ISTEP: Are kids ready?

SOUTH BEND The ISTEP testing window opened Monday in Indiana, after state officials delayed the assessment period due to extreme winter weather.

In South Bend, students missed 8 days of school- 6 of which they will have to make up- because of ice, snow and cold. That loss of classroom time, had some parents worried whether or not their child would be ready for ISTEP testing.

"We've been working hard, teachers have been working hard, students have been working hard, we're ready for this test," said Wendy Folk, the principal at Swanson Primary Center.

Folk says students did not miss out on ISTEP preparation during their time off, instead, it was the lack of routine that caused potential concern.

"It was more about the routine of school, being in school everyday," said Folk. "Teachers set their plans for the week and then the snow days came and it became difficult to get back. There was some anxiety about that, but we're back on track with our learning and our routines."

The applied skills portion of the ISTEP assement was orginally scheduled for March 3-12, now the window is open March 10-21.

"Having the extra days has helped us," said Folk.

If parents or students are still concerned about the ISTEP, educators say there are things parents can be doing at home. Folk recommends more sleep, a healthy, balanced diet and reduced screen time.

"Our students need to be reading, they need to be talking, they need to be thinking through experiences with their families," said Folk.

"We really do feel like that conversation, that asking, 'why do you think that happened? What's going to be the next thing that happens in this story? Why do you think that?' Those critical thinking skills are important not only for the ISTEP, they're important in life," said Folk.


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