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Open End Responses ON TRACK MINI MAGAZINES Powered By Docstoc
					      Open Ended Questions: On Track Stdudent Success Mini Magazines
7. Is there any additional information this publication should contain in the editions
for parents of students at grades K-2? Please describe.
If possible, additional information on the importance of physical activity and sports for overall health and as
cooking together for math and following instructions museums, zoos, parks -- specificy places to go in Indiana
that are rich in activities and heritage, but low-cost even bigger fonts and upfront about reading to your child
and having your child see YOU read - have family reading/quiet times -- where everyone is focused on their own
reading materials along with nutrition info, emphasize regular bed time and sometimes surprising # of hours
children need to sleep to be alert in school keeping track of paper related to child's school and health is good -
but need to acknowledge that many schools now have parents and students communicate with school and
teachers online recognize financial challenge -- but in fact, by time kids are in grade school -- family should have
a decent computer with high speed internet connection if at all possible -- if not-- take advantage of computers
at public library and do emphasize resources of public libraries -- summer reading programs etc. And a page in
1st and 2nd grade books on keeping your child busy over the summer is important -- studies show especially low-
income kids fall way behind in the summers in saving for college section - brief mention about federal and state
It would be helpful at this stage to start communicating national data on the importance of reading. We know
how important reading is for a third grader. Start now tellin parents how important.
In order to convey to parents the content inside the publication, perhaps a more detailed index would help
parents navigate the more helpful if there were resources provided to help parents fulfill the
The checklists for parents would
checklist (where to go to find easy, low-cost, and healthy recipes) or examples of what these behaviors might
look like (how do you encourage your child to solve problems?) In the 1st grade ONTrack, page 6, provide either
ideas or websites about conducting easy science projects at home with kids.
The design/layout can be distracting, but overall very helpful information. Checklists on page 4 particularly good.
I think these publications do a great job of introducing key concepts to parents. I would like to see a little more
about "how to" for saving for college. How do you cut $50 out of a monthly budget during tough times? How can
you find a savings plan that pays 7% interest? What is in these K-2 publications is a great start, but for someone
who is struggling week-to-week to put food on the table, saving $50 a month and knowing where to/how to find
a 7% interest rate are important pieces of information.
Possibly go a little more in depth about potential behavior changes parents may begin to see in their children as
Since the publications list important grade-level standards, it might be helpful to dedicate a few pages to
manageable, at-home activities that tie in a specific standard from each subject. For example, instead of the
Math and Measurement section on Page 8 of the 2nd Grade publication, there could be an entire page dedicated
to an at-home activity that incorporates some grade level standards. Many dedicated parents are looking for
complementary activities to do with children that correlate directly with what is being taught in the classroom.
I don't know that there is really room for it, but some resources for parents who may need to utilize social
services would be good. This may be something that would be better on a local level though? Also I don't think I
saw anything about using local libraries for programming and resources. I know the publications talk about
reading/books at/through the library, but many local libraries also have great programs for children and parents.
NA for Question 7.
Consider providing parents at-home science activities that they can do with their child.
Some parents will want to know the differences between full-day and half-day kindergarten and why their
schools have the programs that they do or how students are funnelled into one program or another. If a student
is enrolled in half-day kindergarten, should the parents be supplementing with any particular strategy (ex. focus
See below.
Frequent references to to URLs or web sites to get additional information. What if student or families don't have
a computer or access. I think it would be useful to provide some guidance about how to get access to a
I think it is very through
It would be useful to include more information from such as short surveys, reading
8. Does this publication be more interactive with both students and parents. Also, parents and teachers
lists, etc. The publication could contain any extraneous, inappropriate, or unimportant
information that should be omitted within the editions for parents of students at
grades K-2? Please describe.
in general -- layout may be a bit jumbled - it's hard to know exactly what is the MOST important pages 8 and 9
have a lot of great information, but they're not organized all that well I don't know that the introductory letter
on page 2 is necessary.... the emphasis on how high Indiana's standards is not all that necessary -- more
sophisticated parents may also not buy it -- knowing that in aggregate Indiana's national test scores are only
I do not find the information to be extraneous, however I found it difficult to navigate the information and read
the publication due to the varying fonts and colors. There are not consistent colors and enough white space on
each page. For example, on one page alone (Pg 7 of 2nd Grade) I counted at minimum 5 different fonts. This just
makes it very difficult to read and follow along. Additionally, on this same page, there is very little white space
Is there a way to make the Indiana standards more reader-friendly? Some parents did not graduate high school
and others barely made it out of the 8th grade putting the standards in a more visual form, like a table, or
paraphrasing might help ensure that all parents have access to the information. Under 10 Tips for Parents,
numbers 3 and 10 are very similar, therefore it might be good to omit one and add a tip about helping their child
Busy layout makes it hard to know where to look or what's most important on a page, but all of the information
is valuable and well-written.
