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CAM Readies for Iowa Assessments

Beginning on March 5th all buildings in the CAM Community School District will be starting Iowa Assessments, the State of Iowa’s yearly testing that evaluates our students progress in English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies.  Through work with teachers, we’re working to optimize student performance on these assessments in a variety of ways.

 

Goal Setting

In each building the staff have been working with students to set goals for this year, based on their scores last year. Teachers are having conversations about the importance of doing their very best each year to give us an accurate picture of where the students are and where the district is each year. College and Career Readiness benchmarks are set for each grade level and teachers are working with students to map out progress towards hitting that mark in each subject area.

 

The buildings are administering age-appropriate testing samples from Iowa Assessments to students and reviewing good test taking strategies in each of the tests.  A look at how many questions it takes to meet your goal is something the middle school and high school are looking at as well.

 

Iowa Western Community College (IWCC) Classes, Open Campus and incentives

For high school students wanting to take IWCC classes the State of Iowa requires students to be proficient in Reading and Math and CAM High School’s open campus policy hinges on proficiency and/or improvement in scores to earn open campus.

 

Iowa Assessments also give a range for the student’s potential ACT score at that moment in time.  This is valuable information moving forward to see what areas they need to improve on as they go through high school if they’re looking at ever enrolling into a two or four year college or trade school. 

 

All buildings are promoting incentives for improving performance, tying fun days or time off to class, group or individual performance.

 

What parents can do

  • Talk to their students about doing their absolute best and listening to the ideas, and strategies posed by their teachers.
  • Have them off all electronic devices after they go to bed so that they get a full 7-8 hours sleep.  Focus to do the reading and analyze questions is nearly impossible if the student is not well rested.
  • Reinforce that the tests are meaningful and not something to just get out of the way.
  • Talk to them about their goals and some of the things they have been discussing in school.  We have collectively addressed this issue, and will continue to, up until the tests are delivered.  Strong parental backing is vital to our efforts for the students to do their best, which is all we expect.

Reviewing Results

In the Spring we will send test scores home and next year they will be part of both Fall and Spring conferences, setting the stage for student’s post-secondary plans and getting prepared for next year’s round of testing. 

 

How does the district use the scores?

We annually look over the scores and use them in aligning curriculum; looking at skill deficits and building them into curriculum; who needs accelerated work and who may be in line for special education services.  Looking at the skill deficits also points to changes we have to consider in programing and ultimately instruction in the classroom and group interventions.  For the past three years the state releases an annual report card on how we do in each building, and that data is poured over and looked at as well.

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CAM Community Schools1000 Victory Park RoadAnita, IA  50020

PH: 712-762-3238

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