Message from the Principal September 20

Dear Grade 9 and Grade 10 Parents,

 From September 24to October 17, ISM will conduct tests called Measures of Academic ProgressTM (MAP).

 What are MAP tests?

v  MAP tests are an external assessment from the United States, used to assist in determining students’ instructional level. Currently, there are 370 international schools in 123 countries, including 56% member schools of EARCOS (East Asia Regional Council of Schools), who conduct MAP testing.

 Who does MAP testing at ISM?

v  Students in Grades 3 to 10 take MAP tests. Students receiving Learning Support and ESL support will be given the opportunity, where appropriate, to participate in the MAP testing. Parents will be contacted individually regarding any modifications taking place.

 What do MAP tests assess and how often do they occur?

v  These tests will measure academic growth across the school year in the areas of Reading, Language and Mathematics, and are administered twice a year at ISM. They will be taken again in Semester 2 of the 2012-13 school year.

 How do MAP tests work?

v  Your child will take the tests on a computer. MAP tests are unique in that they are adaptive. The test becomes more difficult the more questions the student answers correctly. When a student incorrectly answers a question, the following test question is adjusted accordingly and is at an easier level. In this way, your child will take a test specifically created for his or her learning level.

 How are MAP tests reported?

v  Your child’s MAP results are reported in RIT (Rasch Unit) scores. This is a different type of score than a typical test that provides a percentage correct. Parents will receive a report that shows their RIT score, the normative RIT scores for the grade level at ISM, and the normative scores for students in the United States within the same grade level. These reports will be available in November.

 What does ISM do with the information that MAP provides?

v  Teachers use the data from MAP testing to inform learning and teaching. It assists in determining which skills require enhancing, which skills students have already developed, and which skills need to be introduced. MAP tests also provide our school with a reference point for the ongoing development of the school-wide curriculum. This data allows us to look for trends within certain areas of our curriculum.

 How do I prepare my child for MAP testing?

v  Factors such as sleep and how a child is feeling can affect the results of a standardized test. Your class teacher will let you know which three days in the coming weeks your child will sit the tests. Please talk to your child to help avoid him/her feeling anxious about MAP testing.

 Lastly …

v  It is important to remember that MAP results provide one piece of assessment data in the process of acquiring information and making judgments about student progress toward intended learning. At ISM, we believe sound assessment involves creating a multitude of ways to measure and communicate student learning over time – a photo album versus a single snapshot.

 For more information on MAP testing, please consult the NWEA (North West Evaluation Association) website at www.nwea.org. In addition, parents can access the MAP Parent Toolkit at http://www.nwea.org/support/article/930/parent-toolkit, or please do not hesitate to contact the High Office.

 Sincerely,

William Brown                                                     Michael Dickinson

High School Principal                                      High School Assistant Principal

 

Message from the Principal September 14

Dear Parents,

 It was another incredibly busy week in the ISM High School. Thank you to the many parents who have been on campus. I know at times it seems that you are here, at school, just about as much as your son or daughter! In no particular order; we had a fabulous college visit this week from Columbia, Duke, Northwestern and Princeton. Resident for the week and assisting us with our Wellness Education Program was returning FCD counselor, Glenn Hall.  Last night we had an excellent turn out for the Grade 9 and 10 IB Information Evening. Today, we said farewell to a number of our sports and cultural teams to Pre-IASAS and Dance events at our sister schools, SAS and TAS. Over this coming weekend the campus will be busy with a full range of Soccer and Volleyball games.  Next week, visiting consultant John Joseph will work exclusively with Grade 10 students as he talks about learning with the brain in mind. On Thursday we will host Battle of the Bearcats 2012, where the whole High School will go off schedule for the day to participate in friendly inter-grade activities, with the desire to foster class and school spirit. If you are around that day, you will for sure hear the mighty roar of the Bearcat.  

 On a very sad note, I would like to take this opportunity to express ISM’s deepest condolences to the families and friends of Cebu International School. We received news on Thursday morning of the tragic loss of two of their Grade 8 students, who passed away as a result of a swimming accident in the Subic area. I am sure the entire ISM Community will feel for the CIS community as they come to terms with this tragedy. 

 I would like to remind all parents that next Friday, September 21st is a Professional Development day for teachers and students are not required at school. In the morning the High School Faculty will gain valuable insights from the experience and research of John Joseph and in the afternoon we will have a focused session on writing effective college recommendations. As we are already receiving requests for Oxbridge recs, it is a timely opportunity!

 Kind Regards

 William R. S. Brown

High School Principal