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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Week Seven Notes

More Specific Information About the Student Success Plan

A little over a year ago, the CT State Board of Education (CSBE) adopted a rather ambitious position statement on measuring student success.  What follows is an excerpt - "The State Board of Education defines successful students as those who can read, write, compute, analyze information, think critically and creatively, solve problems, communicate effectively, and use technology.  All students should also enjoy and perform in the arts and athletics, and understand history, science, and other cultures and languages.  Each student must share ample responsibility for his or her learning and behavior, be able to persevere at complex tasks, work well with and be helpful to others, and contribute to the community.  All students must graduate from high school and be prepared to continue their education, become productive members of the workforce and function in the global economy.  Ultimately, students must become engaged citizens and lifelong learners who lead healthy and productive lives."  Of course missing from this position statement are the benchmarks that define success in each of these areas.  Without it, who is to say  when success has been reached?  How would we know?  That is apparently left for high schools to decide.

Anyway, as noted in last week's announcements, the EOSHS Guidance Department is moving towards an objective that will see every student with a plan for success.  Called the Student Success Plan (SSP), it will be an electronic portfolio that will be constructed over a four-plus-year period.  It will begin in the latter part of 8th grade and conclude near the end of each student's senior year.  This SSP will include cognitive and affective data that should help students determine readiness for success with post secondary options and it should help them to choose their options wisely. 

Each student is required to complete Geography - the study of places,etc. in this world of ours.  Consider this SSP exercise an informal course called "Biography" - the study of oneself and the position s/he holds in this world.  The SSP will be comprised of the following;

8th Grade - tentative four-year plan of study, transition survey, goals to achieve in high school
9th Grade - reading assessment, six-week transition survey, self-confidence inventory, personality assessment, revision of plan of study
10th Grade - career interest profile, attributions inventory, resume, revision of plan of study, CAPT
11th Grade - PSAT/Accuplacer, post seconday plan, resume, reflection, SAT, revision of plan of study
12th Grade - SAT/Accuplacer, post secondary game plan, resume, transcript review, application process

All of these plans will be stored in Naviance and available for viewing from any computer and at any time.  More information about these plans will be presented in blogs to follow.  You should also know that the CSBE has mandated that this SSD begin in sixth grade and extend through high school graduation.  Discussions with school officials from the sending towns are already underway about implementation of this plan over six years.

PSAT Score Reports Due for Return in December

Over 200 students sat for the PSAT on Saturday, October 15th.  This test is a shortened version of the SAT. It does not include the essay required on the SAT.  Still, the PSAT can be a relatively accurate predictor of performance on the SAT. 

It can also serve as a valuable learning tool in preparation for the SAT.  Aside from "experiencing" the test on a Saturday morning (albeit not the three-plus hour version), test-takers receive a detailed itemized analysis of their test results.  The EOS Guidance Department collects the test booklets with student names on them and then mails each student's test booklet home along with the score report.  So, students have the opportunity to review each question, observe which ones they answered correctly, and which ones they answered incorrectly.  Furthermore, with each question tagged by a specific content area label, students can also identify areas that may need further attention when preparing for the SAT. 

If used properly, the score report can be a very valuable learning tool.  For those who took the test this past Saturday, they should expect to receive this information by mail in early December.

Performing & Visual Arts College Fair in Boston

On Wednesday, November 2nd, the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) will present its annual Performing & Visual Arts College Fair in Boston, MA.  More than 130 of the nation's premier arts institutions will be represented at the fair.  This fair offers prospective students a first-hand opportunity to ask questions and collect relevant information from schools of interest.  This is the only college fair of its size in New England that is specifically geared toward arts students, and it only occurs once each year.  For more specific information - including time, location, and schools in attendance - click on 2011 Boston Performing and Visual Arts College Fair.

Dates to Remember

Friday, November 4
End of First Quarter

Thursday, December 1
UConn Application Deadline for Early Action

Wednesday, December 7
Financial Aid Workshop for EOS Parents


A  few more articles have been added that you may find interesting.  One is about college majors related to future jobs (What's Your Major? Working Toward the Uninvented Job), another is about learning from setbacks (Why Do Some People Learn Faster?), and a third is about how we measure happiness (Redefining the Meaning of No. 1).


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