Principal Camile Carlson invited all the students being tested this year (grades 3, 4 and 5) into the prize-filled gym last Wednesday afternoon, April 5, to not only remind the kids of the importance of test taking, but to also excite them with a little more incentive to do their best.
Prizes ranged from sports equipment to electronics, Pokémon cards to scooters. Not to mention the grand prize of an electric scooter, which Principal Carlson rode in on. All students who participate and try their best on the test are also invited to a kickball and ice cream social after testing is finished.
Carlson also spoke to the kids about what it means to be a good test taker, and even invited teachers Kara Tauchman and Steph Fink to sing a motivational testing song. Carlson said this kind of motivation is valuable.
"Whether its preparation for testing or for a job as an adult, it’s good to have incentives," she said.
"I’m going to try really hard and make sure that I do my best!" said fifth-grader Lee Gonzales, who was feeling the excitement.
The online testing window in Westminster Public Schools opened April 4, with most schools starting this week also.
Math and English Language Arts (PARCC): Window opens April 4
Colorado law requires tests in English language arts and math. PARCC was developed in collaboration with a consortium of states to develop a test with rigorous college and career ready standards. Because students from across the nation are taking the same test, PARCC results can provide a snapshot of how students are doing in comparison with others and allow educators to evaluate best practices and learn from the successes of other educators. Colorado is a member of PARCC’s governing board, and Colorado educators were highly involved in the development of the tests.
Social Studies and Science: Window opens April 10
The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) collaborated with the testing contractor Pearson Education and Colorado educators to develop the tests which are specific to the state. State science and social studies tests measuring the Colorado Academic Standards were administered online in Colorado for the first time during the 2013-14 school year.
SAT: April 11
On April 11, all WPS juniors will take the SATs for the first time ever. In year’s past, the state has administered the ACT but a review committee determined that the SAT better aligned to the state’s academic standards. This free test measures what students are learning in high school, and what they need to know to succeed in college and their careers.
PSAT: April 11
On April 11, all WPS sophomores will also take the PSAT. The PSAT prepares students for the SAT, and provides them with an understanding of the college testing process and the skills they will need to develop to do well on the test in the junior year.
More details can be found on the CDE website here.
Good luck to all the students participating in PARCC testing!