Smoky Mountain Academic
Resources and Training (SMART)
Equipping Parents/Assessing Students
Please follow SMART Testing on Facebook @SMARTTestingInc
Woodcock – Johnson IV Testing 2020 – 2021
SMART Testing Associates are still testing in May, June, July, and the rest of 2020. SMART has been here for you and your family since 2006 and will continue to be available for you in the future.
Hopefully, most homeschool families in NC have their student-tested once a calendar year because they are interested in the academic progress of their student. A crisis or a temporary waiver in the NC State law will not change the services that Smoky Mountain Academic Services and Training (SMART) provides for families. Testing services provide valuable feedback on a student’s academic progress. The testing services that SMART Testing Associates offer go way beyond the basic testing requirements from the state of NC. As one parent said to me recently, “I can’t miss testing each year, it (testing) offers such targeted learning for me so I know how to go forward”.
SMART will continue to offer premium one-on-one testing to homeschool families. We know the immediate test scores and consultation offers families specific and targeted learning opportunities. We are often told by parents that the individual feedback and a path to move forward is just what they need to help their student to continue to grow academically.
The info that you shared with me during Eli’s evaluation has had an enormous impact on his learning and on our relationship, btw. Thank you so so much! – L
Thank you so much for your testing service. Last year was such a blur for our family. Using your testing service and your encouragement, gave me the boost we needed to keep homeschooling. Many blessings to you and your family.
I have enrolled C in the Duke TIP program. He will be taking the ACT in February. I have been able to focus my work with L better and have been able to meet her needs as a kinesthetic learner and that has lessened my frustration with teaching her. Your testing really made a difference in our day to day lives this year.
I (Glenna Toney) test in many states that never require testing for homeschool families by law, however, the parents consider testing results as important and needed input to the homeschool experience each year.
SMART has been receiving calls from parents who have never homeschooled before because their children have attended a traditional public or private school. These parents are concerned about the state of their children’s education and academic performance. It is obvious that in most cases, schools will be promoting students to the next grade. However, many parents have questioned if their students are prepared academically for the next grade after the way school has been handled since mid-March. I encourage parents to consider all of the reasons for annual achievement testing and the numerous benefits.
Why do we test?
to fulfill NC law (only one reason)
check and balance in the progression and academic growth of our student
learn information about the student and how to help him/her improve
to find out what information the student has retained in their long-term memory without prompting or examples
help prepare for college entrance exams
get a good snapshot of the student’s academic abilities
Testing may seem overwhelming and scary, but I promise it doesn't have to be! Having a regular assessment completed by your child simply shows their educational growth and can be an encouragement to you while you're in the midst of the homeschooling "weeds."
And don't forget ... you're actually assessing your children every day whether you're checking a math test or watching them interact at the store. Testing builds on that; it's just a little more formal. So, no need to worry!
Thank you, Glenna for spending time with us yesterday. I asked the kids when I got in the car, “Who enjoyed doing their test?” They all chimed in, “I did!”
SMART will hold your registration and credit until we are able to reschedule (even until July 2021 if necessary, but we hope not).
Glenna Toney recorded the following PowerPoint Presentation on Zoom recently. The presentation is also posted on smarttesting.net, click on the group test tab and click on the presentation or click on Video Presentations at the bottom of any page.
Please share with other families, traditional homeschool families, and recent homeschoolers (ie, private and public-school families) about this Presentation and that SMART Testing is scheduling test for spring, summer, and fall of 2020.
Please share your thoughts (smarttesting.net) under comments.
“We have the test scores, now what?”
You have completed your Annual Testing and now you have the scores. Other than filing the scores away, how can you use your test scores to help upgrade and improve your homeschooling experience?
Glenna Toney will review testing patterns/scores and discuss how to use the information in the best interest of your child and homeschool.
Topics will include possible learning disabilities or difficulties such as dyslexia, processing disorders, retrieval issues, Asperger’s, autism, “sight-readers”, “word callers”, slow learners, advanced and fast learners and how to address learning discrepancies that can impact students.
Glenna also plans to cover other topics such as using test scores to help prepare for college entrance exams, identify learning styles, identify right and left-brain processors, address processing speed concerns.
https://zoom.us/rec/share/4cxEDLO31nxJTbPw2R3ER6UEGabAeaa80CNP-vFbz05fCvn4ZDy67xdlu3OXZ3fY (Access Password: Q2*3D5=0)
COVID-19 Update March 23, 2020
Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,
Many of you have asked about the implications of a recent statement by the Trump administration, relative to annual student testing. We would like to clear up any confusion on this issue.
As part of the government response to COVID-19, President Trump has declared that federally required standardized testing for public schools has been waived.
The statement was in reference to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a federal program that grants funds to states that comply with requirements set by the United States Department of Education (DOE). It is the successor to No Child Left Behind, which was the successor to the Elementary and Secondary Students Act.
FEDERAL FUNDS AT ISSUE
Although the federal government lacks constitutional authority to make law regarding state education, it often promotes certain policies through programs such as ESSA by making money available to states that agree to abide by these policies. And one of the ways the DOE ensures its requirements are being met is by testing students.
It was this sort of annual testing that President Trump waived. It meant that, for this year, states do not have to test students in order to receive federal money from programs such as ESSA.
This waiver does not apply to homeschooling families.
STATES IN CHARGE
Homeschool regulation is state specific (and we want to keep it that way). In most cases, only state legislatures have the authority to waive state educational requirements.
Home School Legal Defense Association is monitoring state legislatures for any such action. You can see the bills we are tracking at our Legislative Action Center. We have a special folder just for COVID-19 legislation.
Most states that require assessments usually allow for options other than testing. If your state does not have other options, please contact HSLDA for specific guidance.
Otherwise, HSLDA recommends that homeschoolers continue to follow the law as it relates to assessing their child.
In a few states, there may be problems in getting the required test, and we will intercede with the state to work out an equitable solution.
We understand this situation has affected homeschooling families in many ways, including the limitation on social gatherings and co-ops. This too will pass; so use it as an opportunity to do things as a family you would not normally do.
HSLDA attorneys will be communicating directly with our members and homeschooling communities regarding legislation or other changes. Continue to comply with the legal requirements set by state law for assessments, and use the flexibility the law allows through means such as online testing, portfolio assessments, progress reports, or other methods. You can get more information about your state’s assessment options here.
WE'RE HERE FOR YOU
If you have any questions, please contact your state legal team by email at [yourstatenamespelled out]@hslda.org (e.g., Colorado@hslda.org).
We continue to encourage our homeschool community to use appropriate means to reach out to neighbors and friends as an example that learning isn’t a place—it’s an experience that can happen anywhere!
HSLDA’s QuickStart microsite is a good place for you to point people who have questions about homeschooling. We hope you will also encourage your friends to consider joining HSLDA so we can give them the same support you enjoy!
If you aren’t a member of HSLDA—we need your support—please consider joining today!
As we navigate unprecedented challenges in our country, all of us at HSLDA are thinking about and praying for our members and friends!
May God bless us all!