Dear VSSA Families,
I wanted to update you on some coming changes to testing for our school. Of note, many of these changes are outside of our control and are required by state or federal law. While we may disagree with some of these tests, we are obligated to give them to our students.
In thinking about assessments, there are three main categories of testing that occur here at VSSA – and each has a different purpose:
- Formative tests are given as a way to place kids in appropriate learning environments, or to adjust teaching to meet each student where they are. These tests, like NWEA, CFAs, GT Tests, and teacher-driven assessments allow teachers to stretch student strengths and shore up weaknesses based on shorter learning cycles. Formative tests are useful instructionally and have a strong research base of support.
- College Entrance and college credit exams are given to high school students to support their candidacy at competitive universities. These tests, like Advanced Placement (AP) Exams, SAT, SAT II, and ACT Exams are summative in nature and used to help colleges determine the relative strengths of college applicants. While some colleges and universities have moved away from requiring these sort of tests, the reality is that many institutions of higher education require a test like the SAT or ACT for admission and passing the appropriate AP test is the only way to earn AP credit.
- Summative Accountability exams are Federally required by No Child Left Behind (NCLB) or by some state law. These tests allow the state and federal government to compare school results and publicly display school and district level data for the public. These tests, like PARCC, CMAS, NAEP, and the 11th grade ACT Exam (in April) are required for districts to receive federal funding and are prescribed by the state and national legislators. In Eagle County, our schools have no discretion in giving these tests – they are required by law.
Perhaps the biggest shift in testing this year will come with the administration of the PARCC exams. These new tests (required by state and federal law) will be much more difficult than in previous years and our students will be challenged. We will do our best to support students as they take these exams, so they can do their very best.
Again, many of these assessments are required by federal or state law. Further, the framework of these laws requires that our schools be ranked and evaluated using the results. While we may disagree with the number and uses of these tests, it is important that our students take them and do their best to show what they have learned.
Thank you, and please feel free to contact me if there are further questions or concerns.
Head of School
Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy
Previous year advertisers THANK YOU!!!
The Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy yearbook staff would like to thank you for advertising in our book. Your ad is very valuable for your business and support of the VSSA yearbook! Renew your ad now for the 2015 edition of the yearbook.
Jostens just released a new, online format for submitting ads, click here. Simply select the link above, click on the "Order a Business Ad", search for Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy, create an account, and the system will walk you through building your ad and submitting payment.
Attached is Jostens flyer with instructions and ad rates. The deadline to submit an ad is February 15th! Please contact me know if you have any questions. Your support this year is greatly appreciated!
Please remember that VSSA's February break is February 2nd to 16th (back Tuesday the 17th) due to 2015 World Championships and was chosen after a survey was taken from parents. The rest of Eagle Country School's break is February 16th to 20th. We know this is not ideal for everyone, but please be aware when planning your student's time off. Thank you!
The Eagle River Youth Coalition is excited to host their February Dinner & Dialogue event at the Gypsum Creek Recreation Center on Tuesday, February 10 from 6:00-8:00pm. The topic is Healthy Relationships & Teenage Dating. Please RSVP at email@example.com or call (970) 949-9250. A flyer is attached. Thank you!
Vail resorts still has lots of weekend opportunities available for high school students looking to build their resumes and earn some extra cash. Emily Block, Vail Mountain Recruiter, will be the point of contact for students to talk with about these opportunities. Her number is 970-754-3046.
For more details on Alumni Reunion Weekend on February 6-8which we hope you can join us for, a schedule of events and to purchase tickets click here!