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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Week Four Notes

 College Board Reports SAT Score Profile for Class of 2011

The College Board reported the SAT Score Profile for the recently graduated Class of 2011.  The scores represent the last administration in which seniors took the SAT.  So, in other words, if a student sat for the SAT in May of junior year and again in October of senior year, the latter score is the one used to calculate mean averages.  Below you'll see much of the data reported;
  • There were 197 test-takers.  The mean averages were 574 in Critical Reading (CR), 584 in Math (M), and 571 in Writing (W).
  • Fifty-seven took the SAT in their junior year only while 139 students completed the test in their senior year (some, no doubt, were repeat test-takers).  The average scores for those who took the SAT in junior year only were 597 in CR, 610 in M, and 604 in W while the average scores earned in senior year were 565 in CR, 572 in M, and 557 in W.
  • These scores compare favorably to state and national averages, with those scores reported as 509 (CR), 513 (M) and 513 (W) for CT while national mean scores were 497 in CR, 514 in M and 489 in W.
  • With regard to score distributions, 154 EOS students earned scores higher than 500 in CR, 155 did the same in M, while 156 surpassed the 500 benchmark in W.
  • The ten colleges and universities that received the most SAT Score Reports from EOS students were UConn (118 students), ECSU, (51), CCSU (26), University of Rhode Island (24), University of Vermont (21), Keene State (15), University of New Hampshire (15), Quinnipiac (14), SCSU (14), and UMass (14).  Of the aforementioned ten listed, nine are public institutions.

Reminder About PSAT Registration

In last week's post (Week Three Notes), information was reported about registering for the PSAT that will be administered on Saturday, Octber 15th at EOSHS.  Refer back to this post of last week for the details on registration.

Managing the Power of Power School

When student grades became accessible last year through Power School, it opened a whole host of issues that accompanied the opening of teacher grade books.  What was surprising to many is that the data revealed students accessing grades at the rate of twice that of parents.  What wasn't known, though, is to what degree students were/are accessing grades through their own portals in the presence of their parents or if parents were simply using student accounts to check.  What we did learn in the process is that access to grades can be both a benefit and a liability, depnding upon how this access is used.

Like several tools, Power School can be an effective tool if used properly - and not so if used improperly. Proper use is subject to personal interpretation, but it may be safe to say that overuse may be just as detrimental as no use at all.  Checking grades frequently (every day, if not every hour) can cause frustration because the pace that teachers use to input grades differs across the faculty.  Likewise, there are occasions when human error results in incorrect input (in such cases, students should simply consult the teacher).  But when parents check so frequently that it robs the sense of responsibility and ownership from students for the latters' grades, then the result is distrust and dismay. 

Clearly, the parent portal to grades is a potentially effective tool for communication, and it may be used for a springboard to constructive conversation about academic performance, engagement, and the like...if done so in good measure.  But what can we call good measure?  Here's one suggestion - set aside one time a week (make it consistent from week to week) to sit down with for a parent-child session during which the "book" is opened.  Set ground rules for discussion.  And set a time limit, too.  If there are any issues that remain unresolved, resolve to address them during the next weekly meeting.  Be sure to examine the effort behind the grades - meaning homework and project completion as well as quiz/test performance.  Reinforce effort made.

Proper use of this tool can enhance conversation about the school experience.  Improper use, on the other hand, can lead to distrust.  It may take some time to figure out what works for parents and children.  It's work well worth doing.

When you have a moment, take a look at an article that appeared in last Sunday's NY Times Magazine.  The link is to the right under "Articles of Interest" and is entitled What If the Secret to Success Is Failure?"  While on this topic, you may want to check out a few videos on the issue of failure posted on "Learning Matters".  This link may be found to the right of this page.


Postcards are being mailed home to parents/guardians of ninth-graders announcing their appointments with assigned counselors in the weeks ahead...and seniors should make appointments with their counselors to review/revise postsecondary plans...and make sure to check out your "Family Connections" in Naviance for updates, announcements, and new programs.

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