No. These publications address the key concepts that parents of these students really NEED to start thinking
about to ensure as many opportunities as possible for their children.
Explanation of Indiana Standards at K level a little too detailed. Needs to be condensed some.
No, all information included seemed to be practical and valuable.
I don't know that an entire page (p 8) is necessary for college saving information. I would rather see information
about nutrition, sleep, and exercise more emphasized.
See below.
Some parents may be overwhelmed by the amount of information, but I think the publication covers good
territory and divides all the content into smaller parts, thus making it pretty accessible for a reader.
No, I particularly liked that the publication addressed tips for success for the whole child.
9. What other suggestions do you have to improve the content of this publication for
parents of students at grades K-2?
see #7
I know it is cultural, but with so many top 10 list or how to list of summary list, are we really giving parents what
they need?? How is this different or better than other publications.
I think it would be helpful to make the Indiana Academic Standards easier to understand. Obviously there are
many standards, but it appears somewhat overwhelming in its current layout.
The ideas provided in the 2nd grade ONTrack about enlarging a child's vocab and encouraging reading are good,
however more information could be provided on how to accomplish this. For instance, parents need to know
that if they are going to use words that their children do not know then they are going to need to constantly
explain the words' meanings and repeat the words as often as they can to make sure they are learned. Also, the
"book tree" idea is great however a parent could make it even better by helping their child see the connection
Simpler design template with more white space!
I think the hardest part of putting out publications such as these is having to make it "one size fits all." There are
incredible differences in background, education, socio-economic status, etc. that make it difficult to find a
message the will be understood and resonate with everyone. For a parent who has recently graduated from
college, the content of these publications may be a bit too simple. For parents who have not been to college, or
don't have a degree, some of this information may be entirely new and somewhat overwhelming. Also, the some
of the content is so similar in each publication (specifically saving for college), that if a parent has a kindergartner
Other than prior suggestion, content is very good. Informative.
Does this publication do anything to cater to parents that may not be fully literate themselves? There are a lot of
great suggestions in the publication, but as a teacher in the inner-city, I encounter a lot of parents that may not
even be able to read through this publication. Perhaps it might be valuable to have an accompanying DVD (albeit
at a higher publication cost). To me, the parents that need this information the most are the ones that are least
likely to access it. The parents of the students where I teach need the education on improving behavior,
nutrition, use of television, etc. However, is this publication the best way to make that information accessible to
It seems a little busy to me. It is also a bit odd that the Indiana Academic Standards page is in a completely
The "Parent Tips: 10 Ways to Help Your Student Succeed" begin to feel redundant after the third or fourth year.
Merely changing the order doesn't help. Is there anyway to come up with different lists that are grade specific? I
think most parents will tune this page out after a while, and that's a waste of highly visible / valuable space on
Describe what the IN State Standards mean for students.
Grade 2 has activities for parents and students to do together within the pages of the publication, which I think is
very helpful for parents. It gives them something to do immediately and also appeals to students who flip
I've encountered these pubs each year, and I think they look very nice, but they are essentially ineffective in
getting information across to parents and students. They are pitched too high for those who need this
information (low income/first gen students) and are fairly redundant for those whose apps have been through
the process before. It's important that, as a parent of a kindergartner and a first grader, I've never seen these
come home with my son. I have a hard time seeing how teachers could integrate this into the curriculum. There
are no worksheets, the younger editions are too high for the students, and it is simply too text heavy for parents
to review. Moreover, the photos seem staged, and they don't feel like real Indiana high schools included. It
would be nice to have some real stories (from parents and students) included. In the long run, I'm not sure how
effective a simple once-a-year pubs is going to be in increasing college attendance and student success. Most of
Provide suggestions for how to get access to a computer to get more information.
I realize that the information and tips are very similar from each grade level, but new additional information
needs to be added to each year to keep parents feeling that the publication is presenting relative information to
their age-level student. Possibly, there could be longer lists of top books to read at that level, appropriate top 10
websites for each grade level, and development needs of that grade level. I like the direct simplicity of the
14. Is there any additional information this publication should contain in the editions
for students at grades 3-5 and their parents? Please describe.
