Proficiency Newsletter

October 16, 2009

We are very excited to be providing your students with a new assessment system designed to provide clear learning targets and specific feedback on student learning.  Now that we are a few weeks into our school year, we thought it might be helpful to send home some additional information about how the proficiency assessment system works and how you can best help to support your child.

Our new assessment system is designed to provide students with clear learning targets. In each of our core classes, we talk about which learning targets we are studying on a regular basis.

In addition, our assessment system provides each student with specific feedback on his or her progress toward meeting each learning goal. Student progress is assessed using a five-part proficiency scale ranging from novice to highly proficient. Instead of awarding points for assignments, we are now scoring student work using a five-part proficiency scale.

When you are able to log in to Parent Assist, you will notice that a number of abbreviations are used.  Here’s a list which you may find helpful when you are checking in on your child’s progress.

The reporting letters for academic proficiency are:

  • PHP = Highly Proficient
  • PRO = Proficient
  • PNP = Nearly Proficiency
  • PWT = Working Towards Proficient
  • PNV = Novice

Your child should be earning scores of Nearly Proficient to Highly Proficient. If your child is earning below the Proficient Level, he/she is not learning the material being taught. Some changes will need to take place with his/her studying/work habits to move to the Proficient Level.

Also, a student is not assessed only once on each learning target. Teachers will be giving different assessments to determine your child’s progress on mastering the learning target.

Your child is also being assessed in personal management/behavior targets such as organization, complete, cooperation and work ethic. Therefore, you will also see these targets and corresponding reporting letters.

The reporting letters for the Personal Responsibility / Behavior targets are:

O = Outstanding, S = Satisfactory, U = Unsatisfactory

Principal Brock will also be sending home some information regarding proficiency based assessment. Thank you for your patience with our and the district’s transition to this new system.

Frequently Asked Questions F.A.Q.’s

What if I don’t have my Parent Assist  login information?

7th and 8th grade letters went home over a week ago. 6th grade letters should arrive next week.

What if we do not have home access to the internet?

Contact your child’s IS teacher and arrangements will be made.

What does my student need to be successful?

To reach proficiency in each learning target  area, your student should 1) focus on the learning targets being studied in class, 2) be aware of their current level of proficiency toward those targets, 3) use specific teacher feedback and instruction to move toward the next level of proficiency.

In addition, the same study skills that have traditionally led to middle school academic success remain just as important (i.e. time management, organization, homework completion).

How can I help support my student?

1)    Ask your child about what we are studying in class.

2)    Regularly check your child’s progress using the Parent Assist online system.

3)    Celebrate any assessments where your child demonstrated proficiency.

4)    Discuss any learning targets where your student is not yet proficient. Ask your son or daughter to tell you what they need to do to move to the next level of proficiency.

5)    Relax and know that all of the Rachel Carson teachers have your child’s best interests at heart.

Will Friday printouts be sent home?



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