What is STAAR testing?

STAAR stands for State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, which is the state’s student testing program. The assessments are based on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), which are the state curriculum standards. Beginning in grade 3 through high school graduation, students will be tested in the core subject areas of reading, writing, mathematics, science and social studies.

What is the purpose behind STAAR or the standardized testing of my child?

According to the Texas Education Agency, “STAAR tests show whether a student has mastered specific knowledge of a core subject at a certain grade level. Test results should provide parents assurance that their child is prepared to enter the next grade level within their school district or any Texas district. Finally, the results provide educators and administrators with uniform information about where to focus resources – especially in the core subjects being taught.”

How many STAAR tests are there each year in elementary and middle school?

  • Pre-K – 2nd: None
  • 3rd: Mathematics, Reading
  • 4th: Mathematics, Reading, Writing
  • 5th: Mathematics, Reading, Science

When will STAAR testing take place at Brentwood?

  • Tuesday, April 9: 5th Grade Math and 4th Grade Writing
  • Wednesday, April 10: 5th Grade Math and 4th Grade Writing Make-Ups
  • Thursday & Friday, April 11 -12: 5th Grade Math & Reading and 4th Grade Writing Make-Ups
  • Monday, May 13:  3rd Grade Math, 4th Grade Math, and 5th Grade Math Retest
  • Tuesday, May 14:  3rd Grade Reading, 4th Grade Reading, and 5th Grade Reading Retest
  • Wednesday, May 15:  5th Grade Science and 3rd & 4th Grade Reading and Math Make-Ups
  • Thursday, May 16: 3rd & 4th Grade Reading and Math and 5th Grade Science Make-Ups

What should families need to know about testing days?

Brentwood will not be providing snacks for students during STAAR testing this year due to food allergies and dietary restrictions among students.  Please send a healthy, non-messy snack with your child on testing days.

We do our best to provide a thriving learning environment for all of our students.  We model and teach our social, emotional, learning strategies throughout the year and encourage our students to use them.  We want all of our students to feel successful and promote our motto, “Where we always do our personal best!” during testing season.

There are various adjustments to schedules during these days, including Encore, recess, and lunch times.  Please check with your child’s teacher for specific information. We are thankful to have Brentwood Park next to us so our non-testing grades have a place to play during testing days. We practice sharing and respect when we go to the park and play with non-Brentwood kids.

On testing days students take assessments throughout the building. We are required to maintain testing security throughout the building on these days. On all testing days the campus will be closed to all visitors, mentors, and families.  If you stop by campus you will be able to visit the office only.  We appreciate your understanding of this campus closure during these days.

What should families do?

If possible, please refrain from scheduling appointments or checking students out in the morning on testing days.

Also, please share the following tips with your children:

  1. Have a Positive Attitude – Approach the big test as you’d approach a giant jigsaw puzzle. It might be tough, but you can do it! A positive attitude goes a long way toward success.
  2. The Night Before – The night before the test you should get to bed early. Remember, you brain and body need sleep to function well, so don’t stay up late!
  3. The Morning of the Test – Did you know that you think better when you have a full stomach? So eat a healthy, nutritious breakfast in the morning. Brentwood cafe will be open for breakfast from 7:05-7:30 each morning if families wish to purchase breakfast at the school. Get to school early so you aren’t rushing, and get you brain turned on, and tuned up.
  4. I’m Stuck – Those tricky problems can knock you off balance. Don’t get worried or frustrated. Reread the question to make sure you understand it, and then try to solve it the best way you know how. If you’re still stuck, circle it and move on. You can come back to it late. What if you have no idea about the answer? Review your options, and make the best guess you can.
  5. Multiple-Choice Questions – The process of elimination can help you choose the correct answer in a multiple-choice question. Start by crossing off the answers that couldn’t be right. Then spend your time focusing on the possible correct choices before selecting your answer.
  6. Neatness Counts – Be sure that your writing is legible and that you erase your mistakes. For machine-scored tests, fill in the spaces carefully.
  7. I’m Done – Not so fast! When you complete the last item on the test, remember that you’re not done yet. First, check the clock and go back to review your answers, making sure you didn’t make any careless mistakes (such as putting the right answer in the wrong place, or skipping a question).