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New Salem - September 8, 2004

Counselor’s Corner
Dr. Gaylynn Becker
Career Counselor
New Salem & Hebron High Schools

Great To Be Back!
It is nice to be back at school again. This is my fourth year working with students at New Salem and Hebron High Schools. The career development program is also for anyone seeking assistance from the New Salem and the Hebron areas.

These articles communicate some of the components and activities of the career counseling program that also includes various assessments. I hope you find these articles informative. Thanks to the New Salem Journal for graciously printing these articles as a means for communicating this information to the community. They do a great job of communicating the participation and accomplishments of the students of New Salem Public School.

If anyone reading these articles has specific feedback for me on improving the career counseling program, or if you or one of your children needs additional assistance in the career planning process, please contact me at either New Salem or Hebron High Schools.

College Career Fair
Principal Keith Jacobson, Wade Schulz, and I will be taking the seniors to the College Career Fair at Century High School in Bismarck on Thursday September 23, 2004. The seniors will have an opportunity to visit with college admissions representatives from over 30 colleges, universities, and trade schools not only from North Dakota but Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Minnesota. This is an excellent time for the seniors to get any college catalogs, college applications, residence housing applications, scholarship applications, as well as ask questions about individual campuses and programs at the colleges, etc. The College Career Fair has proven to be a very worthwhile experience for the students in the past.

North Dakota State Assessment Update
We have received the North Dakota Reading and North Dakota Mathematics Assessment results. The results are included in another article in this week’s New Salem Journal.

I have distributed and interpreted both the North Dakota State Assessment results as well as the TerraNova test results to students during classroom presentations. The North Dakota Reading and Mathematics Assessment results provide feedback on your son or daughter’s performance level on the North Dakota Reading and Mathematics Standards and Benchmarks.

The TerraNova - also known as the California Achievement Test (CAT) - provides assessment feedback on the specific reading, language, and mathematics objectives on the assessment. In addition, the TerraNova also provides norm-referenced information as to how your student did on the reading, language, mathematics, and total test. That is it provides information as to how well your son or daughter performed in comparison to students from across the United States. For example, a national percentile rank of 65 means that the student scored equal to or higher than 65 percent of the students in the country. The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction has decided not to provide this information to students who take the tests this year (2004-2005).

Our students did well. Thanks to the students for doing their best! Thanks to the teachers for your efforts in delivering learning opportunities for students! And, thanks to the parents for your support of your children and the educational programs at New Salem High School.

After explaining the assessment results with the students who took the tests, I sent copies home for students to show and interpret individual results to parents. I have also explained to the students to share the reading and mathematics standards and benchmarks assessed on the state assessments. These are benchmarks upon which younger brothers and sisters will be assessed and these standards will be assessed again in a later grade. Students also have a copy of their assessment results in their individual career portfolios kept in my office. If you have any questions, please contact me.

North Dakota State Assessment Changes
The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction has made several changes for the North Dakota State Assessment Program for the current 2004-2005 school year. Here are some of the changes:

1. Student testing will be increased from testing students in grades 4, 8 and 12 to testing students in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 11. This change, for the 2004-05 school year, is not a No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) requirement. Instead, it is a change that the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction has decided upon to begin one year prior to the NCLB requirement.

2. Norm-referenced scores will no longer be provided for students. This means that among other things, parents will not longer be able to compare how their children performed compared to students from across the United States.

3. Time of year of assessing students in grades 4 and 8 has changed from late February and early March to assessing all students in grades 3-8, and 11 during the last week in October and the first two weeks in November.

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 Hebron High School at 878-4442.

Have an excellent academic day!