Fort Dodge Community School District

District Large Group Speech Information for January 25

Students will take the New Iowa Assessments

February 22, 2012

As students in grades 2-11 begin sharpening their No. 2 pencils and filling in the familiar bubbles for spring standardized testing, they may notice a new name on their booklet, the Iowa Assessments.

Formerly called Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (grades 2-8) and Iowa Tests of Educational Development (grades 9-11), the Iowa Assessments are the latest version of standardized tests developed by Iowa Testing Programs at the University of Iowa.

The format will not look any different. The name change, though, reflects the change in content, which more closely aligns to Iowa’s mandated Iowa Core Curriculum. The assessments focus on reading, English, language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.

The Iowa Assessments provide valuable information to parents, students, educators, and administrators. The assessments measure yearly growth and progress and help determine how students are performing in terms of the Iowa Core. The tests also help identify strengths and areas that may need improvement as well as information related to college and career readiness and individual growth targets.

The results of the assessment are critical as they help prepare students for the next step in their educational path. At the seventh, eighth and high school levels, the scores determine whether a student can register in honors and college level classes at Senior High. The results of the tests are also used to determine whether a school is designated a School in Need of Assistance (SINA) under No Child Left Behind.

Fort Dodge Community School District students, grades 2-11, will be taking the assessments March 1-9, testing the first part of each day. Students must take the assessments. If a child is absent, they will be required to make up the test.

Scores form the Iowa Assessments cannot replace a teacher’s observations and judgments, but they can be a helpful tool, giving students and their parents knowledge that will help them identify if they’re on track academically.


Testing Tips

In order to help your child feel prepared and confident about the Iowa Assessments, do not place too much emphasis on the tests, which may make a student feel anxious or stressed. Instead, maintain a typical schedule and atmosphere at home during the testing time, and make sure your child gets a sound sleep and healthy breakfast each day. Like all school activities and academics, students should be encouraged to do their best.

Helpful testing tips:

  • Students should sleep at least 8 hours the night before each test
  • Have your student eat breakfast the morning of a test. It’s hard to take a test with a growling stomach!
  • Attendance is critical! Make sure your student is at school and on time. If possible, try to avoid scheduling student appointments during testing time. Students who are absent will be required to make up the tests.
  • Students must have two No. 2 pencils and an eraser during test time. 














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