Dear District 44 Families,
As you may recall from our message just prior to the start of school, a major focus for our district is building meaningful and lasting connections with our students. We truly believe that the relationship between a teacher and a student is the foundation to success and what will allow for your children to have the best social, emotional and academic experiences in our school.
To demonstrate our level of commitment to this critical focus, we wanted to share with you today that we are currently in the process of evaluating the amount of testing that occurs in our classrooms. Assessments are an essential component to us understanding the growth of our students; however, they must not be the driving force behind the way in which we teach. There is much to learn about your child outside of their test scores that helps us understand who they are as people and how they are progressing through their academic year.
Given this, one assessment we have decided to disband is the Fall MAP assessment. The fall testing window has not provided us with a meaningful snapshot given how early on it has been typically administered into the school year. Furthermore, it also has added unnecessary pressure to our students who are still settling into their year. Moving forward, we will utilize Spring Map data, looking at a student’s growth from Spring-to-Spring instead of Fall-to-Spring.
Please note: If your child is new to the district, they will still take the Fall MAP, as we need that to serve as their baseline for growth this first year in District 44.
Recognizing this is typically the time of year that you would receive information about our yearly assessments, we wanted to make sure you were aware of this critical change and the rationale behind the decision. We are excited to spend more of our time focusing on developing that lasting connection with your child and less on preparing them for testing.