Lowell Public Schools
Washington Elementary School
795 Wilder Street
Lowell, MA 01851
Jason McCrevan Phone: 978 937 7635 Megan Ames
Principal Fax: 978 937 7636 Clerk
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October 15, 2019
In the spring of 2019, Massachusetts public school students grades 3+4 took The Next Generation MCAS, commonly known as MCAS 2.0 in ELA and Math. This test was new in 2017, so this year was only the third year that Massachusetts students experienced this test. In the envelope sent home today with your child you will find Parent/Guardian Reports containing your child’s scores on these tests, as well as how your child did in each category tested. More information can be found on the following website: http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/parents/
The MCAS tests are an important part of our state’s efforts to improve the achievement of every child in Massachusetts. MCAS results are used to determine how well our school is doing in comparison to other schools in the district and the state. The tests measure how well students have learned the academic standards for each grade level in the core subject areas listed in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.
The newer performance level categories are aligned to more rigorous international standards. The new performance categories are: Not Meeting Expectations (NM); Partially Meeting Expectations (PM); Meeting Expectations (M); Exceeding Expectations (E).
The new test is more challenging than older MCAS exams and the scoring expectations are more rigorous. Across the state, students who score Proficient on the old test are often scoring in the Partially Meeting Expectations category on the new test. Even though Massachusetts is the leading state on international assessments, a majority of students scored below the Meeting Expectations performance level on this new test. The Washington School did outperform district and state averages on both the English Language Arts and Mathematics test this school year.
Although an important tool, these results alone may not create a true picture of your child’s level of academic proficiency. In addition to MCAS, students engage in a variety of district, school-based, and classroom assessments to determine their individual level of achievement and to help teachers plan instruction accordingly. Parent-Teacher Conferences, progress reports, report cards, and grades on student work all help form a picture of how things are going for your child. In addition, teachers at the Washington regularly meet with each child individually to review assessment data and help students set their academic goals, as part of our on-going progress-monitoring process.
MCAS data will be reviewed as part of our School Site Council meeting on Tuesday, December 3rd, at 6:00pm. All Washington School families are welcome to attend that meeting to review those results. Additionally, parents with questions about the MCAS results and what they mean for their student(s) are encouraged to contact the school to set up a meeting with teachers and/or school administration.
We look forward to continuing to partner with you as we work together to provide your child with the best education possible.