Friday, September 19, 2014


The key to knowing if your child has a problem in school is to be an involved parent. Let your child know you are there for him and that you will do anything you can to help. If you suspect a problem and the answer isn't forthcoming from your child, don't hesitate to contact his teacher. Ask questions until you get answers.
Be an involved parent
How do you know if your child is having trouble in school? Look for changes in her behavior and attitude. If her grades suddenly drop or if he/she seems to be struggling with a subject or subjects, talk to him/her and contact his/her teacher. If you suspect a problem, don't wait for a report card to come home.

Monitor homework and graded work that comes home.
Talk to your child about the good and troubling things you see. Offer praise for good grades or improved work, but let him/her know you notice a slide in work quality or if he/she seems to be struggling with a subject. This is also a good time to talk to the teacher and find out when tests are coming up and when they will be returned. Do this either by calling or maintaining e-mail contact with your child's teacher. 

Unfinished work also may be a sign your child is struggling. Children having a tough time with the assigned work may just give up out of frustration. If you notice this, make sure you are there to help with homework or perhaps find a tutor who can help. Do not do the work for your child, just offer enough help so that he/she understands the
subject matter and the assignment.

MAP test scores can also give you an indication of whether or not your child has a problem in school. Look at your child's results. If you see a problem talk to the teacher about what needs to be done to make improvements.

Partner with the teacher
Don't hesitate to talk to your child and to his teacher. Teachers appreciate involved parents, but don't go into discussions with the teacher in attack mode. Focus on helping your child with his/her struggles and coming up with a plan. Avoid going to the principal before talking to his/her teacher. Following the correct channels of communication is a great way to foster an effective relationship.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Measures of Academic Progress (MAP)

At Discovery School we recognize that each student is unique. One Size DOES NOT Fit All. Each child learns differently. That is why  more than 5 years ago we adopted an assessment tool that would enable us to measure the progress that each student makes in his or her grade’s curriculum.

MAP tests are computerized adaptive assessments that test differently, allowing teachers to see their students as individuals – each with their own base of knowledge.MAP assessments provide detailed, actionable data about where each child is on their unique learning path. Because student engagement is essential to any testing experience, these tests offer the students test items that interest children and help to capture detail about what they know and what they’re ready to learn. It’s information teachers can use in the classroom to help every child, every day.

This Wednesday, September 17 we begin our first testing session for the 2014-2015 school year. Our students in grades K-10 will be taking the assessments in Math, Reading and Language Usage. We ask that parents stress to their child(ren) the importance of taking these tests and giving their best effort.  Teachers need accurate measures of each student so that they can plan the activities and resources to meet each student’s needs.

If you would like more information, please visit  or ask your child’s teacher how this wonderful tool allows them to help your child in class.

Friday, September 5, 2014


The Discovery School teachers sent their Midterm Progress Reports this week. These reports serve an important role in allowing teachers, students and parents to track how well the student is doing in school during a 4 week period, before report cards are issued at the end of each quarter. They give students a chance to correct study habits, modify their behaviors and make other changes to keep themselves on a positive academic course.

Purpose - By creating and sending home progress reports, teachers show parents where their child stands with their academic achievements and in-class behaviors. Parents may appreciate this information so that they can reward their children for doing well or make changes to the at-home schedule by implementing more study time to help kids get back on track academically.

Student Awareness – Midterm reports give students an academic advantage. They get to see how well they are in class. This helps eliminate some of the shock that comes when they get their end of the quarter or year report cards. With Midterm Progress Reports, students have the chance to identify their improvement needs and make changes to bring their grades up before the final report cards are released.

Teacher Tracking - Teachers can track how well their students are doing in class and learning the material through school progress cards. By issuing these Midterm Progress Reports, teachers are forced to review student strengths and weaknesses on a regular basis. The teacher can then determine whether the lesson needs to be readdressed with the class. Since teachers have classroom standards to reach, Midterm Progress Reports can help them see whether the class is meeting those academic expectations.

Communication Link – Our Midterm Progress Reports are just another communication link between teachers, students and parents. Through them, everyone involved has the same information and understanding of the student's progress in school. This helps keep information consistent between all parties and opens the door for communication between teachers and students, students and parents and teachers and parents to the benefit of the student's education.

What to do next? – If you have not done so, please sign and return the Midterm Progress Reports to your child’s teacher. If you would like to discuss the Midterm Progress Reports in a conference, and one has not been requested by a teacher, please call the school as soon as possible to set up an appointment. Our students’ educational achievement and success are our goal, and your involvement is crucial in achieving this.