Academic corner

Blog posts by Julie Gajewski

2023-2024 School Year

STAR Windows:

Fall: September 6-27

Winter: January 8-29

Spring: May 20- June 10 


March 26


I have a passion for long distance running, a passion that began during my time at Sacred Heart High School where I competed in cross country. What drew me to the sport was its unique blend of individual and team dynamics. On one hand, I set personal goals for my performance, aiming to improve my time and pace, and striving to consistently finish in the top five. Yet, simultaneously, our success as a team depended on collective effort. We would strategize together, aiming to win meets based on a point system, while also supporting each other during races.

Guided by dedicated coaches, I received personalized feedback and valuable tips to enhance my performance. Together, we devised strategies to run as a cohesive unit, pacing ourselves and pack running to move ahead of our opponents. This collaborative environment fueled my motivation. I was driven to excel individually, aiming for a top-five position within our team, while also contributing to our collective success.

Reflecting on my experiences in long distance running, I see parallels with the concept of data coaching and goal-setting in education. This approach allows us to address the unique needs of each school while working together towards academic excellence across all Catholic schools. Over the past month, I've been deeply engaged in STAR data meetings with 26 out of 29 participating schools, connecting with principals and STAR Champions. These meetings, conducted both virtually and in person, have been instrumental in assessing each school's performance in early literacy, reading, and math.

Together, we've analyzed participation rates, proficiency levels, state performance predictions, and student growth percentiles. By examining cohort data and tracking progress from fall to winter, we've identified trends and areas for improvement. Additionally, we examined teacher and class reports, utilizing this information to help teachers to tailor instruction effectively.

THANK YOU to every school team for making time to meet with me. I've been continually impressed by the professionalism, data-driven focus, and collaborative spirit of every Catholic school team I've encountered. Each meeting has yielded valuable insights, sparking thought-provoking discussions and generating innovative ideas. Moving forward, our focus will be on data verification and the development of best practices for STAR reports and test administration.

In summary, as we continue this journey, I am confident that our collective efforts will yield even greater outcomes for our students and schools. Exciting developments lie ahead, and I'm eager to see the positive impact of our collaborative endeavors.

STAR Assessment Timeline and Activities:

  1. Complete the survey regarding STAR assessments by 3/27/24.

  2. Schedule a meeting and meet with Julie for a discussion on STAR data. All meetings to be completed by 3/27/24.

  3. Present and share STAR data insights with teachers.

  4. Verify fall and winter data with teachers and correct any errors with Laurie.

  5. Spring Window: May 20- June 10


Tips and reminders to prepare for NYS Tests:

  1. Have you announced your testing dates to teachers, parents, and students?

  2. Have you updated student accommodations and created a plan for test administration?

  3. Have you reviewed the NYS test administration manual?

  4. Have you reviewed test administration directions with your proctors?

NYS Science Tests

Please see attached NYSED Assessments for Substantial Equivalency found on the NYSED website: Substantial Equivalency | New York State Education Department.

NYS Regents Science exams will meet the requirements for students in grade 8 for pathway 6. Therefore, students taking either Regents living environment or earth science do not need to take the NYS Science grade 8 exam if they are taking the Regents exams. Please use this guidance as you make decisions for your assessment program.

March 19

March 12

March 5

February 13

Previous posts from Kari Buchinger

September 19

September 12

September 5

August 29


2022-2023 School Year

2021-2022 School Year