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Letter from the Board: NYS Assessments

March, 2017

Dear CSAT Families,

We hope that you and your children are having a great academic year! As the Board of Trustees, it is our understanding that the CSAT community shares a deep appreciation for and commitment to our school, which is why it is important to remind you of a critical issue that has faced the district.

Two years ago, CSAT did not meet the It was the first time in the school’s history not meeting minimum participation. Last year, with the help from our teachers and families, we thankfully met participation rates. That effort put forth by our community needs to continue. We, the Board, believe that participation in the State Assessments is beneficial to your child and we want to tell you how. At the same time, you should know that if CSAT does not meet minimum participation this year or next, we run the risk of not being granted a charter renewal. Meaning that CSAT would be forced to close regardless of how we feel as a community about how well the students are being educated at our school. The State Assessments are beneficial for your child because they help us learn how well we are teaching the CSAT Learning Standards.

What are CSAT Learning Standards?
They are important concepts and guidelines identified by teachers, administration, and the Board as the most critical for students to learn in order to successfully compete in the 21st Century workforce. They focus on learning real-world skills, including critical thinking, careful reading of fiction and non-fiction, writing with evidence, effective communication of ideas, and solving real-world math problems. Our teachers are proficient in adapting the curriculum to CSAT’s Learning Standards that are most vital to your child’s success.

What is the purpose of the NYS Assessments?

It is also important for you to understand that the results of the NYS Assessments are designed to measure student progress from year to year, making certain that students are moving steadily toward a goal of college and career readiness. These are NOT the full measure of your child’s abilities or performance and scores do not effect student grades; rather the results give administration, faculty and the Board an idea of your child’s accomplishments, needs, and how we can better serve you.

Why do our children need to participate?
Two reasons: (1) Research demonstrates that grit, or stick-to-it-ness, is the most important skill for student achievement. Opting out of the NYS Assessments send the wrong message that could affect student attitude toward school projects, assessments, daily work and every day behavior; (2) these assessments are federal-mandate; not meeting participation goals can lead to a reduction of federal funds, or worse: the state closing the school entirely.

Please understand that success in school is enhanced when parents and teachers work as partners. For the benefit of that partnership, and for the success of our children, we urge you in joining us in opting in to take the NYS 3-8 ELA & Mathematics Assessments.

We are grateful to you for choosing CSAT as your school of choice. We are looking forward to working together to allow the school to be available for many years to come for both your child and for other community members looking for a quality public school choice for their child. Exam dates - ELA Assessment: March 28 – 31. Math Assessment: May 1 – 5.

Sincerely,

The CSAT Board of Trustees

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