Lakeview teachers discuss the work put into SIP assessments

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Lakeview teachers discuss the work put into SIP assessments

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Alicia Bullaro and Alisia Dinoto

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   Each year students must take school improvement plan (SIP) tests, so the school administration and staff can monitor the progress that the student body is making in key subject areas.  There are three different areas the students are tested in: reading, writing, and math. Every teacher on the staff is a member of one of these three committees based on what class they teach.

  Each committee’s members are responsible for making a certain number of these SIP tests for each school year. There is much more work put into the creation of these tests than students may realize.  

  For example, the math committee was responsible for making twelve SIP assessments because they needed separate tests for their AP and classes and the pre- calculus class.

  The committee members needed to collect data in order to make these assessments.  Math teacher Amy Beach stated, “We look through last year’s PSAT and SAT data.  We look to see which problems we scored below the state and county averages.”  

  Each committee splits up the workload for the creation of the SIP tests between committee members.

  English teacher, Anthony Savalle, a member of the writing committee, stated, “If we have about ten to twelve committee members, we try to pair up and each of us make an individual SIP so that we hit our goal of six.”

  The teachers put in a lot of work for these SIP assessments that many of the students do not even know about.  

  Beach stated, “We create the tests at the two hour staff meeting. Some of them have to be fixed up on our own time.”

 Students themselves even admit to not knowing much of the work that the teachers put into the creation of the tests.  

  Sam Mackool, ‘18 stated, “I think a lot of them just get it off the internet.”

  It is because of this lack of knowledge that the students often times do not take the tests very seriously.  

  Alexis Klages, ‘17 said, “For the first two I just fill in random bubbles. On the last one I actually try to read through them.”

  Because teachers know that students often do not take these SIP assessments seriously, some offer rewards for good scores.  

  For example, Beach stated, “Most students don’t take it very seriously.  I now give extra credit for certain scores.”  This is in hopes that the students take these tests seriously so that the data is accurate.

  It is especially hard for the non-core teachers, such as gym teachers, to incorporate these tests into the class periods.

  Gym teacher Salem Herr, who is a part of the Math with no calculator committee, stated, “It’s very difficult to incorporate this into the gym classes.  So we can only do the SIPs every once in a while and it’s not really a daily thing.”

  These tests can only be considered effective if the students take them seriously. Which allows their teachers to collect accurate data about which topics students are struggling with.

  Savalle said, “If you look at our English scores, we’re near the top of the county so I think it can’t hurt to focus on the things that you’re weak on and practice them.  I do think they’re effective.”

  Although they are often times not taken very seriously by students, the SIP assessments have been very effective in showing how the student body is picking up on the curriculum.  They are also effective in giving the teachers an idea of what they need to concentrate on in the classroom.

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Lakeview teachers discuss the work put into SIP assessments