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INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO:††  126

POLICY CODE:†† ICHD

 

TO:†††††††††††††††† Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, High School Principals, and High School Directors of Guidance

 

FROM:†††††††††† Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

 

DATE:†††††††††††† May 18, 2004

 

SUBJECT:††††† Funding for PSAT/NMSQT for ALL 10th Graders

 

Through a partnership with the College Board that provides both educational benefits and a significant price discount to the State, the Department of Education is making it possible for ALL 10th graders in Maine to take the PSAT on Wednesday, October 13, 2004.This equitable opportunity is part of a statewide effort to have each student college ready, and it provides us an early means of showing each student that college is a possibility.

 

The PSAT/NMSQT individual student Score Report Plus and the programís school-based Summary of Answers and Skills (SOAS) reports will provide valuable content information that can be used to support academic planning and advising, guidance, and the targeting of instruction that is aligned with the Maine Learning Results earlier in studentsí high school careers.The individual student reports specify the skills that a student needs to work on to meet the standards expected by Maine and by colleges and universities, and the school summaries and related services, such as AP potential, will provide an enhanced basis for teacher professional development as well as for school and district planning.

 

Your school has a significant role in the implementation of this initiative. Dean Collins, Director of Guidance at Madison High School, provided the following comment regarding their experience of providing the PSAT to all 10th graders last year:

 

ďMadison Area Memorial High School administers the PSAT test to all Sophomore and Junior class members.We have found this assessment to be an excellent tool to not only predict how our students will do on their SATs but also to assist our Math and English curriculum development and identifying weaknesses that an individual student may have.Ē

After submitting the attached form by June 1, 2004, each publicly supported high school in Maine will order the PSAT for its 10th grade students before June 15 for the PSAT/NMSQT Wednesday October 13, 2004 administration.The school must:

 

1.      Register online at www.collegeboard.com/school by June 15, 2004, using the access code provided on your Registration Information Card.This will ensure that you receive the 2004 PSAT/NMSQT Student Bulletin, PSAT/NMSQT: The Parent Perspective, and the Plan for College student flyer--as early as possible. Students should have the opportunity to take the full-length Practice Test included in the Student Bulletin and parents need adequate time to become familiar with the PSAT/NMSQT.

 

2.      Submit SSD (Services for Students with Disabilities) forms by the beginning of September, at the latest, to ensure that students with disabilities who request accommodations have required SSD eligibility codes; if you have questions concerning SSD, send e-mail to ssd@info.collegeboard.org or call 609-771-7137.

 

3.      Be aware that the PSAT/NMSQT Summary of Answers and Skills report and AP Potential are free to all schools in 2004 and your principal will receive an access code in January/February that will allow your school staff to go online and view these reports.

 

By early September, 2004, you will receive the Working with the 2004 PSAT/NMSQT.This publication will guide you through every step of the PSAT/NMSQT administration, as well as provide you with helpful materials to share with students, parents and teachers.It will also include a new version of ScoreWrite, a complete practice for students in preparation for the SAT essay, plus a valuable professional development experience for staff.You may use ScoreWrite at any time throughout the year, and most schools will probably use it in the Fall to complement the PSAT/NMSQT administration.

 

You must return the enclosed form by mail or by FAX to the Department by June 1 so that we can confirm the numbers of 10th graders in each high school, be assured that all orders are submitted on time, and assist you in planning for professional development, AP potential and the many other activities and benefits that will assist you, your school and your students following the October, 2004 PSAT/NMSQT administration to 10th graders.

 

Ordering your PSAT/NMSQT tests prior to June 15, 2004 insures that your high school will receive the Student Bulletins for your students in August, 2004.Each high school will also order its PSAT tests at the same time for its 11th graders who will be taking the PSAT/NMSQT.

 

Accompanying this communication are the Department of Educationís guidelines for this PSAT administration to 10th graders.In the meantime, any related questions should be addressed to Wanda Monthey, 624-6831 or wanda.monthey@maine.gov

 

 

Enclosures:

 

2004 PSAT/NMSQT At-A-Glance

 

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