Healthy bodies and healthy minds are linked. Each publication mentions feel great in the Start Smart checklist,
but additional emphasis would be a welcomed addition.
on the writing page -- parents can also encourage their children to write letters (on computer if they want) to
grandparents, a pen pal, etc. very specific ideas on world as classroom - give Indiana examples of parks,
museums, festivals on reading -- start to share newspapers and magazines with appropriate stories -online or
hard copy - help your child make sense of the world and expose them to different ways of looking at issues and
on page 4-5 you talk about what they need to know---but what if they dont, how does the parent help? what can
the parent do? if this comes late in the year, isnt it too late. maybe more about good schools and underachieving
I think the ISTEP sampler is a great addition. I enjoyed seeing this. Perhaps there could be more suggestions on
extension activities for students to do at home. For example, they've mastered drawing conclusions, can we
provide students with a higher level synthesis or evaluation project they could complete at home?
The "Be world famous" exercise could be made better if students were prompted to think about and write down
ways in which they think they will be able to achieve their dreams/goals. The "peacemaker" quiz should include
a section on how to practice being a peacemaker? If a student scores mostly "B" answers they should not just
think of themselves as someone who is a troublemaker. Students should be given practical and concrete
examples of how and why to work on this skill. In the "Think, plan, and dream" section that discusses high school
Simplify layout/design.
Saving for college is something that should be in each of these publications. Especially when these publications
start to target students, it's important for them the be thinking about the value of a dollar and thinking about
No additional information is necessary.
After reading the K-2 publications, I think the 3-5 publications are missing content targeted towards parents. I
think that there should be more information in the 3-5 publications on financial planning for college aside from
the small paragraph on the back page. At this age, it is still possible for parents to start some sort of savings plan
that has the potential to grow in value over the remainder of the student's school years. Additionally, I think that
the 3-5 publications do not account very well for students that may be falling behind grade level, especially in
reading and writing. The majority of the content in these publications is targeted toward the students, rather
than the parents. However, they also assume that the students are reading and writing at least at grade level.
The small font and word-heavy pages may be intimidating to students in grades 3-5 that are not strong readers.
To the point of the previous paragraph, it may be helpful to start including in the 3-5 publications a page or so
Great examples of the ISTEP questions. Think about giving ways parents can help with math. Maybe websites,
hotlines, or other supports for math.
I have heard many complaints from parents about homework. Some feel that teachers are pushing their jobs
onto the parents by sending work home. They do not understand the importance of independant practice.
Parents could also use information on how to help students with their homework and where to find information
I believe there should be more content relative to helping parents and students understand when there may be
a "learning difference" happening. What are some tips for "tipping off" parents and/or students that some real
learning differences are happening. If the book doesn't provide clues, then parents and student may misjudge
some real learning circumstances going on with their children. Could help teachers too.
I like that the publication includes information about the ISTEP+ and sample questions, but since 3rd Grade is the
first year for testing, maybe there could be a simple explanation to the why of testing and a simple flowchart
showing the progression of the ISTEP+ and the relevance to individual student success in not only mastering
15. standards but scoring well contain tests such as SAT and ACT test and optaining college and career
stateDoes this publication on nationalany extraneous, inappropriate, or unimportant
information that should be omitted within the editions for students at grades 3-5 and
their parents? Please describe.
The information has been thoughtfully selected.
2 full pages on ISTEP is extraneous questionable whether page 11 is used -- perhaps space could be better
I think the word cool is used excessively. Again, I think the excessive use of fonts, graphics and colors detract
from the content and ease of reading.
If these additions are for students to read then the standards are not student-friendly. Some students want to
know what they will be learning but elementary students do not have the vocab to understand the standards.
No--in fact, the exercises and quizzes are engaging and well-done.
No, the information providied is relevant to the students and their parents.
All the information is important.
Nothing in these publications seemed out of place.
Although this publication is addressed to and written for grades 3-5, students are unlikely to carefully read and
understand the publication unless they are taken through it by a teacher, guidance counselor, or parent. Much of
the information seems to be more useful in a parent's hands. I just don't see the average fourth grader reading
No Does this publication contain any extraneous, inappropriate, or unimportant
information that should be omitted within the editions for students at grades 3-5 and
their parents? Please describe.
The information has been thoughtfully selected.
2 full pages on ISTEP is extraneous questionable whether page 11 is used -- perhaps space could be better
I think the word cool is used excessively. Again, I think the excessive use of fonts, graphics and colors detract
from the content and ease of reading.
If these additions are for students to read then the standards are not student-friendly. Some students want to
know what they will be learning but elementary students do not have the vocab to understand the standards.
