- Western Hills Elementary
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Celebrating Success and Focusing Lessons
Majid Aljabery and his fourth-grade classmates at Jefferson Elementary prepared for the MAP Growth Assessment by reviewing content, writing notes and taking practice tests.
“I think it is important because it shows if you are learning all the skills,” said Aljabery. “My goal is to beat my score each time.”
Students in kindergarten through ninth grade take the MAP Growth Assessment. The assessment measures academic growth in reading, mathematics and science. It helps educators identify the best approach to meet student needs and deepen classroom lessons.
“We also use this assessment as part of continuous school improvement to monitor whether or not we are meeting our goals and moving forward as a school district,” said Susanne Cramer, Omaha Public Schools chief school improvement officer. “It is also important for our work with families to understand more about how their students are succeeding.”
Students complete these tests three times a year: during the fall, winter and spring. It is an online tool that adapts to each student and their understanding of the subject at that moment. Schools can then offer students the tailored tools they need to do their best.
“At the beginning of the year, we go over the base skills that our kids need right from the start, like reading and math,” said Jennifer Schlapia, Jefferson Elementary principal. “The other thing we do is we make sure that kids are familiar with the format of testing, like what multiple-choice looks like, what a short answer looks like.”
Apart from MAP Growth, students in grades three through eight and grade 11 participate in the Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System (NSCAS). The Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) manages NSCAS testing statewide. The test measures grade-level standards. English learners also take the English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century each spring.
These tests help our district monitor growth and support students' learning needs.
Cramer says families are an essential part of the team by making sure students get a good night's sleep, come to school prepared, and emphasize the importance of students doing their best every day at school.
School conferences, offered in the fall and spring, are a great way for families and teachers to take a closer look at each student’s assessment scores and progress in the classroom.
“This is a really important part of ensuring that each student is growing, achieving and getting what they need,” Cramer says.
Omaha Public Schools provides a parent resource kit and a family guide to MAP Growth on our website.