It is hard to believe that we have passed the half-way point of this school year. For those of you who have been with us for a few years, you know the importance of the next few months to our success this year as well as our preparation for next school year. The time from Winter Break to Spring Break is highlighted by focused classroom instruction, the start of State Testing for students as well as the initiation of planning for next school year.
Over the last several weeks, our students, teachers and staff have been hard at working preparing for the increased rigor and expectations that accompany our transition to the Common Core. Math classes continue to expose students to constructed response type questions where appropriate to their instruction. Language arts and social studies/literacy teachers are working with students to hone their writing skills, especially as it relates to informational (non-fiction) text. In science and our Encore areas, literacy is a key area of focus. No doubt you have seen changes in what your students are being asked to accomplish in class. These changes are directly related to the instructional transformation that is required to prepare students for college and career.
During the month of February, all students at MRIS will be participating in the TCAP Writing Assessment. The State of Tennessee is utilizing this assessment to aid in our preparation for taking the PARCC Assessment next school year. The test itself will require students to complete two writing activities. Testing time includes two, one-hour tests that will be broken up by a minimum 30 minute break for students. In addition, all students will be completing the test on a computer. Students will be encouraged to give their best effort on this test to help our school gauge how we are doing in our preparation for the PARCC Assessment. In addition to the Writing Assessment, MRIS has been selected to participate in the PARCC Field Test. The test will have two parts, a performance based assessment (PBA) and an End-of-Year (EOY) assessment. Only a sampling of our students will take this assessment and the state will randomly select those students at each grade level.
Planning for next school year will also kick off during the month of February. Additional information will be included in the Friday Folder and online. However, following is a highlight of some important dates for you and your student(s).
· Friday, February 14: Elective Selection Letter sent home in Friday Folders
· Tuesday, February 18: Elective Selections returned to school (4th-6th graders)
Monday, February 24: Elective Selections returned to school (7th graders)
A complete listing of dates for scheduling next school year was sent home in a previous Friday Folder. For our 7th graders transitioning to Maryville Junior High, information from MJHS will be sent home in Friday Folders and a link to registration information can be found on the MRIS website.
Even though our students are hard at work, we are also finding some time for FUN! During the month of February, our MRIS Orchestra will be partnering with CGIS for a Pops Concert at First Baptist Church on Saturday, March 1 at 7:00 pm. 5th graders will have their Arbor Day Celebration on Friday, March 7th. Also during the month of March, we will offer our Spring Intersession programming and our 4th and 5th graders will have Movie Night on March 28th. We hope that you and your family will join us on “The Ridge” for these events and activities.
As always, thank you to our parents and community for their continued support of our students, staff and school.