No--in fact, the exercises and quizzes are engaging and well-done.
No, the information providied is relevant to the students and their parents.
All the information is important.
Nothing in these publications seemed out of place.
Although this publication is addressed to and written for grades 3-5, students are unlikely to carefully read and
understand the publication unless they are taken through it by a teacher, guidance counselor, or parent. Much of
the information seems to be more useful in a parent's hands. I just don't see the average fourth grader reading
16. What other suggestions do you have to improve the content of this publication for
students at grades 3-5 and their parents?
The ISTEP examples are very helpful in providing insights into the test.
this is the age when parents start to have children participate in athletics and fine arts - discuss advantages to
both (teamwork, self-confidence, fitness, association btw the arts and academics) -- but balance is the key --
school has to be their "first" job perhaps a small article on learning disabilities -- working with your school and
family doctor if your child is easily distracted, having problems with reading or math, etc.
just question whether this will be read--will parent spend time with it or is there something compeling to make
Include more extension and/or remedial projects for parents to do with students at home.
More examples, clarifications, or simpler wording of concepts might be helpful. For instance, what does "being a
good team player" look like? What does it mean to do "assignments at a higher level"? Be as specific as possible
with the language, vague language often leads to confusion.
The content is SO similar in this grouping that it loses some of its relevance if there are two students within this
grouping in the same family.
Must remember that we have a segment of the population that needs these publications the most, that will
struggle with some of the publications simply due to the length of them. The publications contain a great deal of
information that may appear tedious to those parents who already struggle themselves with reading.
I liked the shift in focus to ISTEP+ in the 3-5 publications. As a math teacher, I feel it is important to include
sample questions in a publication like this. However, the publications were unclear as to whether the sample
problems being presented were "at grade level". Are these problems that the students should be able to solve at
the end of their current grade year, or at the beginning? I think if this publication is being distributed at the
beginning of a school year, there should be "warm up" questions that review the standards from the year prior,
and then some problems that test where they should be from a content-knowledge standpoint by the end of the
year (or by ISTEP+ time). This could probably hold true for all subjects; I just focused on math because that is my
area of expertise. I also liked the introduction of goal setting, future planning, and teamwork in these
publications. All of these topics are important for students at this age. I would still challenge the writers of the
I kind of like the switch from the earlier set (K-2) to this one (3-5) in that it is now geared directly to the students
(and indirectly to parents?). But, I wonder how this is going to be presented to a child. I don't know that they are
really going to look at it or care? Maybe with proper parent guidance? This set still seems a bit busy to me. The
"What's inside" table of contents does not really stand out to introduce the publication.
See previous page on redundancy.
Consider having information about children reading on grade level. Also informaiton about, what does reading
on grade level mean, what to do if your child is not reading on grade level.
I like that there is a warning to students that information posted online is permanent, but they are unlikely to
feel that it applies to them, given their development at these ages. Directing parents to set safe boundaries for
Please see comments on the earlier version.
Perhaps more ISTEP question samples so parents can see. They never get to see te actual test.
Again, the material is very repetitive through the three editions - maybe develop age-specific goals, topics, study
skills with input from elementary teachers, students, and parents.
21. Is there any additional information this publication should contain in the editions
for students at grades 6-8 and their parents? Please describe.
Continue the message on the importance of good nutrition and exercise. Both are linked to better performance
in school and this is a critical period for establishing good habits.
on the parent tips - encourage family activities that add to learning e.g. reading a book and then watching a
movie made from the book and discussing; watch news and read periodicals together, go to museums, zoos,
attend cultural events -- many are free or low cost like the know how to go campaign - a tip for middle school
students is to advocate for themselves -- tell teachers and counselors what they aspire to, that they want to take
challenging courses to prepare for their futures balance their time among school, friends (who become
increasingly important and it's important to surround themselves with friends who also want to succeed),
athletics, arts, other activities and family responsibilities be careful and cautious about the amount of time being
More about 21st century scholars---more about how anyone can go to college and afford college. it really should
be telling every parent that every child can attend college regardless of wealth or education/scholarship ability
I think the wealth of information in the 6-8 publications is great! I specifically liked the Career Quiz (grade 8, pg.
7th grade edition: Page 3: Under "get organized" add information pertaining to time management and
prioritizing your time between different activities. Make the side bar on where to get homework help bigger and
more visible. Page 10: Middle school students may not be familiar with credits, give the Core 40 credit
requirements in terms of semesters/years as well (for example: 8 semesters or 4 years of English). Page 12: Give
more specific examples of which occupations are going to require math, students need proof/concrete examples
that they will run into math in the workplace. Page 14: Be more clear on the difference between an associate's
degree and a bachelor's degree. Many 9th graders believe that you can get an associate's degree by completing
a bachelor's program for two years and then leaving or they don't understand that you do not need to have an
Social clique/self-esteem support information.
