Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Newly implemented testing gives Bonner Springs educators a chance to evaluate teaching methods

BONNER SPRINGS, KAN. ----- Students at Clark Middle School this month took their first tests using the STAR Reading and STAR Math systems.

The program evaluates a student’s comprehension on each subject in a 30-minute test. This is the first year the testing has been used within the district, and all grade levels at CMS are taking advantage of the new tool.

The initial use of the test came at the end of the first quarter. Following the first test, teachers were able to determine where students are at in the subjects, identifying also what areas they’re struggling in.

Based on their performance, students are given extra help each day in the specific area of need. The goal is to prepare kids for the Kansas State Assessments in the spring.

“It’s a great progress monitoring system,” said CMS Principal Rick Moulin. “We’re able to see where students are at the beginning of the year, and then continue to monitor their growth.”

Moulin says the test is more efficient than ones used in the past, and not just for the students.

“It’s been real eye-opening for our teachers. This is something that really helps us identify what we’re doing well, and what we’re struggling with,” Moulin said.

At the end of the quarter, each teacher also completed an evaluation on their own teaching methods, addressing areas where they could improve to continue helping students.

CMS students will take the next round of testing at the end of the second quarter, this December.