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April 12, 2024


GLPS Families,

This week kicked off the state testing season, as Beagle students took the PSAT and GLHS students took the PSAT, SAT, and or ACT Work Keys tests. In the coming weeks, students across the district, from 3rd through 11th grade, will take the M-STEP testing in varying subject areas, and students in BK-8th grade and some high schoolers will take the NWEA in May. While these tests interrupt instructional time and make for a busy spring, they also provide us with valuable information about our students and the overall achievement of our school district.

It is helpful to understand, given the amount of time and disruption that comes with these required assessments, how the information is used. 

  1. As a district, we utilize the scores to set and monitor goals within our strategic plan, particularly under the Academics and Programs focus area. Click here to view our goals by building. Achievement of these goals helps move our district forward while helping to ensure that students are learning and growing each year.
  1. Each of our schools, and the district as a whole, are responsible for showing growth on these assessments each year by the state. Both proficiency and growth are measured, and you can view the results on MiSchoolData, along with multiple additional data points that speak to our overall success as a district. Please note that the scores you will see are last year’s scores; the results from this spring’s assessments are typically available in late summer. Last year, based on the success of these measures, both Willow Ridge and Hayes were named reward schools in 2023, which is a high honor.
  1. State assessment scores are required, by law, to be factored into all teacher and administrator evaluations. They represent one of multiple data points used, but they are a consistent and objective measure that is used to measure our success as professionals.

While these tests are important, we know that they are only one measure of the success of a school district, its staff, and its students. Here at GLPS we value developing the whole child, allowing students to explore their interests as they learn and grow, and helping to support students’ social and emotional growth as well. We are proud of our academic programs, and we are proud of the work our staff does every day to help our students become not only proficient on standardized tests, but also successful, well-rounded people who will make a difference in the world around them. After all, our Mission is “Growing Learners, Preparing Students (GLPS),” and we take that seriously here. 

As always, we appreciate your support, and we are thankful that we get to work with you and your students every day. Have a wonderful weekend; #proudtobeacome

Dr. Bill Barnes
Superintendent of Schools

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