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The Arc- SJA's School Blog


MAP Reading Test Scores

November 14, 2018
By Mrs. Jennifer Guzman

Dear Parents,

Time flies when you are having fun…and learning! In mid-September, our Kindergarten through 8th grade students took the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Assessment. This assessment measures individual academic growth and provides schools with grade level averages. The results offer valuable data on how SJA compares to the Toledo Diocese; all based on the fiftieth percentile national norm.

Students in grades 2-6, also took the STAR reading assessment at the beginning of 1st quarter. The STAR reading test provides data to help teachers determine Accelerated Reader (AR) reading ranges.  The STAR assessment is given at the beginning of each quarter to progress monitor students throughout the year.
I am pleased to share the fall MAP and STAR reading assessment results:

As you can see from the fall MAP and STAR reading assessment results, our students are doing well!  But we can always do better!!

During our recent professional development days, our team of teachers discussed ways to ensure the reading success of each student.  As educators, we believe in a cycle of continuous improvement which includes evaluation of current programs.  Currently, one of the biggest components to our reading program at SJA is the Accelerated Reader (AR) Program.  Through discussions we realized that, over the years, this program has slowly deviated from its original intention; to be used as a supplemental reading support. In essence, we have been focusing too much on the process of the program vs. the goal- improving the students’ reading skills. 

As the old saying goes…”practice makes perfect!”  The function of the AR program is beneficial for encouraging ongoing reading practice, supporting students at their individual reading level, and collecting data for teachers to plan their instruction. But in and of itself, it is not enough. So we have developed a strong plan to get us back on track to supporting our goal- improving the students’ reading skills.
Reading should be fun! So in “NEW”-vember, we are kicking off a new approach to independent reading...

  • In the upcoming weeks, you will notice is a difference in the way AR is recorded in RenWeb. Beginning with 2nd quarter, AR will be a separate category in RenWeb and on the student report cards; no longer directly impacting a student’s reading grade.  
  • Students’ will continue to receive individual goals for each quarter but will be encouraged to go above and beyond!
  • There will be more leniency with student book selection.  While it is a confidence builder for students to work strategically within their reading range, teachers will be less structured about the step-by-step process. Students (and parents) will be encouraged to focus on the bottom half of their reading range at the beginning of the quarter and the upper half of their reading range for the second half of the quarter. 
  • Initially students are encouraged to take an AR test on their book. However, if a student has chosen a book that is not in the AR system or has not successfully passed the AR (with a 70% or better), teachers will offer alternatives for reading credit. Some possible alternatives include, a written book summary, an oral book summary with the teacher, re-take of the AR test with 1:1 adult support, or (for grades 5 & 6) an alternative assessment through

In addition to individual classroom incentives, we are excited to share that students will have the opportunity to earn school-wide prizes and recognition for meeting and exceeding their goals! The first chance to earn a prize will be at the end of 2nd quarter.  All students who met and/or exceeded their goal will earn a collectible mystery prize and lanyard. Then, for the remainder of the year, they will have 2 opportunities per quarter to add to their mystery prize collection. The culminating event, at the end of May, will be a Rubber Ducky Reading Regatta!! Students will earn their duck for the regatta by successfully meeting their goals for the year. Think cute rubber duckies, squirt guns, sun, and fun! This will be an awesome time that the students won’t want to miss.

This is all part of a broader plan to continue improving upon:

  • Early development of phonics skills, phonemic awareness, and sight word fluency
  • Commitment to ensuring all students meet, and exceed, reading proficiency thresholds 
  •  And most importantly building a life-long love of reading!

We thank you for placing your trust in us as educators and for your on-going support!