Editor’s Note: This article was written and submitted by Chris Boyle.
Superintendent Arnold Goldstein laid out plans the North Bellmore School District
has to prepare their students for upcoming New York State assessment tests at this month’s Board of Education meeting.
According to Goldstein, the best way to prepare for the required state testing, which gauges students’ proficiency in English Language Arts (ELA), Math and Science, is by finding out where kids need the help the most by running practice tests covering those three key areas.
“The purpose is to gather valuable data about each child’s progress,” Goldstein said. “And then to use that data to address any areas that may need to be reinforced and strengthened.”
Goldstein stated that training had been administered to district staff to ensure that the practice tests were being administered properly and effectively.
“These practice tests are used by many districts on Long Island,” he said. “It consists of two computerized assessments — one in reading, and one in math, which we will give now, and again at the end of the school year. This way, we can measure progress.”
The computerized tests will be automatically tailored to suit the abilities to the child taking them, Goldstein said, ensuring that no two tests will play out the same way. If a child is having difficulty with a series of questions, they will receive easier ones. A child displaying proficiency will receive more challenging questions, thus giving an accurate account of individual ability.
“We don’t want the children to stress over these tests,” Goldstein added. “We have to tell them it’s okay if they don’t know every answer, and they won’t. The tests will assess what each child knows now, at this moment in time, so we can assess how far they’ve progressed by the end of the year. Their teachers will work to develop the particular skills and knowledge the children need to make meaningful progress.”
Also at the meeting, a presentation was given by John Grillo, an architect who has been working on several projects for the North Bellmore district. His presentation covered work that has been completed to date.
“Phase One of our work was completed in the summer of 2010,” he said. “That was the highest priority removal of asbestos floors district-wide, as well as some masonry work. Phase Two, which was completed in summer of 2011, consisted of district-wide boiler and burner replacement, as well as a heating system replacement at Newbridge Road School
“Phase Three, which was completed this past summer, brought a new gas service to all the buildings in the district,” Grillo continued. “National Grid gave us a projection, based on how much oil we used last year, and they’re estimating a savings of about $300,000 a year for the district by switching from oil to gas.”
Grillo announced that, to date, the district is coming in approximately $700,000 under-budget for the work that has been done thus far. Work that is still on-going consists of work on doors at Saw Mill Road School
, as well as minor, secondary asbestos removal from several schools.What do you think of the way the district is preparing the students for the tests? Tell us in the comments below.
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