November 13, 2015

posted Nov 19, 2015, 10:00 AM by Kurt Gergler

Hello Families,

Conferences are wonderful. They give us a chance to hear from you, brag about your child, discuss progress, ask questions, and exchange strategies. We thank you all for making the effort to meet with your child(ren)’s teacher(s). We all are impressed that you took the time to join us. KNOW THIS: just because the conferences are over, always feel free to visit and/or arrange a time to meet with the teachers. The home-school connection is a huge variable in student success.

We hosted some parents and educators last night for a viewing of Most Likely To Succeed, the documentary about different ways of conceiving education. It is a positive, ideas based film. It certainly has an agenda - focus more on communication, collaboration, problem solving and persistence - and it presents it without attacking other perspectives. After the film we discussed it for over 45 minutes; we shared observations, wondered aloud and asked questions. We did not change the world of education last night, but we certainly talked about what it might look like. Engaging in a discussion around ideas is an amazing thing. We will host another night to view the movie. Meanwhile, check out the trailer on line and see what people are saying. Let us know if you want a night to see the movie sooner than later. It is not available on line, per the executive director; you have to see it in community forums.

The Concord Monitor had an article about the Smarter Balanced assessment scores yesterday. This is the state assessment that was given last spring. The paper shared that students from NH scored higher than students in the other 16 states giving the test. Then today, the Concord Monitor published how Concord schools compared to the NH scores. It is only a matter of time that Bow scores make the paper, right? So, allow me to share a bit.

The Smarter Balanced (SBAC) scores are but a single data point in all the information we collect on our schools, grades, classes and students. We pay attention to student performance, student engagement, parent feedback and teacher feedback. We reflect, a lot. That being said, BES students did well on the state test. Here are the percentages of students that achieved or exceeded the standard:

Reading in 3rd Grade: US = 38% NH = 55% BES = 75%

Math in 3rd Grade:         US = 39% NH = 52% BES = 73%

If your child took the test last spring (grades 3 and 4 at BES), you will receive their score report in the mail today or tomorrow. For your viewing pleasure, there is an introductory video to looking at the scores on the Parent page of our website, here is the link:

You may want to check out other videos on this channel, it is created and maintained by Don Gage, our curriculum director.

We will send out more information on scores and such related to SBAC.

Funny, a discussion around Most Likely To Succeed and SBAC ended up in the same letter; the movie makes a case that standardized testing is not that useful. Great conversation fodder. So you know, globally, standardized testing will probably not go away as long as school funding is tied to giving the test. Locally, we do find some value in the information the test generates, but is not the be all end all :)

Keep in touch.


Kurt Gergler