Besides 21st Century Scholars, are there other ways to save/pay for college? What if my family doesn't qualify
for 21st Century Scholars, what would a student do then? I realize they are told to contact an 800 number or
website to get Indiana's Guide to Paying for College, but any sort of teaser from the guide might help more
Yes, additional information with regards to the changes that will begin to occur at this level in the areas of
behavior as well as physical changes that may have some impact on the child's academic successes or failures.
Having some ideas of what to expect and how to handle those situations are extremely important at this level.
I liked that the 6th grade publication continued with the ISTEP+ sample problems. The 7th and 8th grade
publications still included the ISTEP+ overview, but eliminated the sample problems. I think that the sample
problems should remain in the publications all the way through 8th grade. In fact, perhaps even more sample
What about something regarding safety if we are directing this at kids? (3-5 may be too early, but 6 and up are
probably appropriate). For example our agency hosts the Safe Place Program. We teach middle school, junior
high and high school students about personal safety and how to utilize our program if they are in need.
Additional informaiton could include, how to prepare your child for middle school success, how to communite
with the multiple teachers at the middle school level.
I miss the book recommendations given at the earlier grade levels! Continue to encourage reading.
Better and more information about learning differences and learning styles.
Again, this material is very repetitive between grade levels, and at this age students will start to think that it is
the same every year. They judge reading material very quickly, and they are also looking for the material to be
more interactive. They like the internet and texting because it engages them. Maybe the publication could
22. Does this publication contain any extraneous, inappropriate, or unimportant
include more surveys, results, questions and answers - did like the Career and Learner surveys - need more of
information that should be omitted from the editions for students at grades 6-8 and
their parents? Please describe.
please! minimize the activities, especially athletics, on the list of "ways to increase your scholarship chances" -
the fact is that academics -- grades in core courses, rigor of curriculum and test scores are by far the greatest
factors in scholarships -- scholarships that are awarded for athletic and artistic talent are few and far between
now is the time to tell parents exactly what the chances are of their student-athletes getting subsantial
scholarships --- those stats are available nationally -- and they show that VERY few athletes get scholarships for
athletic talent and even fewer are substantial awards - middle school is the time to dispell that myth change the
message on page 8 -- to you can't afford NOT to go to college and don't have the lead sentance begin with
"college is expensive" -- rather something like -- paying for college is an investment in your future and then
immediately go into the $1 million message I think the Career Party is rather silly -- I think you can be much more
Again, I cannot stress how difficult it is to read and wade through the information with the amount of fonts,
colors and graphics going on. For example, in 8th grade on page 12 it is difficult to read the title due to the font.
In 8th grade on page 10 there are at least 7 different fonts. Also, on page 10 in 8th grade it mentions the GQE.
We no longer use the GQE. We have changed to End of Course Assessments (ECA). Perhaps providing students
with information about the ECA would be beneficial. I think it is important to explain the CORE 40 (as the 8th
grade publication does). I think this was a great idea to include this in an 8th grade publication. (Again, the fonts
6th grade: Page 9: The instructions on how to learn more about your career code are too complicated. The
career code information should be in the magazine. What about the students who do not have access to a
Cover photo on 7th grade publication looks like a 5-year-old girl and would likely turn off actual junior high
student from opening the publication. Some design touches are fun, like the little careeer figures on page 12 of
the 7th grade publication. Some talk down to the student a bit (7th grade/page 18, Be Smart, Be Safe and same
There does not appear to be anything here that should not be.
Compared to the K-5 publications, I am having a hard time determining how appropriate the information in the 6-
8 publications is considering the age and maturity levels of the students. In general, I thought the information in
the K-5 publications was on-target with a few exceptions. However, as a primarily middle school teacher, I feel a
lot of the information contained in the 6-8 publications (especially 6-7) is above the level of relevance for the
students it targets. For example, the 6th grade publication contains the "Career Party" activity on Page 9. While I
feel it is important for students to start thinking about careers at this age, I think this method is a bit confusing
and honestly, I cannot picture too many students at this age taking the time to do the activity. I do like the
discussion about middle school, high school, college, and beyond (Page 10), but I think all the information about
learning about careers (Page 13) is a bit premature for this grade. Spend more time on cyber-safety (top of Page
No; I thought that the 7th and 8th grade issues in particular were well-done with relevant information on Core
23. What other suggestions do you have to improve the content of this publication for
students at grades 6-8 and their parents?
