In just a couple of weeks, Mount Jordan Middle School students will begin taking year-end exams to show how much they have learned over the course of the year. We are encouraging students to take the tests seriously and would appreciate the parents’ support in reinforcing that message at home. The Utah State Board of Education has adopted a new testing platform called RISE, an acronym that stands for Readiness, Improvement, Success, and Empowerment. Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, RISE will replace SAGE as Utah’s end-of-year assessment for students in grades 3-8. Students will find the tests, their questions and their computer-adaptive design very familiar. Here are some links to information about the RISE test. In addition, please check out the test-taking tips listed below. If you have any questions, please contact the Mount Jordan administration.
Why do we test?
Testing has always been integral to education. Assessments inform instruction by helping teachers know if educational goals (based on the standards for the course) are being met. They are an indicator of what’s working in the classroom and what can be done differently. Testing also gives parents an independent measure of their child’s learning. In addition, having accurate data for the school helps us make decisions about what supports our students need.
How should students prepare?
The best practice for the test is the instruction students receive throughout the school year—the skills and knowledge they acquire each day. There are a few things, however, families can do to prepare for the test day at home:
- Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and eats a healthy breakfast.
- Make the morning of testing as relaxing as possible by arriving to school on time.
- Encourage your child to focus and pace him/herself without rushing. It’s important to take your time, and read each question carefully.
- Remind your child that if the test questions seem hard, that means they’re doing well. The RISE test is computer adaptive, which means it adapts to the examinee’s abilities by proposing harder questions when a student gets something correct, and easier questions when a student gets wrong answer.
What about students with a history of test anxiety?
It’s important to strike a balance with children. You don’t want them to brush off the test. On the other hand, you don’t want to stress them out. How you approach the conversation will differ from child to child, but we like to describe testing skills as life skills. In high school and later in their professional lives, there is pressure to perform and meet deadlines, and testing is no different. It’s really about demonstrating competency. They’ve worked hard all year in class. Now is the chance to show how much they’ve learned. #JustDoYourBest
What is the schedule for the RISE tests?
RISE testing at Mount Jordan Middle School begins on May 6th. Students will be taking their tests in their science, ELA, and math classrooms. The following is the specific schedule for testing:
- Science RISE testing—May 6th-10th
- ELA RISE testing—May 13th-17th (There are changes to the ELA RISE this year. There will only be one writing prompt given in the 8th grade. 6th and 7th grade will not be completing a writing section.)
- Math RISE testing—May 20th-24th
*In most classes, students complete the RISE test in 2 days. Because it isn’t timed, students will have additional time to finish, if necessary. We have allotted a week for each subject in order to give all students time to finish and to account for make-up testing if a student is absent.
What is the procedure if I want to opt a student out of a RISE test?
- Come into the counseling center at Mount Jordan Middle School and fill out an opt out form.
- We will not be sending the form home with students. Parents must come in to the school in person to opt out of any of the tests.
- Once we have the opt out form, we will let teachers know students won’t be taking the test(s).
- Canyons District’s State Testing Webpage: http://www.canyonsdistrict.org/state-testing/1225-state-testing-end-of-year-exams
- The RISE Portal: https://utportal.questarai.com/
- Informational Videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCeDYhNRY6w&list=PL2WvfDlxdszmMhP5xOxMd7iVQyuVguFsT
- RISE Brochure: https://schools.utah.gov/file/3efbba05-29a4-45bd-9b06-179ef984aaac