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