Scoring by Target: November Parent Newletter

Dear Central Academy students and families,

The second half of first semester is underway!  The 9-week midterm grades are due on the afternoon of Monday, November 5.  On Tuesday, November 6 (also election day), I will email you a progress report for your child(ren).  The report will show an overview of all Central classes with an in-progress grade (what the semester grade would be if the semester ended at 9-weeks), the number of missing assignments, and attendance information.  Some of you may have gotten similar reports from your home school.  I will send you these progress reports throughout the second half of our semester on November 20, December 11, and January 11.  First semester ends on January 15 and semester grades will be finalized by January 21.  Remember, the in-progress grade can change as additional topics are mastered and student work shows increasing sophistication.

Over the summer every year I spend some time studying the results of our work from the year before. One thing that has been consistent, year over year, is the remarkably high correlation between student semester grades and their scores on standardized tests including AP exams, ACT, and MAP testing. The semester grades that students earn in Academy classes are predictive of other achievement measures.  If a student earns an “A” in an AP class at Academy the odds are very high the student will also score a 3 or higher on the AP exam.

Even though semester grades are accurate, parents aren’t always certain during the semester how their child is progressing. At parent conferences I spoke with several parents who had questions about Standards Referenced Grading (SRG) and how to read the grade books in Infinite Campus.  We are working very hard to be more precise in our reporting of student progress during the semester so that students know where to put their focus to get the semester grade they want.

We made a new webinar called “Scoring by Target” which answers many of the common parent questions we encountered at conferences.  See the entire 26 minute video here:

I also broke the webinar into 3 smaller segments for those who don’t want to sit through the whole thing:

Finally, I wrote an executive summary of the webinar for those who would rather have it in print than to watch a YouTube video.  You can find it here: Scoring by target Summary


Every Tuesday we have Academy After Hours from 3:05 – 4:45 (except the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  Because to the holiday, After Hours will be cancelled on November 20 but will resume the following week.)

Attending these After Hours sessions help students work a little at a time on their assignments and begin to develop the time management skills they need.  During After Hours students can use school computers to work on assignments, join student groups, form study groups, consult with teachers, and develop working relationships with teachers and students at Academy.  We provide free popcorn to those who choose to stay.  There is a late bus that will shuttle students back to any DMPS middle or high school– they just have to sign up for the bus when they get their popcorn. Students are welcome to stay for Afters Hours as it fits their schedule.  Students are not required to stay the entire time, for example.  Sometimes parents pick up students on their way home from work at 4:00 or 4:15. Unfortunately, for those students who only attend Academy in the morning, their are no buses available after school to pick students up from home schools and return them to Academy for After Hours.


There are no classes on Wednesday, November 21, through Friday, November 23, for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Classes resume on Monday, November 26.


Kris Hilton, Academy counselor, met with some Academy parents of 8th grade students last week about planning a high school schedule.  If you want to know more about courses available at Central Academy for next year, see our webpage and choose the drop down menu under “Course Offerings”

You can also find the presentation from last week here: Scheduling 2019-2020.

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