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Our Week Ahead: October 11-15

Farmers MarketI hope you had a chance to enjoy the weekend weather…either by being outside or sitting very close to an open window.  My own children, both in high school, had their homecoming weekend which meant great weather for a Friday football gameHomecoming Bookends(me, cheering on the Eagles and they cheering on the Panthers), Saturday’s farmer’s market plus homecoming dance photos

Beeach Walk

and a Sunday family walk on the beach.  I had to remind myself all weekend long that it was October NOT June!

We have the luxury of enjoying a few more days like this during the front end of our week.  By Thursday, it may feel more like October again.

This week, we begin MEAP testing and this continues through October 20.  Please make sure your children in grades 3-5 are present everyday so that they can take their tests as scheduled.   We are allowed make up testing dates for children who are ill and we will make sure that all children complete their tests before the mandatory return date.

If you would like to know more about the MEAP tests, visit the MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SITE. These test results are a significant part of our school grade which is published in the paper and used for comparison and ranking against other schools state wide.  It goes without saying that your child’s performance on these tests are critical.  We hope that one day, the state will determine a way in which we can incorporate performance results for each child throughout the year rather than on 5-8 days alone in early fall.  I am always hopeful that this is in our future because our children and teachers work hard year long, year to year!

Here is a snapshot of the week ahead.  Enjoy the weather while it lasts.

Mrs. Reagan

Blog 10-11

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Students in grades 3, 4 and 5 will be taking the state assessment test (MEAP) beginning October 13.  Testing dates are also as follows:  October 15, October 20 and October 22.  A specific schedule of content area testing per grade can be viewed on an earlier post:  MEAP 2009

All students must be present during the full testing period on each of these four days.  If a student misses any portion of the test (due to late arrival or early departure), this student must retake the test on another day–even if they completed a portion. If your child is sick on a testing day, KEEP THEM HOME FROM SCHOOL!  We are allowed make-up dates and we will make sure your child is able to take the test on one of these dates.

Please understand that these guidelines come to us from the MEAP testing department.  To help your child do their very best, please have them attend school during the full time yesterday.   Specific times for each grade can be viewed below.

MEAP schedule

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Upcoming MEAP Tests

Each year, our students in grades 3, 4, and 5 take the state MEAP Tests.  This test also takes place in grades 6-7 and grade 9.  All MEAP testing will take place on mandated days this year.  The schedule is posted below.

Please avoid scheduling appointments on testing days.  If your child leaves prior to finishing a test, the test will be invalidated and the test will have to be retaken on the mandated re-test days.

We would like to ask all parents to make sure your child gets plenty of rest and a healthy breakfast.  We encourage each child to put forth their best effort on this test.  The information we receive helps us to re-adjust our instruction and it also is used to calculate a grade for our overall school performance in academics.
MEAP Schedule

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MEAP Scores: How We Compare!

The intermediate school districts of Ottawa and Kent have compiled MEAP scores for 31 districts they serve.  As  you look at this ranking, you will see that Hudsonville consistently posts scores in the 90’s.  Our students and teachers continue work exceptionally hard to master the curriculum and show this understanding on district and state assessments.  We are very proud of the results!  If you are interested in finding out more about the MEAP assessments, check the MDE website.  To view our scores, click: MEAP county-scores

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Celebrating Our MEAP Scores

The Michigan Department of Education has finally given us permission to release our MEAP scores.  These were published in the press last week, and I would like to share our results with you!  You can view this year scores in comparison to 2006 and 2007 by clicking on the attached document:  MEAP Results 08

We are very proud of the way in which our students performed.  We opened our school in the fall of 2006–with students coming from 7 + different schools (with varied curriculum and instruction) and staff from 4 + schools.  You can see that each year, our curriculum approach has tightened and this is evident by scores that have gone up every year, and scores that remain in the 90% percentile ranking.  The teachers at Georgetown are focused on best practice instruction and our students in all grades put their very best in working hard and learning well!  We are very proud of them.

We have focused very intensively on writing these past three years.  We have celebrated every gain and have noticed that our students have improved exponentially on their school writing assessments.  In some cases, we have seen students improve their scores low to high within one year.  This is due to our work on the craft of writing (Lucy Calkin’s Writing Program) and our focus on student’s owning their writing progress (rubric bases assessment).

We have, however, been very frustrated by the scores we have received from the state.  Although the state has shown that we have improved, none (that means zero) of our students have received a proficient score of ONE (1) in spite of their incredible improvement on our assessments.  It is important to note that throughout our district, not ONE student received a proficient score in grades 3-8.

As a teacher of writing, a writing trainer, and an advocate for writing to teach other subjects, I have been extremely frustrated with the inconsistent writing results.  I was even more frustrated when I found out that student papers received only one reading last year.  In the past, papers received a reading by two assessors–and any papers that had a discrepant score were read by another assessor.

I was happy to hear that our state Superintendent Mike Flanagan listened to many of our concerns about these results that lacked reliability and integrity.  The writing portion of the MEAP will be re-evaluated and retooled so that the results indicate true writing strengths beginning in the fall of 2010.  To find out more about the flaws in the writing assessment, read this excellent article by a west Michigan parent and writer.

Writing will be a focus of improvement at our school in all grades, every year.  We are amazed by the writing (essays, memoirs, personal narratives and poetry) that our students in grades K-5 are producing.  To view their published work, visit our school storefront at In addition, we will be celebrating our writing school wide the week of May 4th with stories published on lockers, walls, and monitors.  We will be reading stories over the intercom and performing stories with a star studded cast.  More about this event is found here:  JUST WRITE. Remember, if you have something to say…JUST WRITE!