Understanding AzMERIT

Understanding AzMERIT
Posted on 09/05/2017
A student hand is seen manipulating a computer mouse with a blurred image of another student on a computer is in the background.Salt River Schools, as well as other schools in districts across Arizona, will soon be issued an A-F letter grade representing student achievement and growth on the AzMERIT state assessment.

School and Division leaders at Salt River Schools stand behind our teachers and curriculum and know our staff and faculty do everything in their power to ensure student success in a variety of ways, including how well students do on standardized tests.

While we don’t yet know what the letter grade will be for Salt River High School or the Accelerated Learning Academy, we want our students, their families and the Community to be as prepared as possible for what this grade means, what student individual scores mean and how we can use these scores to do our best for our students and as a Division. 

Letter grades for traditional schools, including SRHS, are scheduled to be officially announced October 9 at https://azreportcards.com/. The SRHS letter grade breaks down into percentages determined by student AzMERIT results, student growth, college and career readiness indicators (such as passing an AP test), graduation rates and attendance.

Letter grades for alternative schools, which includes our Accelerated Learning Academy, will be released sometime later this fall. Salt River Elementary School does not receive a letter grade due its status as a Bureau of Indian Education school, although students there participate in the AzMERIT assessment.

If a student took the AzMERIT last year, a Family Report from the school should have already been mailed to their home. This report shows how well a student performed on the assessment.

It’s important to remember: AzMERIT is only one of several measures that are used to determine a student’s academic performance.

Report cards, for instance, include multiple sources of information, such as classroom participation, work habits, group projects and homework, all of which are important in determining a child’s academic achievement.

Additionally, and something we think makes Salt River Schools stand above the crowd, our schools prioritize the learning of O’odham and Piipaash languages and cultures for all students and we’re excited to launch our brand new curriculum in this area.

Unfortunately, these sources are not reflected on the AzMERIT assessment, so there may be some differences between a student’s report card and their AzMERIT results. Parents and guardians are encouraged to talk to their student’s teacher(s) to further explore their child’s academic achievement.

We know many questions may still remain, and we want to keep the dialogue open about this and other important education issues. We invite our students, families, staff and the Community to the upcoming Salt River Schools Community Forums on Sept. 12 and Sept. 19. These are two opportunities to meet with Division leaders, learn more about AzMERIT and discuss how the new Strategic Plan at Salt River Schools will not only address achievement gaps, but ensure student and family success through prioritizing O’odham and Piipaash languages and cultures.

Salt River Schools has many resources available to help students, families and the Community understand AzMERIT. Learn more by viewing our AzMERIT “Frequently Asked Questions” page or visit the AzMERIT Portal online.

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