Hixson Highlights - April 3, 2015

From the Principal, Dr. Smith

Hixson Parent Communication Committee Meeting
We will be holding our next communication committee meeting on Tuesday, April 14th at 7 pm in the library annex. All are welcome, bring ideas and suggestions.

Election Day is Tuesday, April 7

To alleviate overcrowding, allow small class sizes, maintain staff salaries at or above the county median, provide tuition-free full-day kindergarten and additional preschool scholarships, the Board of Education has placed Propositions S and W on the April 7 ballot.

What will happen if these funding measures don’t pass?

The school district has no other source of funding than the property tax. Without an increase in revenue, the district will reduce staffing and programs for the 2015-16 school year. Since almost 80 percent of the district budget goes to salaries and benefits, it can’t make significant cuts without reducing teachers and staff. The district also would be unable to provide free full-day kindergarten or increased technology for students. In addition, overcrowding in elementary schools will continue.

What will happen if Propositions S and W pass?

The school district will maintain the high quality of instructional programs and staffing it has had through the years. WGSD will alleviate overcrowding in elementary classrooms and ensure small class sizes. The district will make up a potential $3 million deficit in 2015-18.

MAP Schedule

Our 8th grade students began taking the MAP test this week. During this week, our school schedule has been flipped to accommodate MAP testing. This means that your child’s 7th period class occurs at the beginning of the day and his/her 1st period class is the last class of the day. This will be our schedule for the next couple of weeks.

We have had several parents asking about when it might be best to schedule doctor’s appointments. You may find our testing schedule here. Please understand that this schedule may change as we work out the kinks of the state's new online testing system. Testing will always occur in the mornings; therefore, appointments made in the afternoons will never conflict with MAP testing.

You may notice that our testing period is longer than in previous years. This is due to the conditions of the state's new testing system, which are mainly out of our control:

  • The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has placed a limit of only 150 tests that may occur on a server at the same time. This means that we cannot have an entire grade level test at one time, as we have well over 300 students at each grade level.
  • The 8th grade test includes performance tasks for both ELA and Math. Performance tasks are longer, more demanding tasks that require students to work through problems, experiments, arguments, or extended pieces of writing. These tasks are preceded by a classroom activity. The purpose of the classroom activity is to introduce students to the context of a performance task so they are not disadvantaged in demonstrating the skills the task intends to assess. To best support our students with the performance tasks, only our ELA and Math teachers will be conducting the classroom activities. This means that when taking the performance task, teams will be testing one class period per day, instead of the entire team.

  • The tests are not timed. This means students may take as long as they need to complete each session. We are finding that it is taking our students longer than the estimated time provided by DESE, especially on the performance tasks. It seems our students are more thoughtful than DESE believed them to be!
  • When entering our students into the system, DESE missed two 8th grade teams. This means that these students currently do not have usernames and passwords and cannot log in to take the test. Although we notified DESE of this error during the first week of March, the students are still not in the system at this time. We have had to change our original plan and push back some testing dates due to this error.

If these students are not in the system by next Friday, we will have to alter the schedule linked above. We will do our best to keep you updated. We appreciate your support and flexibility as we work to best support our students at Hixson.

Arbor Day Poster Contest

For information and an application for the 4th annual Arbor Day poster contest, click here

Community Tree Planting Event

For more information on  how you can participate in making Webster more beautiful, click here

Student Trivia Night is Next Friday!

Hixson's student trivia night will be held on April 10th from 3:30 to 5:15. Students may register as an individual or in groups of 2, 4, or 6. The cost to participate is $5.00 and includes food and drink. For more information and to print a registration form, please click here. Registration forms are also available in the school office and are due by April 8th.


Click on the links below for more information.