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Resources for Parents in Elementary School and Earlier

Elementary School (and Earlier)

Understanding your Young Child’s Stages of Development
Information on child development for parents of one to five year olds.

Story Blocks – Literacy Development

Collection of 30-60 second videos for parents, caregivers, and library staff designed to model songs, rhymes, and finger-plays appropriate for early childhood. Each video clip includes tips to increase caregivers’ understanding of child development and pre-literacy needs.

Reading Tip Sheets

Reading tip sheets, available in multiple languages, for parents of babies, toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners, first graders, second graders, and third graders.

Reading Rockets

Teaching kids to read and helping those who struggle.

NWEA Spring testing window opened Monday, May 14, 2018 and will close Friday, June 8, 2018

SAT Score Release

SAT Score Release

Students who participated on the initial test day(s) for SAT will receive access to their scores in their College Board account beginning on May 3, 2018, while scores for students who participated in PSAT 10 or PSAT 8/9 are currently available.

Student Access to Scores

1. Students will need a College Board account
to view their scores.
2. Direct students to go to  this login page
viewscore) and log in.
3. Click sign up to register for an account if they
don’t already have one.

MDE just awarded contracts to NWEA and DRC to provide benchmark assessments to schools next year

MDE just awarded contracts to NWEA and DRC to provide benchmark assessments to schools next year

This follows what the state has been communicating about its assessment plan for the last few years.

Below is the excerpt from the recent spotlight

The Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) Procurement office has completed an evaluation of Administration, Scoring and Reporting of Statewide Benchmark Assessment proposals for the Michigan Department of Education. DTMB’s Procurement office has recommended an award to Data Recognition Corporation
(DRC) and the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), pending State Administrative Board approval and contract agreement. These two vendors are the only bidders that met the minimum requirements of technical review for reward consideration. 
The two vendors are slated to provide three different benchmark options from which schools can choose. 
• NWEA Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment 
• DRC BEACON benchmark assessment 
• DRC Smarter Balanced Interim Comprehensive and Block assessment. 
These tools will focus on mathematics and English language arts in grades 3-8 and pending final processes will be available in the fall of 2018. Look for additional information in future issues of the Spotlight as plans begin to be built out.

M-STEP 2018

M-STEP 2018

M-STEP testing window will open Monday, April 9, 2018  for grades 5, 8, & 11 and will end Friday, May 4, 2018

M-STEP testing window will open Monday, April 30, 2018 for grades 3, 4, 6, & 7 and will end Friday, May 25, 2018

Parent/Student Information

Online Practice for M-STEP ELA, Math, Science and Social Studies,4615,7-140-22709_70117-350540–,00.html

Superintendent Whiston Parent Letter on 2017-18 M-STEP and MME,4615,7-140-22709_70117-380605–,00.html

Best wishes for a safe and wonderful spring break!!



WIDA (World-class Instructional Design and Assessment)

English Learners only will take the State required language proficiency test, WIDA between February 5th and March 23rd.

Students who are identified as English learners will participate in the online assessment that tests their language proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

PSAT 8 will be administered to all 8th grade students on Tuesday, March 6, 2018

M-STEP updates and resources

M-STEP updates and resources

  • With the removal of the Performance Tasks, the Blueprints have been updated to reflect the new item counts.  Illuminate’s item bank will have many items similar to what will be found on the M-STEP assessment.
  • It is  HIGHLY recommended that students practice with the online training tests at least once before testing begins in April.  The TDA items are also embedded in the online training tests.  When students complete the first set of questions, they will be given a final item set which is an online version of the TDA.  This allows them to practice with the online text editor.  Here is the link:


Upcoming M-STEP Assessment

NWEA Winter testing window will open Monday, January 8, 2018 and close Friday, February 2, 2018

Hope everyone has a safe and restful break.

May your holiday season be filled with lots of happiness, peace, and love.

Picture of Happy Holidays greeting with ornaments and glitter


December 7, 2017 by Daniel Patterson, Ph.D.

Clarification of the upcoming M-STEP Assessment this spring.  Here are the changes that will be occurring with Spring M-STEP testing.


  • removal of all Performance Tasks


  • assessing science in grades 5, 8, and 11 (moving from grades 4 and 7 to grades 5 and 8)
  • requiring all eligible grade 5, 8, and 11 students participate in the statewide science field test (in place of an operational science test)
The prior M-STEP science assessments based on the prior science standards have been eliminated.  In this and upcoming years science will be assessed in grades 5,8 & 11.  For this year only schools will not be held accountable for science proficiency – only for science participation rate, which needs to be above 95%.  This is because we are piloting the new science test aligned to the new standards.  It will be a shorter version (approximately 45 minutes) of the full test.


  • removal of all Performance Tasks
  • removal of Claim 2 Writing short constructed response items in ELA grades 3, 4, 6, and 7
  • addition of one Claim 2 Writing text-dependent analysis (essay) in each grade of ELA
The state has still not released a sample Text-Dependent Analysis (TDA) Essay.  Once they do it will be embedded in the Online Sample Item Sets.  However, they have released the rubric used to grade these essays.

A few more details can be found in the 2017-18 Guide to State Assessments, but I will also follow up with more information when it becomes available.


Check Out Our New Parent Resources!!

You will find many useful links to assessment practice and guidelines to support student learning outside of school.

Included are links to:

The above parent resources can assist to reinforce classroom learning and to increase student confidence.

We will continue to add resources for families throughout the year.

Picture of arrows connecting Parents, Teachers, and Students