• Inspiring Message Kicks Off TCAP Testing in District 50
     Jerry Martinez

    Shaw Heights Middle School Principal Jerry Martinez is a prime example of the difference education can make in a child’s life.

    Now, as students prepare for the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) tests, he is sharing his life story as a way to remind students about why they should take the tests seriously and do their very best.

    The message comes via a video that is being shown to students across the district that you can also view below.

    Martinez grew up in poverty on Colorado’s western slope and credits the support of his mother and a belief in the power of education with helping him achieve his success. “If I can do it, anyone can,” he recently said. “I see myself in so many of these kids.”

    TCAP testing for third grade readers begins this week in District 50, while remaining students and subjects will be tested at various times through the first three weeks of March. Individual’s schools will be sharing detailed information in the days ahead.

    TCAP tests measure a student’s proficiency in various subjects and ensure that they are at the correct learning level. In some instances students who do well on TCAP’s can move to the next academic level.

    The tests are also important because the Colorado Department of Education uses academic achievement scores to help determine the status of an individual school or the district as a whole. A strong showing this spring could move District 50 to the “Improvement” category which is a high priority goal for the Board of Education.

    Below are some important reminders from the Colorado Department of Education:

    • Make sure your child is well rested for school, especially on the day of the test;
    • Provide a hearty breakfast on the morning of the test;
    • Be sure your child arrives on time to school each day and attends regularly;
    • Encourage your child to do his/her best;
    • Remember it’s important not to judge your child on the basis of a single test score. It’s more important to focus on progress over a marking period than on the results of one test.
    • Contact your child’s teacher [or school principal] whenever you have questions about his/her progress, including test results.

    Please take time to remind your child of the following test taking strategies as the test approaches:

    • Stay calm. Some students find it helpful to relax themselves with a couple of slow, deep breaths before they begin the test;
    • Read and/or listen carefully to directions from the teacher before beginning the test;
    • Begin as soon as you can and complete the test exactly as you are told to do;
    • Read each question and all possible answers before selecting the correct one;
    • Check over the test at the end of the test session to be sure that you have answered all the questions; and
    • Keep working until time is up. If you finish early, go back and check your answers.

    More Information and a parent brochure can be found here.

    Posted February 27, 2014