Our newly approved and implemented writing curriculum materials are specifically designed to bolster student achievement in this area.

 

In addition to data and student placement, it is equally important we focus on high stakes testing. High stakes testing is a significant factor in college admissions, and is also an integral part of our academic culture. As such, we don’t want our students to wait until high school before they start taking tests seriously. On the contrary, now is the time for our students to put pressure on themselves to do well as “practice” for what is in store for them later in their educational careers. If any of our students suffer from anxiety or poor test-taking habits, now is the time to discover ways we can support them and provide them the tools to be successful. 

 

Test scores are a factor in student placement in classes as well. In addition to grades, community service, and other extracurricular activities, standardized test scores are an additional factor in placing students in the level of class that best suits their talents and abilities. 

Parents, if you do not want your student or students to CMAS test, please complete the opt out form below. 

CMAS Opt Out Form

As a staff that prides ourselves on high quality instruction, teacher accountability is essential to the success of our students. Teacher accountability helps us grow as a rigorous academic community. Test scores allow us to constructively reflect on our effectiveness as educators.