IRONWOOD — For weeks, teachers and students have been studying and preparing and the day is almost here. On Tuesday, students across the state of Michigan will begin standardized testing.
Third through ninth grade students will take the Michigan Educational Assessment Program tests which cover reading, writing, mathematics, social studies and science.
According to Dan Niemi, dean of students for the Ironwood Area School District, students will have different subjects depending on grade level, with reading, writing and mathematics being the “big three.”
All students will be tested in reading and writing, while grades three through six will also be tested for math. Students in eighth grade will have a science portion on the test, and students in fifth and ninth grades will have a social studies section.
“The tests start Tuesday and run Wednesday and Thursday,” Niemi said. “Then, the following week, it’s Tuesday through Thursday again.”
Niemi said parents should prepare students for the tests by making sure the kids get enough sleep the night before and supply them with a good meals.
“Teachers will not be giving a lot of homework during MEAP time, so kids should get to bed pretty early,” Niemi said. “They also should get a good meal the night before and breakfast the day of.”
The school district will supply snacks for the kids, and every morning there is free breakfast available in the cafeteria for all students.
“Another thing is students will be taking the tests in their own classrooms,” Niemi said. “Their own teachers will be helping them, so it will be a more relaxed environment.”
Over the next couple of years, state standardized tests will be replaced with a national test.
“They have been saying it for the last couple of years, but I believe if it is not next year it will be by 2015 for sure,” Niemi said.
The school district already participated in a pilot program for the Smarter Balanced Assessment, and according to Niemi, it should give the students an advantage.
“We ran through it, and everything is done on the computer,” Niemi said.
“Our tech guy set up a whole computer lab for us, and we’ve already been through it once, so we know what we’re doing with that test.”
According to Niemi, subjects on the test won’t change dramatically, but he said the district will continue to make sure the kids are prepared for the testing process.
“As far as adjusting for the test, we’ll work with our staff and work with departments so objectives are covered for the tests and making sure kids are prepared,” Niemi said. “We want to make sure those objectives are being met, and the national standards being met, as well. It’s all about making our kids prepared. With our in-services and curriculum development, I think we’re moving in the right direction.
“From kindergarten to seniors, we’re making good progress.”