During the first weeks of schools, a lot of the focus in our classrooms is determining where students are in their learning, so that our teachers can tailor learning throughout the year. Elementary Assessment Day, which returned to Boulder Valley School District’s academic calendar this year after a two year hiatus, is meant to give teachers the time needed to complete this work.
At some schools, kindergarten through fifth-grade students will be asked to come to school for one-on-one or group assessments. At others, teachers will be using the time to analyze the data already collected this year.
Regardless we know that there has been some confusion around Elementary Assessment Day, so there are the top five things you need to know:
The goal is to improve, differentiate instruction for every student
Assessment is a key part of the learning that happens in our classrooms throughout the year. It is especially important at the beginning of each year, as teachers work to ascertain what strengths and challenges students have so that they can meet their needs over the course of the year.
Additional assessments are given along the way, so that instruction can be tailored, as well as towards the end of the year to capture whether the student and teacher met their objectives.
It is important to mention that state law requires testing at the beginning of the year for kindergartners as part of the READ Act and some elementary students are required to participate in the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) test.
Back on the schedule after a two year hiatus
While Elementary Assessment Day was not on the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 calendars, it has long been part of BVSD’s academic year. Elementary Assessment Day was placed back on Boulder Valley School District’s academic calendar this year at the request of elementary teachers, who felt that it provided them the time needed to focus on this important work.
- Schools, teachers have flexibility to structure the day to meet their community’s needs
Each school has the flexibility to approach Elementary Assessment Day in a way that meets the needs of their students and staff. Some plan to bring students in for assessments, offering appointments throughout the day for one-on-one or group assessments.
- Some services may not be available
There will be no transportation for elementary students on Elementary Assessment Day.
Before and After Care is available, but no child care will be provided during the school day.
Depending on the school, there may or may not be food service for elementary students. Check with your child’s school cafeteria for more information, including serving times and menu.
- Not all schools participate
Alicia Sanchez students will be off on September 13 because their teachers are participating in a professional development day focused on their turnaround work.
Additionally, BVSD charter schools do not participate and therefore will have a normal day of school.
Again, a child’s teacher or school should be providing additional information and the day’s schedule. Parents should consult with their school for specifics.