Everyday I wake up to believe that Spring has finally arrived for good and on most days the weather disappoints me, again. While Spring comes in teasing starts and stops, the Spring of school is moving into full gear. As with the rhythm of Fall, so too goes the rhythm of Spring. 

We’ve entered our 3rd trimester and have Spring Break behind us.  Scheduling has started for the 22-23 school year at the Jr./ Sr. High School, the excitement of spring sports and prom abound. Seniors are making the final realizations that their days as a student Falcon are drawing to a close. 

At the elementary the preparation for the next class of Falcons is in full swing with registration and the upcoming “round-up” activities.  Preschool registration wrapping up as well.  Field trips and end of the year activities are becoming a topic of planning. 

Yes, whether the weather agrees, Spring has arrived in school.

Beyond these exciting spring routines, we also find things that often to students are not as exciting.  This time of year brings an abundance of testing and surveying.  The ISASP (Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress) is administered in April.  To many of us this is more or less equivalent to the ITBS/ITEDs we took in school. While a snapshot this test is used by the state to determine many factors of the district’s performance profile. This profile is used to make judgements and classifications in comparison to other districts of sorts. Important for school districts maybe not so relevant in the eyes of a child or adolescent.

During this time, we are also required to have all students 3rd-12th completed the “Conditions of Learning” survey.  This survey is asks students, staff and parents to respond to a series of questions related to various aspects of the more relational aspects of our district.  Again, these responses are then analyzed and reported through the School Profile and it is also part of the calculation used to determine a numeric judgment of the overall success of the school. Important for school districts yet maybe not so relevant in the eyes of a child or adolescent.

Lest we not forget elementary and middle school students complete the 3rd round of the FAST assessment which is primarily intended to serve as a screener for potential challenges in reading and math though at a district level is also used as a consideration of student growth from year to year individually and collectively. And then we add our end-of-the year course assessments.  There is a lot of weighing of students and the system in the Spring.

So what’s your point Lisa.. here’s my point

  •  We all know that school is about more than grades and tests…it is about the social as well as emotional aspects as well. 
  • Getting a clear picture of how a student is growing academically is important. Very, very important. We need them to do their very best.  As too, getting a clear picture of the strengths and challenges of the district is important.
  • Neither the student or the fun is exclusive; it is a balance of the excitement of beginnings and endings, of proms and time with friends through activities, coupled with focus on being a good student in equal earnest that develops well-rounded children and adolescents.
  • Students perform better in school both on a day-to-day basis and when testing when they are in routine, well rested and appreciate a sense from parents and other adults that school and the assessments/surveys are important 

We deeply appreciate your support in this and we equally cherish the excitement found in students during these days before summer.

Now if only mother nature can figure it out as well.

Lisa Beames