tell parents AND students that the kinds of skills and knowledge that are required these days for both higher
education and entering the work force post-high school are very similar - employers and admissions officers
expect students to be able to communicate in writing and verbally, be proficient in math, etc. start telling them
the kinds of core academic and advanced courses they should aspire to in high school and how important middle
school is to getting ready for those courses - especially math - it is THE gatekeeper for most underachieving
students middle school is an incredibly self-absorbed time with lots of physical, social, and psychological changes
-- you need to acknowledge that to the parents - advising them to let their students mature socially in their own
time -- trying to keep the focus on academics and preparation for high school in the midst of all these changes
too cute--goals for grade? is this really read and used---not sure this is how you reach kids today
I think the students could benefit from more sample essay topics. The strong focus on college is great, but I think
focusing on writing skills (as in college application essays) would be a great added bonus. Perhaps you could
provide students with a variety of fun essay topics (maybe have a contest for the best one). Something my
students love to do is mark up and correct someone else's essay. For proofreading standards, it could be fun to
The letter to the students at the beginning of the magazine changes format from elementary to middle school,
why is this? The format in the middle school editions is better and easier to read, think about applying it to the
elementary editions. More emphasis should be placed on the monetary importance of going to college. It is
easier to "sell" the idea of college to many students if you put it in terms of "dollars and sense", especially with
The design approach should change as it is targeted to older and older students. This looks like Ladybug or
Ranger Rick to me. Should more resemble Teen Vogue or Elle. The many colors and fonts are distracting.
Nothing really...this three year grouping is starting to take on a singular identity for each class rather than being
as repetitive as the prior grouping (3rd-5th grade).
There needs to be a balance of information. Too much info will have a tendency to turn some parents and
students off and thus, they will not read the material. The issues become very wordy.
Again, for this very important age group, the editors need to decide if the publication is going to be more
directed to students or to parents. The information included in the publication will vary tremendously depending
on the audience. If the expectation is that students will be reading the publication, there needs to be a lot more
material covering what is impacting the students NOW, not once they are in college. If anything, give them tips
about preparing for high school and less information about college and career searching. If the publication is
more geared towards parents, I would include more tips/discussion points for raising children in this age group.
There are a lot of changes both academically and socially during the 6th through 8th grade years, and parents
can use all the help that is available to them. Tips about proper nutrition, study habits, behavior expectations,
I like that all of the publication encourage parent/child interaction and communication, but what if a person
reading this publication does not have a parent to talk to? Could there be some encouragement mention of just
talking with a caring adult (in addition to just typing "(or any adult)")? In a class we teach for divorcing parents
and their children (they are in separate groups) we have the youth think through about adults in their life they
can talk to (including parents and school employees, but also neighbors, grandparents, etc). There are many
mentoring programs throughout the state as well. Soon there will be a website where parents/adults can go to
find a mentoring program near them, this may be good to include. (
better-hour.aspx). As mentioned before, how could social service resources be included in the publications? (I
have been reading these in chunks and just came back from the 9-12 series to fix my comment above. The info
Repeatedly using the same photograph of the boy holding the books on p. 6 for several years will be a turn-off
for all students and most parents. It's a strong visual cue that says, "You can skip this page."
Other suggestions: what clasess should your child take to prepare for a Core 40 Diploma, what are some
alternative paths in high school and how should parents help their child prepare for those alternatives.
In "Tips to be Safe" on page 17, extremely important information about posting information online is given in
bullet point 5 in red print. Why is that information so low on the page? I think it's a great rule of thumb: if you
wouldn't let your parents or future employer see it, don't post it. If you wouldn't want it posted about you, don't
post it. This is great advice and should be placed with higher prominence in the article.
See comments to earlier version.
6th grade is sensory overload. The small type on the white background on page 13 is just too difficult to read. I
would simplify this book. [Most of these books are ALL busy by my standards for reading and access to
information, but baby boomers read differently than younger people. Most of your target audience is probably
more suited for a busier layout.] 8th grade: Page 14 should have a male/boy in the photo. Real crisis with boys
and young men not going on to college. We don't help things by not including boys with a headline that says
More examples of ISTEP test questions so parents can see. They never see the actual test.
The information about internet safety and bullying for this age-level is huge to them; it needs to be presented
with more emphasis and engaging.
