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The Morris Area administration, faculty, and staff are writing this letter to ask for your help and to share information about upcoming statewide assessments.

Last school year, the Morris Area School District did not make Adequate Yearly Progress on statewide assessments. While this is not uncommon in the state, it is nonetheless difficult to accept - especially given how well our students historically score on these reading, math, and writing tests. In response to being placed on the "needs improvement" list, we felt that sharing important information about these assessments and asking parents to help their children prepare for them was the right thing to do.

Statewide assessments - known as Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA-IIs and MCA-IIIs for 3-8th Math) - are given to students in grades 3-8 in both reading and math. Students in grade 9 take a writing MCA-II, students in grade 10 take a reading MCA-II, and students in grade 11 take a math MCA-II. The tests in grades 10 and 11 are a combination test, in that students must receive a passing score on a set of questions that are embedded in the MCA-II in order to graduate. This set of questions is known as the Graduation Required Assessment for a Diploma or GRAD. They are high stakes in that students who do not "pass" the GRAD portion of the MCA-II are not eligible to graduate until they re-take and pass the test (given multiple times).

Students have a vested interest in doing well on these assessments. In addition to the state using the results to determine Adequate Yearly Progress, we also utilize both group and individual results to improve instruction and target assistance to specific students.

To help your child do well on these tests, please make note of days that your child will be taking an MCA-II or GRAD test (it might be more than one day), help them get a good night of sleep two nights before the test as well as the night before the test, and help them eat well at least 24 hours in advance of the test. Proper nutrition is so important to student focus and concentration that the Morris Area School Board has once again approved offering free school breakfast to any student on a day that they will be completing one of these assessments (information will be shared with students prior to their testing day).

Our students have the knowledge and ability to fare well on these tests, but we need your help doing all we can to make sure they have the best opportunity to do so. Thank you for your time!

Yours in education,

Scott Monson, Superintendent

Brad Korn, Elementary Principal

Mike Coquyt, High School Principal

A Glance ahead

April 12 - 9th Writing/10th Reading/11th Math GRAD and MCA tests (Segments 1-2)

April 13 - 10th Reading/11th Math (Segments 3-4)

- Early Dismissal

April 15 - Bloodmobile at MAHS 8:30-1:30

April 16 - Prom

April 22 - No School

April 26 - 7-8th MCA Reading Tests

April 27 - 7-8th MCA Math Tests