School Improvement in Maryland

How do I support my child in being successful on the High School Assessments?

Over thirty years of research show that early and active involvement by a parent throughout their child’s education—helping with homework, talking about school, attending school activities—is the most powerful influence and has benefits that reach far beyond a student’s preK-12 years. Parent interest in supporting their child’s success on state assessments gives students a huge advantage.

State tests assess the Maryland Content Standards that describe what students are expected to know and be able to do and teachers are expected to teach these standards at the appropriate grade level or course. Assessment items on the state assessments should be an extension of classroom instruction and assessments. Consequently, the best way to support your child in being successful on state assessments is to support their active engagement in core classes and monitor their progress in those classes. This would include asking your child what he/she was learning; showing an interest in class work, homework, and test results; and talking to the teacher whenever you need more information about your child’s mastery of the content standards. Though report card grades will be useful information in assessing how well your child performed in that class, you would not want to wait until a nine week quarter had been completed to find out if your child was struggling and needed help in any area.

HSA Assessed Curriculum

Monitoring Templates

How can I monitor whether he/she is learning the content standards?

Monitoring your child’s performance in the three courses assessed on HSA will be the most useful way to monitor if a student is learning the content standards he/she is expected to learn. This would include ensuring that your child keeps up with class work, homework, projects, tests, and quizzes and that you know how well the student performed on that work from the teacher’s grades and feedback. Your child should be able to tell you what indicators they are currently learning. If you have questions about your child’s progress, talk to the teacher to find out exactly your child knows and still needs to learn and how you can get your child help in understanding any difficult content.

Student monitoring worksheets identify all of the goals, expectations and indicators that might be assessed on HAS and gives space for a student to chart their performance on these indicators. You will also find out in a later section about practice tests for students to take online to see how well they are performing on former HSA assessment items.

Report card grades will provide additional information about how your child is performing but will not provide that information in a timely way. You will want to know way before the nine week grading period is over how well your child is performing so that you can get him/her help in any areas that are difficult.

Showing interest in your child’s success on class work, homework, tests, and quizzes not only ensures the work gets done, but also lets your child know that education is a priority.