28. Is there any additional information this publication should contain in the editions
for students at grades 9-12 and their parents? Please describe.
Add in a section about making good choices and countering peer pressure to do otherwise Add statement about
availability of SAT fee waivers 12th grade--add statement about contacting college if an application fee waiver is
ppgs. 3 & 4 tips -- be real and talk about friends and how overwhelming social life is for a 9th grader -- it's hard
for almost all of them - best tip -- surround yourself with friends who have high goals like yours p6 -- make the
most of electives -- TALK ABOUT FOREIGN LANGUAGE -- it's required for admission to many colleges/universities,
students who take foreign language do better in English, it's a global economy, etc. -- honestly -- to keep their
options open -- MUCH more important than career-tech courses that they can always take AFTER high school at
Ivy Tech pg 7 - be clear on Core 40 with Technical Honors that if electives are not planned carefully (see foreign
language above)-- students will NOT be eligible for admission to some Indiana universities; same is true for
"applied" math and science -- those are NOT university-prep courses and do NOT prepare students for careers in
Engineering or immediate admission to BS programs in Technology PSAT -- is offered FREE in 10th grade -- tell
really start explaining core 40 more---not just a page--what is it important, etc. really promote math---show how
every job requires math--like linkage in the 9th grade to Honors
The college emphasis was great in these publications! I loved the career information and college visit
9th grade: Page 3: Include more reasons why students should do their homework, such as it helps teachers know
if students are on track and it lets you practice what you learned in class so you do well on tests later. Page 10:
Go into more detail about what happens if students do not pass the ECA. What does it mean for their graduation
plan?, will they have to retake classes?, etc. Page 12: Students should be encouraged to review material on their
own before a test, not just in-class review material. Page 17: Include common questions that students might
want to ask on their college visit on this form. Page 19: Need more information on how to save for college. If
students do not have access to the internet who do they talk to about a college choice plan? How should
students go about setting up their own savings account? Are there specific banks in Indiana that offer better
college savings options and which banks are these? 11th grade: There should be a FAFSA section included in the
Volunteerism opportunities and the importance they have on college applications.
In the 12th grade "Senior Checklist" there should be something about submitting your application for admission
to college(s) in the fall. Both state and private institutions are moving up deadlines for submitting applications,
and the sooner a student completes the application, the smoother the entire process will go. Also, there should
probably be something in this grouping (grades 9-12) about the importance of writing. The college essay is being
required by more and more colleges and universities, and regardless of a student's major in college, there will be
a great deal of intensive writing. It is important that students understand the importance of writing and the
Contains more than enough information for families to get a better understanding of what to expect at the high
school level and beyond and how to prepare for post high school graduation. Needs to include some information
regarding appropriate social skills that teens at this level should be displaying on a regular basis and what society
The content in the 9-12 publications is very thorough and exactly what students and parents need to be reading
at the beginning of each high school year. If anything, I would challenge the editor to consider putting together
an alternative media that delivers the same information to families that may not be as educated or literate as
others, specifically those whose students will be first-generation college students. Many of those parents need
and want to know about all of the information related to their student going to college, but they just may not
have the ways and means of coming about that information. I think a DVD or web video would be an extremely
The emphasis on English/Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies is appropriate, but it would be good to
at least mention some other subject areas, especially in the arts.
Great information on the Core 40. Additional information: how to balance work and school if you need to work,
how to be successful in high school, what to do it you are falling behind in your classes.
I felt there was adequate and thorough information in these publications. I would like to see reading
recommendations to continue in the magazines for the older students as well as the elementary students.
Again, tips on identifying learning differences, action steps,etc. Page 22 of Grade 9 has a nice page on "how" to
ask for help. I believe there is a real shortcoming with all of these books on the whats and whens for asking for
Besides a map, a list of Indiana colleges and tech schools with a graph illustrating admission requirements,
majors, locations, etc. Students in grades 9 and 10 need to see the big picture in front of them in a clear, simple
29. Does this publication include a sample college application, sample scholarship form, sample
format. It would also be useful tocontain any extraneous, inappropriate, or unimportantcover
information that should be omitted from the editions for students at grades 9-12 and
their parents? Please describe.
