Dear Parents of Throop Elementary,

Dear Throop Parents,

Below you will find a recent letter from our State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Glenda Ritz. In her letter she highlights some of the changes that teachers and students are experiencing as the Indiana Academic Standards and assessments are changing.
October 14, 2014.

As the fall season settles on Indiana and colors begin to change, educators across the state are experiencing change in the way we teach and measure student growth and performance. The immediate change, the change that we are all experiencing with our students, is the advanced rigor of our new assessments. The 2014-15 E/LA and Math Acuity Readiness Assessments for grades 3-8 are being administered in classrooms, and the results are catching some educators by surprise.

We are beginning to move away from the “teach to the test” Philosophy, and move toward an assessment system that no longer measures how well our students can do on a test, but instead measures their college and career readiness. Educators must be prepared for a transition in the way they prepare our students for a system of assessments designed to measure how well prepared our students are for college and the workplace.

Today’s Acuity and ISTEP+ are designed to measure our students’ depth of knowledge, and where they perform in relation to Indiana’s new standards.

Changes to our system of assessments will create opportunities for our educators to embrace methods of teaching learners how to learn. Our educators will need the resources and expertise to design student-centered inquiry-based lessons that will engage students to be critical readers and thinkers.

Please ensure that your staff, teachers and parents are aware of, and utilizing, the numerous resources found on the IDOE’s website and below in the memorandum section. Furthermore, in the Assessment section of the IDOE website, one can find resources related to testing windows, 2014-15 assessment resources, examples of items found on the new ISTEP+, and contact information of IDOE staff.
Sincerely,
Glenda Ritz, Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Our teachers are spending a tremendous amount of time “unwrapping” the new standards and implementing assessments that will allow our students the opportunity to be exposed to rigorous instruction and activities that promote a deeper level of knowledge. Our teachers and our students are experiencing much change and I encourage all of our parents to be as familiar with the standards and knowledge expectations as possible. Please take time to learn more by accessing the Indiana Department of Education’s website. The information is helpful to all stakeholders.

Sincerely,

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PTO Prepping for Winter Holiday Festival

Throop’s PTO has a Winter Holiday Festival planned for Thurs., Dec. 4 in cooperation with Title I. Plans are in place for families to choose from up to 10 crafts, get a free book, have a picture taken with Santa, and receive a cookie.

Folks who attend the Winter Holiday Festival have fun.  The Winter Holiday Festival gives students, parents, and teachers the opportunity to plan, work and learn together.  Teachers and parents plan ahead and have activities ready. The activities planned promote family involvement and provide opportunities for students and parents to have fun together.  This will be another example of how PTO and Title I work together to provide positive parental involvement opportunities. 

In fact, PTO is always looking to provide more parental involvement opportunities. PTO has a monthly meeting, joined by teachers representing each grade as well as parents who attend.
However, decisions which impact Throop Elementary are made by a small number of people. Sometimes, as few as 10-12 people will make a decision to spend thousands of dollars for Throop students.
I agree with PTO’s decision making process—I only wish there were more parents represented to offer input, and to gain a better understanding of exactly what PTO does for Throop.

We expect over 200 people to attend the Winter Holiday Festival. Tuesday, January 20, PTO will hold its monthly business meeting. While I don’t expect all 200 people who attended the Winter Holiday Festival to return for a PTO business meeting, I would challenge each classroom to have a parent representative.

If you are willing to represent your child’s class for the January PTO meeting, please let your teacher know. We’ll be happy to see you there!

Sincerely,

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Director of Assessment, Improvement, and Title !

Friend of PTO