Standardized Testing at Wood Acres

First through Eighth graders at The Wood Acres School will demonstrate their academic prowess by taking the Stanford 10 Achievement Test and the Otis Lennon Ability test in late April every academic year.  At Wood Acres, we are always pleased to say that test preparation for our students is done each and every day with quality teaching and monitoring of student progress.  Here’s a comprehensive overview of the testing program including our impressive results and what you, as a parent, can do to help your child when testing begins mid April year.

The Wood Acres School annually tests students in First through Eighth grades on the Stanford Achievement Test (SAT 10) and the Otis Lennon Ability Test (OLSAT).  The SAT 10 assesses each student’s achievement in specific academic areas and is nationally normed for his/her current grade level, while the companion OLSAT assesses the student’s natural ability for learning at the current grade level.  Please refer to link at the end of this review if you are interested in more detailed information about either the SAT 10 or the OLSAT national standardized testing programs.

90th Percentile Nationally
Average Wood Acres student performance in Math and Reading

Wood Acres students traditionally do very well on both instruments, thanks to the combined efforts of supportive parents, talented teachers, well-crafted curriculum, and engaged learners. That winning combination has played a key role in Wood Acres 47 year reputation as being an outstanding yet affordable private academic community in metropolitan Atlanta. 

Since our student population consists of one to two classes for each grade level, the presentation of test scores to an uninformed audience can lead to a great deal of misinterpretation of detailed and confusing data. Obviously mean, mode, and test averages from a grade level population of 200 holds more research validity than the annual results of Wood Acres from a grade level population of anywhere from 12 to 60 students. 

92nd Percentile Nationally
Average Wood Acres student performance in Science

We present all these caveats only to let you know that we do really well on the testing, and do not want to over-represent our successes- although we are extremely proud that our teaching efforts match or exceed our learners efforts each and every year.  Over a ten year trend, from spring testing in 2004 through spring testing in 2014, our student’s mental ability scores were in the highest stanines (7th, 8th and 9th) nationally.  Student scores on the Stanford Achievement Tests are consistently in the 7th through 9th stanines.  Stanines on nationally normed tests range from 1 to 9 with the 7-8-9 stanines being in the high range.  For Wood Acres this translates into a corporate student performance average in 90th percentile ranking nationally on both the total mathematics and total reading sections.  Wood Acres students soar even higher on the applied learning sections of Science and Social Studies (90th  to 95th percentiles), reflecting our emphasis on higher order thinking skills and superior curriculum in these areas.  Nationally, standardized testing is normed on the 50th percentile as being the average- on top of the bell curve.  Wood Acres scores are considered a “J” curve since our scores are so well slanted to the higher percentile rankings. 

Test analysis is important as we continually fine tune curriculum and instructional strategies to enhance our students’ continued success.  We also look for internal consistency in a student’s individual ability test results and his/her achievement test results.  Wood Acres students consistently score on achievement tests at or above their own mental ability scores.  In layman’s terms, that means that Wood Acres students achieve because of us, not in spite of us! 

95th Percentile Nationally
Average Wood Acres student performance in Social Studies

Results are shared annually with parents (usually late May) and are also used in-house to fine tune curriculum, shape educational plans for students, and celebrate the corporate success of our unique learning environment. These standardized tests are just one of many formal and informal assessment tools that Wood Acres teachers utilize to monitor student progress and fine tune curriculum delivery. Informal assessments are often qualitative in nature and typically provide the best snapshots of the learner in progress. Wood Acres would never trade a trained, mature, professional set of watchful teacher eyes for a #2 pencil and a bubbled-in test.

Teachers also analyze content clusters to see how individuals and the class as a whole have done in specific areas of reading, language, mathematics, and the content areas of social studies and science for the upper grades.  Another very valuable assessment piece can be found in a study of each student’s performance from year to year as he/she grows, progresses, and meets more challenging academic material.  Wood Acres is extraordinarily proud of the fact that we use standardized testing to reinforce and celebrate our teaching and learning rather than the more common public approach of having the test driving the instruction.  We also do not spend months in a test prep mode using commercially prepared materials, rallies, and testing tricks to get our students to score better.  Wood Acres children are excellent students and demonstrate a love and respect for teaching and learning that is instilled in them at home and highlighted at school.  That is the best test prep in the world!

Parents often ask with great anxiety, “How can I help my child do well on standardized tests?” The best preparation is a student’s attendance at Wood Acres!  During testing week, logistics such as a good night’s rest, a healthy, nutritious breakfast as well as smiles, hugs and encouragement from those at home provide a winning combination for a student to do his or her best!

http://www.pearsonassessments.com/ has additional information provided by Pearson Educational Assessments about both the Stanford 10 Achievement Test (SAT 10) complete battery as well as the Otis Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT).