CSAPs wind down | SteamboatToday.com

CSAPs wind down

Testing is nearly complete across Routt County

Weeks of filling in bubbles with No. 2 pencils are coming to an end for Routt County students as Colorado Student Assessment Program tests draw to a close.

April 10 is the deadline for public school students to take the series of tests that measure reading, writing, math and science, and nearly 90 percent of Steamboat Springs students have finished their scheduled tests, said Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment JoAnne Hilton-Gabeler.

According to state mandate, schools must have 95 percent of their students complete the tests or the district suffers a penalty.

In addition to passing out the tests, schools must accommodate students with learning or physical disabilities. The state closely monitors what assistance schools give students during the tests, which can include extra time, a reader to help students read the questions or an assistant to help the students write their answers.

One Steamboat student broke his arm just before the tests began, Hilton-Gabeler said, which left her to contact the state for an authorized method for the student to finish the tests.

“The accommodations have to be registered and used long before the tests,” she said. “We had to call the (Colorado Department of Education) to make sure we had it exactly right.”

The state agreed to allow a helper write the long answers, but the student had to fill in his own bubbles.

Students at Hayden Valley Elementary School have even become excited about CSAP testing this year, or at least the snacks that accompany testing day, Principal Rhonda Sweetser said. Providing granola bars and fruit for morning testers and cookies and milk for afternoon testers has boosted the attitude of students throughout the school, she said.

“They get so excited over such a simple thing to us. They really get excited about being the class that gets the special food and the treat – they almost get excited about CSAP,” she said. “The whole idea is, some kids may show up without having breakfast, and research shows kids do better with food, so we thought, good, this would be a good way to get them excited about it.”

Michelle Henderson, Hayden School District assessment coordinator, said attendance was high throughout testing week, and the few makeup tests are expected to be completed soon, even with several students who missed early testing because of the state basketball tournament.

Raylene Olinger, dean of students at Soroco middle and high schools, said students at the school are nearly 100 percent finished with the tests. Soroco School District also provided food for students on testing days.

“Our attendance is typically very good, and it continued to be very good. Parents were very thoughtful about scheduling appointments and that sort of thing,” she said.

The test scores, released in July, are used by the state to grade schools and districts, as well as by district administrators to monitor student progress.

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