The end of the first 84 days of instruction is near. Wednesday, December 21, 2011 will mark the end of the first semester and the 84th day that students have received instruction. These last 8 days of this school year has been used for completing course work and for taking semester tests and for administering benchmarks. Parents will be receiving information about their students’ performance on the benchmarks and the semester exams. These exams reflect what students have learned and how they are expected to perform on the state assessment whether that assessment is the TAKS, the STAAR, or the STAAR End of Course Exam (EOC). With the implementation of the EOC’s, 9th grade and 8th grade students currently enrolled have much to think about at the end of this semester. Because the EOC’s must be 15% of the student’s final grade for the year, the first semester just ending will not be fully calculated until school is out in May and the End of Course exam results are known. At the December Regular Board meeting the Trustees adopted the EOC policy that was recommended by a committee of teachers, board members, and administrators. One of the major decisions that had to be made about the EOC implementation was to determine how to convert a “scale score” to a numerical score so that the 15% could be calculated. The Trustees adopted a policy that converts the following scores for the EOC: commended performance = 100; passing performance = 90; and non- passing performance = 68. The ISD is in the process of working on a Q & A to be published and made available for students and parents. The EOC will forever change the face of assessment for our students in grades 9 and younger. It is expected that the Legislature will adjust the rules regarding the EOC’s, but the legislative session is a long time away. At the very least, the rules in place now will impact our current 9th and 8th graders. The State Board of Education met recently to entertain possible changes to the EOC policy, but board policy met a dead end and the decision will be left to the legislature.Parents need to be informed and attend EOC sessions when they are made available. The Q & A will be posted on the website when it becomes available and SSHS and SSMS will hold informational sessions for our parents and students.From SSISD, we hope that you and your family will have a wonderful Christmas season and be safe this holiday. We at SSISSD feel so very fortunate to have the great students that we have in this school system. Our students work hard and they have great potential. As a community we need to recognize their potential and work hard to help these kiddos reach their goals.All SSISD students report back to school on January 3, 2012. The spring semester is a mere 96 days long. We are only 46 days away from the first state assessment. We have much to accomplish when we start the new semester. We hope everyone will return to school refreshed and ready to tackle what is ahead.Parents, let us know how we can help you the first day of school all the way until the last day of school!! Please check the website at www.san-saba.net for school information and follow us on facebook, too! If you have any question about this article or any other question about school happenings please contact me at 325/372-3144 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .