Fall Break and Parent-Teacher Conferences Set for DeKalb Schools

October 2, 2010
Dwayne Page
Mark Willoughby

DeKalb County Schools will be closed for the fall break October 11-22 (The first week will be intercession)

Meanwhile Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held on Tuesday, October 5th at DeKalb County High School from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will also be held from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Thursday, October 7th at DeKalb Middle School, Northside Elementary, Smithville Elementary, and DeKalb West School.

Report cards will be sent home on Monday, October 4th

Any DCHS student interested in working on grade recovery, Tiger Academy, or credit recovery during fall break needs to sign up in the counseling office as soon as possible. Fall Intercession will be held October 11-15th from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon. Bus transportation is available. Students wanting to do grade recovery for classes they are currently enrolled in need to check with their teachers before signing up.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby said during Parent-Teacher Conferences, parents in DeKalb County will be receiving their child's individual Student Performance report, or a comprehensive review of how the child performed on the state's Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) tests.

This year parents will notice some changes as a result of reforms at the state level.

Tennessee adopted revised academic standards through the Tennessee Diploma Project in 2008 and during the 2009-2010 school year students completed their first year of learning and testing on those standards. Willoughby said the tests given in 2009-2010 reflect not only revised academic standards but a much higher bar for the "proficient" and "advanced" levels of performance.

The performance report this year will include new levels of performance, "basic" and "below basic" that are used to help identify how much students need to progress to be proficient.

A new definition of proficiency now indicates a mastery of knowledge in a subject rather than minimal understanding. The combination of higher standards and proficiency means, ultimately, more students will be college and career ready. But it also means harder tests, and a potential dip in the immediate future with lower test scores and performance at the school level.

Despite the immediate outlook, Willoughby said these changes mean that our students will be better prepared for success in a global economy. They will be better prepared to not only compete with their peers in Tennessee, but with their peers in high-performing nations across the world, he said.

The DeKalb County School System, Willoughby said, is dedicated to helping parents during this transition. If parents have questions about student test scores, please contact the schools. Willoughy added, "we will work together for each student's success."

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