Dear Sprague Community,

The Book Fair is in full swing with lots of beautiful books. I know many of you have been here already and others will visit in the next 2 days. Scholastic does donate back to us based on sales, so any purchase supports book purchases for our library as well.

MCAS parent reports for individual students will be mailed home by Nov. 2. Parents of students currently in grade 4 and 5 will receive reports in the mail if the child took MCAS here at Sprague last year. I am attaching a parent note from the Dept. of Education, but would like to share the following quoted portion which explains how the new MCAS is different from past or ‘legacy’ versions of MCAS:

“The next-generation MCAS is a reformatted test from the old MCAS, and the scores are not comparable to the prior tests your child has taken. On the legacy MCAS, the four scoring categories were Advanced, Proficient, Needs Improvement, and Warning/Failing. On the next-generation MCAS, the four scoring categories are Exceeding Expectations, Meeting Expectations, Partially Meeting Expectations, and Not Meeting Expectations. The new categories emphasize readiness for higher-level work at the next grade level.

Roughly half of Massachusetts grades 3-8 students are already scoring in the Meeting Expectations category or above, but many students will find that they scored in the Partially or Not Meeting Expectations categories. As you look at these scores and help your child understand them, please note:

  • The next-generation MCAS establishes high expectations to better reflect whether students are on track for the next grade level and ultimately for college and a career.
  • 2017 is the baseline year — the first year of a new assessment — and we expect that over time, more students will score Meeting Expectations or above. (When the original MCAS debuted in 1998, relatively few students scored Proficient, but that changed as students and teachers adjusted to the new expectations.)
  • Students in grades 3-8 do not face any negative consequences as a result of their scores.
  • Students in 10th grade will not begin taking the next generation MCAS until 2019, so they are not affected by any of these changes.
  • The next-generation MCAS is a new test with a different approach to assessing student performance in grades 3-8, and this year’s results cannot be compared to last year’s.
  • MCAS results are only one measure of your child’s growth and achievement. Your child’s teacher can also talk to you more broadly about your child’s academic growth and about his or her social and emotional development.
  • In some subjects and grades, fewer students scored Meeting or Exceeding Expectations this year than scored Proficient or Advanced in previous years. This does NOT mean that students learned less; it reflects the fact that the next-generation MCAS measures more rigorous standards in a different way.”

2017 DESE MCAS Parent Letter.docx


As a reminder, we will have our Halloween parade on Oct. 31 at 9:00 a.m. outdoors. Students should have regular school clothes for the rest of the day. Violent themed costumes, fake blood, and toy weapons of any kind are not allowed. Scary clown costumes would be considered unwelcome as well. Masks are strongly discouraged and students must be able to see clearly while walking in the parade.

Dates to remember:

Oct. 24-27: Book Fair

Oct. 31: Halloween Parade at 9 a.m.

Nov. 1: Parent Conferences

Nov. 7, 8: Parent Conferences (includes a Tuesday early release on Nov. 7)

Nov. 8: Walk to School Day

Nov. 9: PTO meeting at 9:00 a.m.

Nov. 10: No school-Veteran’s Day

Dec. 8: Concert featuring grades 3 and 4 –Parents invited

Weekly note from Ms. Snyder–October 24, 2017
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