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New Salem - October 15, 2008

Counselor’s Corner


© 2008 Dr. Gaylynn Becker
National Certified Career Counselor
National Certified School Counselor
New Salem High School


PSAT/NMSQT
Today interested juniors and sophomores will be taking the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test also known as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). This is the first hurdle in the National Merit Scholarship competition. The top .5% of juniors who take this exam will progress in the merit competition.

The assessment consists of: 2 critical reading sections, 2 math sections, and one writing skills section. The writing skills section actually consists of identifying sentence errors, ways to improve sentences and paragraphs. Good luck to the students who signed up to take this test battery!

North Dakota State Assessment
The North Dakota State Assessment will be administered during the week of October 20, 2008 to students in grades 3-8 and 11. The following week will be make-up time for those students who missed portions of the test.

We hope that parents will again assist our students in grades 3-8 and 11 get plenty of rest, eat a good breakfast, and of course do their best on the test!

The North Dakota State Assessment (NDSA) is the battery of tests that the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction uses in implementing the No Child Left Behind Act. This NDSA is what is used to determine Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for all public schools in North Dakota. In order to achieve AYP, schools and school districts must attain a specific percentage of students who score at the proficient and advanced levels of student achievement. In addition to the overall student population, several subgroups of students also need to achieve a certain percentage of students at the proficient or above level. The specific subgroups that must be reported are: ethnicity, economically disadvantaged, students with disabilities, and English Language Learners.

This is the second year that New Salem High School students who score at the proficient or advanced levels on both the North Dakota Reading Test and the North Dakota mathematics Test will receive the Holstein Achievement Award! Last year we had many New Salem High School students receive this award at the awards ceremony on the last day of school in May.

I hope parents of students in grades 3-8 and 11 will help students get plenty of rest and come to school ready to do their best for New Salem Public Schools! Personnel at the New Salem Public Schools all want to help students do their best. In addition to teachers doing their best to help students learn to do well on these assessments, Mrs. Sandra Heid – head cook – is also preparing an energy snack during testing. Thanks to Mrs. Heid and the cooks for their efforts!

If you have any questions on career, counseling, or assessment topics, please contact me at either New Salem High School at 843-7610, or at my residence at 222-3222.

Good luck to the students on these assessments!