1. Preparation for the math and reading tests that start Tues. April 21:
Since these final math and reading tests are taken very seriously by the central office, the principal and the No Child Left Behind inspired national interest, Stanton teachers, auxiliary staff, City Year young adult assistants and we are scurrying around trying to boost student performance in comparison to last year's similar tests and intermediate tests taken during the course of this academic year.
As mentioned previously, comparisons between tests taken in March & January showed modest improvement in math, in general, and little improvement in reading comprehension during the 6 or 7 week interval between these tests. For example, the number of students at the proficiency level in all the 3, 4, 5 & 6 grades is considerably below the goal set of around 1/3 of the students attaining that level this year.
Although everyone involved with the students understands that miracles don't happen overnight, there still is this push to get to at least 1/3.
2. The test schedule is now set:
On Tues/Wed. mornings ( 9 - 1), April 21/22, the reading comprehension tests will take place. On Tues/Wed mornings (9 - 1), April 28/29, the math tests will take place.
I mentioned earlier that Dr. Presswood requested that Rotary members contribute to the monitoring of the tests in the individual classrooms -- a perfectly reasonable request to those of us that have been tutoring. But since I have been dealing with 4 classes  out of the 8 in the 3, 4, 5 & 6 grades and also will not be available for the reading comprehension tests, to fulfill his request we will need more Rotarians to participate than the current tutoring group.
So, here's an appeal to this e-mail group for some help. Several of you on this address list are not tutors, and some are not Rotarians; but you still qualify for this prestigious chore !!  So, please consider participating. Let me know if you can. Directions to follow if you need them.
3. And into the future with PAL:
Rene Wallis, the Exec. Dir. of People Animals Love (PAL), the "Strimple thing", Beth Libow (a respected animal lover) and I have been cooking up how we might augment student performance at Stanton through a joint effort. For this, there is a clear need for grant funds. Rene, Beth and I are working on a grant proposal, which is due on May 21st, to cover the costs of a 5 year involvement at Stanton. The grant, through the auspices of the DC State Office of Ed. (OSSE), is restricted to before school, after school and summer programs. We are dealing here with funds on the order of $ 1/4 million per year.
Therefore, since Stanton has an existing after school program, I sat in on what was going on yesterday. Our approach, consequentially, will be to strengthen this program. It can use it, even though it is currently a decent program for several dozen students, mostly from the lower grades.