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Testing Period Self-Assessment Overall School Readiness

Description: The Testing Period is not just the time when the test is administered to all students. It is the time when we build an optimal assessment environment, prepare the students for that environment, administer the test, and assess the success of our environment, enabling students to perform to their full potential.

Timeframe: The Testing Period begins two to three weeks before the test starts and lasts through the week following the test administration.

Goal: The goal of the Testing Period is to create an optimal assessment environment in which all students can and will demonstrate their potential as learner and performer.

Priorities for Academic Leaders:
• Market a vision for an optimal test environment to staff and students and provide opportunities for practice and scrimmage experiences.
• Practice revised test day schedules, rituals and routines, and student placements.
• Eliminate all extraneous distractions.
• Develop and market plans for predictable disruptions and for unexpected distractions and disruptions.
• Visibly support teachers and students in test preparation and testing best effort activities.
• Visit all classrooms to support teachers and students and to identify teachers and students who are out of sync with the testing plan.
• If problems are identified, meet daily with leadership team to form more plans – B and C.
• With leadership team, develop an end-of-year (EOY) plan.
• Interact with students individually to assess commitment and motivation and celebrate their effort and successes.
• Check all teachers’ plans for debriefing and transition to EOY.
• Complete evaluations of the Opening Period, Formative Period, and Calibrating Period.

Priorities for Teachers:
• Plan test-taking rituals, routines, and schedules to ensure student mastery before the actual testing begins.
• Eliminate all extraneous distractions.
• Review effective test-taking strategies.
• Assess student mastery of test format and provide last-minute assistance.
• Maintain a focus on formative activities after the daily test is completed.
• Provide work to activate long-term memory.
• Plan to maintain learning momentum in the weeks before and after the test.
• Maintain an optimal classroom environment before, during, and after the test.

Priorities for Students:
• Attend school daily.
• Practice optimal preparation and test-taking rituals, routines, and schedules.
• Review and practice effective test-taking strategies.
• Highly engage in all test practice work and revise to proficiency.
• Self-assess test readiness and seek assistance if needed.
• Meet with adult mentor to discuss motivation and effort.
• Accept support when provided and actively engage in support activities.

– excerpt from Turning Around Turnaround Schools, Volume 2 – Embracing the Rhythm of the Learner Year

The free tools provided on this site are pulled, in part, from our recent book Turning Around Turnaround Schools, Volume 2 – Embracing the Rhythm of the Learner Year. If you have questions about how to use any of these tools, please feel free to contact us, or check out the book, available on

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