JEFFERSON CO CATHOLIC SCHOOLS

LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- Nineteen thousand students are heading back to class in schools the Archdiocese of Louisville oversees.

The first theme for this school year is:  A Time of Shaping, and in the classroom, that will be aided by a new type of testing.

Superintendent Leisa Schulz says all elementary students will be doing MAP assessments at least twice a year.

"It's different for us because our elementary students had done a standardized assessment once a year," said Schulz.

The Measure of Academic Progress, or MAP, testing analyzes individual growth and areas of weakness.

"It is an adaptive test, so as you're answering questions online, if you're getting them correct, it will raise the level of difficulty," she explained.

"If you keep missing them, it will take you back to make sure you're operating at a level that is comfortable to you."

Her second theme is:  Making Math Matter.

Schools reviewed and revised math standards to focus on fewer concepts, but deeper understanding.

"Math is still changing because we're learning so much more through research about how math should be taught to be most successful," said Schulz.

The archdiocese will produce videos to show parents what is being taught and how, so they can provide support at home.

The third theme is:  Supporting Parents

Two workshops will be offered during the school year.  The first will help parents navigate social media with their children.

Schulz said parents have reached out to the archdiocese for help understanding apps students are experiencing.

The second workshop will address anxiety, stress, and depression.

"We're finding more and more students are anxious," said Schulz.  "We're finding expectations they set for themselves and parental expectations are often hard to balance."

Schulz says each of the school year themes will require collaboration between parents, students, and teachers.

She believes facilitating discussions around those three, main themes will be key to a successful school year.

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