2012 – A new year and new hopes for the future. With the beginning of each new year we all take stock of our lives and seem to assess our place in the world. As educators I know each of us at SSISD has taken stock and we look at our place in the education world. Many things are out of our control regarding education. We are told what to teach and to what level to teach it and to what level our kiddos should be performing. As the new year begins we are tackling the unknown requirements of the state accountability system. Not all is known about the requirements of this new system, but the District has responded and set guidelines for our students that are in line with the parameters that we know so far. What I am talking about is the new STAAR End of Course Exam requirements. Listed below is the newly adopted SSISD policy for students in grades 9 and below. Semester Exams: San Saba ISD will develop semester exams for all courses including EOC’s . First semester: San Saba Elementary school will benchmark in 3rd and 4th grade; San Saba Middle School & San Saba High School will administer CSCOPE assessments that assess the portion of the curriculum that has been taught the first semester. In 2011-2012 the semester exam will count 1/7 of the semester grade. This weight will be changed in 2012-2013 to be 1/4 of the semester grade. The exam schedule will be run as the state assessment schedule – 4 hour increments. Semester exams will be administered for the second semester too. SSHS and SSMS will have exams that may be traditional or may be project based. If they are project based they will incorporate and demonstrate what students have learned in the spring or throughout the entire year. SSES will administer a benchmark in 2nd grade to assess 3rd grade readiness. Calculation of the EOC: The EOC exam will count 15% of the final course average according to the below listed formula: Students who earn a commended (or college ready) score on the EOC exam = 100; Students who pass the EOC exam = 90; Students who fail the EOC exam = 68; Students may retake the EOC exam as many times as they want for any reason (state law), but SSISD will not consider retake grades for GPA or class rank. The student may retake the EOC to gain credit for the exam. San Saba ISD cannot award course credit for a 1st semester course until the EOC retest results are returned to the district yet the state. Final grades for EOC courses will be calculated as follows: First semester average 42.5%; Second semester average 42.5%; EOC exam 15%. Regardless of the EOC score, if a student passes the course with a 70, the student will be awarded credit. Likewise, regardless of the semester averages, if the EOC score is high enough to pass the student for the year with a 70, the student will be awarded credit. Weighted and Honors Courses and Dual Credit Courses: the state-developed EOC exam will be calculated as 15% of the students’ final grade for the course. If the student is in an honors course grade will be weighted. Students enrolled in dual credit courses will have two types of grades: local grades including the EOC and CTC grades that do not include the EOC. The CTC transcript will look differently than the SSISD transcript. Middle School Students will need to work with the principal, teacher, counselor and parents to determine the math assessment that is appropriate. Students in 8th grade taking high school Algebra I may elect to forego participation the Algebra I EOC if the student is not fully prepared to take the exam. Students may take the 8th grade STAAR. Students need to carefully consider their preparedness for the Algebra I EOC. Failure to pass the EOC could have implications for SSI, high school credit, GPA, etc. Much will be required of our students to meet the mandates of the state and for our students to be prepared to operate in the adult world. We appreciate the support of our parents as well “raise the bar” and challenge our students to be successful on what is ahead of them.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 email@example.com .