Happy March - Happy Spring!

I am excited to announce that Mr. Ryan Specht has been selected as the principal for Washington for 2019-20!  He is currently the Middle School Assistant principal. Mr. Specht will be visiting Washington periodically during the next few months meet the Washington community.

Spring may bring April showers and May flowers but it also brings testing sessions for many of our students.  Please look over the information below to become more familiar with our upcoming tests.

MAP and NSCAS Testing

The State NSCAS tests in Language Arts and Math will be given to all 3rd and 4th grade students the middle of March - April. Standardized MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) tests in Language Arts, Math and Reading will be given to all District 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders the middle of April - May.  Watch the calendar and classroom notes for specific testing dates.

I hope you find the following information helpful as you talk with your children about testing.  

  • Know your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Stay in contact with your child’s teacher during the year to see if there are any areas your child might need a little extra work on. Find out what you can do at home to help reinforce what students are learning in the classroom and help your child feel at the top of his or her game when testing time comes.
  • Get them moving. Children know test-taking time is a big deal at their schools. And, whether they show it or not, most of them are feeling stressed about it. Doing something physical can help them let off steam. Whether it’s bike riding or playing tag, get them moving in a fun sport or physical activity.
  • Scale back the excitement. Although many kids enjoy relaxing by watching movies or playing video games, it’s important that they scale back on any high-energy programs during the week, particularly when it’s getting closer to their bedtime. They need quiet minds so they can relax and get a solid night’s sleep.
  • Bedtime is important. Endless studies have shown that American schoolchildren get far too little sleep on the average night. You may be surprised to know that elementary and middle school children do the best on 10 hours of sleep. Kids who aren’t thoroughly rested do more poorly on test, so get them in bed early (making sure they’re not watching TV, it you allow it in their room).
  • Help them relax. People who are anxious about their performance on a test do worse than those who are relaxed –the anxiety actually hurts your children. Teach them a few tricks to use during the test. If they get stuck on a question,instead of frowning and concentrating, teach them to smile for a few seconds. Their bodies will automatically get less tense. (Try it!) And help them learn how to take a nice, slow, relaxing breath in and out.
  • Let them know you believe in them. While it’s really important to let your children know that you believe in them and know that they’ll do well, it’s also key to make sure they understand you’re not judging them on what their test scores report. Certainly, they need to realize that it’s important to try their hardest and do their best, but they also need to
    know your love for them and respect for their abilities has nothing to do with some computerized report says about their scores.

Four test-taking tips can lead to test success:

Regardless of how well your child knows the material for a test, he will do better if he knows some basic test-taking strategies.

Your child should:

1. Ask questions. If he doesn’t understand the directions or a question, he should ask the teacher for clarification.

2. Manage his time. Some tests do not allow the student to flag a question and return to it after completing other questions.  When taking this type of test the student needs to read the question and material carefully and make their best answer selection.  

3. Use the process of elimination when answering multiple choice questions. He should cross off answers he knows can’t be right. Then he can focus on the ones that are left.

4. Use extra time to review his answers and check for careless mistakes when possible.