Holy Family Catholic School is passionately dedicated to the high academic achievement of our students. We participate in the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test. This test is a computer-based adaptive assessment created by the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA); it is the test that HFCS and the Diocese of Boise use to measure student achievement and growth–and to analyze strengths and weaknesses in our curriculum. Students in grades 2-8 take the MAP assessment.
This year, students in Idaho once again took the ISAT test, formerly known as the SBAC test, which we used to compare our proficiency numbers. MAP gives us a linking study to predict if our students would be proficient on the SBAC but cautions us not to compare the two data types. HFCS data is presented below as an average of mean RIT scores; the HFCS average mean, the district (diocese) average mean, and the national average mean.
Test scores are only one indication of academic excellence. Holy Family fosters curiosity, creativity, and a general love of education that remains with students always. We bring fun and excitement to learning through saint fairs, Catholic Daughters’ essays, photography, poetry competitions, band and choir performances, and other academically-based programs.
HFCS believes that parents are the primary educators of their child(ren). This means we strive to form a vibrant, energetic partnership with parents throughout their child’s educational career at HFCS. As a part of this, we have a variety of ways that we share data with parents during the school year.
Our 8th graders are well-prepared for the rigors of high school. They experience the strenuous study habits required for finals week. They take high-stakes tests. They understand and thrive in a departmentalized classroom approach. They are expected to read advanced levels of literature and develop complex number sense through problem-solving and questioning. Students who leave HFCS report that the transition to high school expectations is smooth and simple due to the extensive preparation and high standards.
Star Early Literacy is a new program in the Renaissance suite of products that HFCS already utilizes. This program is aligned with the Idaho State Content Standards along with nationally normed data. We use this program as our equivalent to the IRI provided by iStation in the state of Idaho. Star Early Literacy will also be used to monitor students’ progress throughout the year to ensure they reach their academic goals.
Accelerated Reader is a program that allows students the freedom to choose their own reading material, teachers the security of knowing that students are reading in their ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development), and parents the assurance that students continue to progress in their love of reading. Accelerated Reader is a powerful tool teachers can use to enhance HFCS’s reading and language arts curriculum. Individualized goals appropriately motivate students to strive for excellence continually.
Each spring, students are given grade-level faith-based reflection questions. These questions serve as an indicator to the classroom teacher of the child’s journey in faith and understanding of the religion curriculum. The responses are saved in the class data portfolio and passed on to subsequent teachers; thus teachers can monitor students’ growth in faith and increase depth of understanding.
Along with this annual faith reflection, our students and faculty take the Assessment of Religious Knowledge (ARK). This program is widely used across the diocese, as well as the nation. The school uses this data as a way to understand strengths and weaknesses when it comes to our religious curriculum and understanding. The reason we have our teachers take this test is to ensure that we provide adequate and relevant professional development for our teachers provided by 1 or more of our community priests as well as our campus minister.