Welcome to Renaissance Place!
Many of you who are new or veteran’s of Hunter’s Green may have heard about the Accelerated Reader (or AR) Program. AR is a reading practice software program that allows teachers to monitor growth and comprehension among their students. It is important to emphasize that AR is not a reading curriculum, nor does it replace daily reading instruction. It is a SUPPORT software program. Student performance on AR quizzes will NOT be factored into a student’s progress report – The Academic Progress or Expected Behaviors sections.
The STAR (Standardized Test for Assessment of Reading) Test is given once a quarter by most teachers and is a quick diagnosis that allows teachers to gather baseline data (ZPD – Zone of Proximal Development) of the student’s reading level range. Teachers will determine the student’s exact reading level through other district assessments, such as DRA and Dibbles. Students can select books for comfortable reading growth while still challenging themselves. It will also allow the teacher to monitor their student’s progress throughout the year.
With AR, your child may read a book of choice from an AR list and test on the text through the computer. Each book has a point score that the student can earn. Points start at .5 (1/2) and continue up based on the difficulty of the book. Points are awarded to the student based on how well the child performs on the test. To earn ANY portion of the available points for a book, the student must earn at LEAST a 60% on the test. A 100% would grant the entire available points for the book. More important to remember is that we encourage students to work harder towards a percentage rather than points. Students should score consistently between and 85 -100 percentage range. Anything below an 85% will negatively affect the student’s overall percentage rate.
Each student should be working towards an 85% comprehension goal and an individual point goal. The goals will be set by both the student and the teacher based on current reading levels and past performance with AR. Goals can change quarterly as the student progresses. As the students reach their goals of percentages and points, they will be invited to attend AR Functions at the end of each 9 week period. Collectively, points/percentages will be reviewed to attend an AR Celebration at the end of the year.
Depending on your child’s teacher, a report will be printed and sent home either weekly or every three weeks that will indicate the student’s selected books, points earned for each book and the percentage earned on each book. It will also show the total number of points earned versus the points attempted, the total average percentage of all quizzes taken, and the average reading level that the child is testing at.
For the 2008-2009 school year, there are some exciting changes to the AR Program. The county purchased the license to the parent company of AR – Renaissance Place. With this new license ALL AR quizzes will be available to students rather than just the quizzes the school had purchased. This will open up a wide variety of books to students, and allow parents to look for AR books with children at the public library as well as the school media center. Use the AR BookFinder, ( www.arbookfinder.com ) a web-based book searching tool, to find books
that have a corresponding AR quiz and create your own “bookbag.”
Log-in to the AR Program has also changed. Students will log-in using their entire lunch number as the login and their birth-date (MMYYYY) as the password. Please work diligently with your child to memorize this number.
Also newly available in January 2009 is Home Connect. Home Connect will allow parents to login to a website and view their child’s progress in AR. Parents will be able to view student’s performance on reading quizzes, monitor progress toward goals, and see the student’s online bookshelf. Parents can also elect to receive email notification when their child takes an AR quiz. You will not, however, be able to take quizzes at home. When Home Connect is available, checking your child’s points will be done at your own discretion.
Please be reminded that students will only be permitted to take AR Quizzes during school hours (8 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Parents and other adults or other siblings will be unable to assist or accompany students in the media center for AR testing before and after school.
We look forward to implementing the new aspects of Renaissance Place and watching our students and children gain beneficial reading skills and improvements from the Renaissance Place Program!