ITBS testing will begin next Monday, September 22, for all students in grades 2 through 8. The ITBS (Iowa Test of Basic Skills) is a standardized achievement test taken by students nationwide. The main purpose of the test is to provide the school with information that can be used to help teachers make sound educational decisions about student learning and curriculum development. The score results allow us to monitor our students' annual growth, and also help us identify areas of achievement as well as needed areas of meaningful improvement within the curriculum. Our commitment to our students inspires us to want to provide the strongest and most effective instruction possible. Standardized testing is an important component in the data that is continuously disaggregated and analyzed as learning outcomes are being measured.
We know from experience that teachers evaluate students by observing them in the classroom, evaluating their day-to-day classwork, grading their homework assignments and special projects, and administrating post-unit tests. These classroom assessments show the teacher how well a student is mastering grade level learning goals, and provide valuable information to the teacher that can be used to improve instruction. Standardized tests are yet another tool that is used to evaluate how students in a given class or school perform in relation to other students. Since the same test is given to a large number of students throughout the country, the results give school personnel a common yardstick or "standard" of measure to determine whether school programs are succeeding, as well as a "snapshot" of the skills and abilities of all its students.
The ITBS tests will begin promptly at 8:00 each morning. Because the tests are timed and administered in sequence, it is very important that our students arrive at school on time. Students who miss a section of the test may not have the opportunity to take a make-up test later. Accordingly, we ask that all medical, dental or personal appointments be scheduled for after-school hours. It is equally important that the students get plenty of sleep and eat a nutritious breakfast in the morning so they are alert and able to function at their best. Thank you for your cooperation regarding this matter.