Go to School as the first "tip" sets a really low bar and will turn off most students =-- and most DO go to school --
-- keep it in the tips if you want -- but don't make it #1 p. 23 -- activities are great -- but don't emphasize that
help students get scholarships -- they only help students get scholarships if the students are also outstanding
academically 12 grade-- applying to college -- Thanksgiving message for most Indiana colleges is not appropriate -
- IU and Purdue have earlier deadlines than that for scholarship consideration and for some programs -- message
should be -- CHECK all deadlines for the schools in which you are interested!!!!! 11 grade version -- NOW is the
time to be researching private scholarships -- many require essays, etc. - use for FREE searches tell
families never, never, never pay for scholarship searches or financial aid advice 12th grade -- market College
Goal Sunday on page 19 -- as well as financial aid nights at local high schools -- they take place throughout
The GQE is no longer called the GQE. It is the End of Course Assessment (ECA), and these are now mandatory in
more than just English and Algebra 1. In the body of the articles, you mention the ECAs, but primarily call it the
GQE. I think this is misleading and confusing. I feel like the cover of the 11th grade publication is not very
diverse. I have noticed that most of the OnTrack publications tend to be very diverse, but I was startled by the
The way page 20 in 9th grade pub is laid out would cause me to flip past it like an add. Good info, needs better
presentation. Map of Indy colleges helpful in 11th grade pub.
Again, nothing extraneous, inappropriate or unimportant in this grouping.
I think the "Choosing the Right College for You" section of the 9th grade publication (pages 16-17) is still a bit
premature for 9th graders. Most 9th graders are not visiting college campuses unless they have a sibling at one.
Instead, I would include the campus visit checklist in the 10th grade publication (already there) and the 11th
grade publication (not there). Most high school students begin visiting colleges at the end of 11th grade or
summer going into 12th grade. It would be great to give them a checklist at that time, not their freshman year of
No. Very useful.
30. What other suggestions do you have to improve the content of this publication for
students at grades 9-12 and their parents?
stay on track with math and take it ALL four years -- studies show that students who take college-prep math all
four years of high school DOUBLE their chances of eventually graduating from college tips for parents -- use
family vacations and school holidays to visit colleges - do register with the admissions office in advance
(generally online)-- space is often limited -- add to math message -- have your student take math all four years -
tell parents how EXPENSIVE remedial education is in 11th grade version -- be completely honest with students
that 11th grade is critical in selective college admissions - those are the last grades that admissions offices see
for the most part tell them, too, that admissions officers pay attention to TRENDS in grades -- weaker grades
freshman year -- can be forgiven somewhat -- but a downward trend junior year -- NOT Your descriptions of the
ACT and SAT are not accurate -- the SAT is no longer an aptitude test -- and the ACT -- although the company
again I question whether this is really read---use people they relate to---celebs and stars, create links to face
book and twitter---tell success stories---create email links just for parents and send updates on a regualr basis as
The FAFSA information and Learn the Lingo section of the 12th grade publication were excellent.
There is a lot about how college will help you earn more, but there should also be information on how an
education provides you with flexibility and freedom later in life. This concept is more abstract but many students
know someone who works in a dead-end job they hate because they have to, college gives you more options
and students can appreciate this point. 10th grade and beyond: There is only a little side bar that reminds
students that school is their number one job. This piece of information should be highlighted a lot more. So
many students' grades suffer because they work too many hours and, therefore, we should be very careful
before we encourage them to work during the school year. The career section in the 11th grade edition seems to
be shoved in between sections that discuss college and it detracts from the organization of the magazine. Think
Most recently recorded salary ranges in Indiana for top jobs would be a good motivator.
Is there a way for the parent tips to be different? It's not that the informatino is bad, it's just that it is almost
identical for grades 6-12. If the goal is to get parents and students to read these, it might make sense to have
some slightly new/different information for the parent of a 12th grader than for a parent of a 6th on
Must begin to include information about expectations i.e how to behave in public, what constitutes appropriate
attire and social preparation for high school and beyond. Appropriate health issues (obesity) and their impact on
Overall, I think the 9-12 publications offer the most complete collections of information when compared to the
publications for the other grades. I can see these publications being very helpful to students AND parents.
Students become more independent through their high school years, so it is not unreasonable to think that they
should be taking the information included in these publications seriously and considering them of value at the be
I think could have been included in earlier grades (was it there and I missed it?). Why did Gov.
Daniels, Superintendent Bennett and Rep. Lubbers only get their photos in 11th & 12th grad editions? I just
Around the middle school / early high school years, the publications shift intended audiences from parents to
the student themselves. This seems very appropriate. It also seems the time when this publication is most
valuable as a tool to be used in the classroom instead of being sent home to be consigned to the magazine stack.
Other suggestions: how to find the college that fits your child's needs, how to prepare your child for
The content is great. It is of little use, however, if the publications are not distributed and presented in a way
that indicates to students the usefulness of the information contained within them. In my school, I have seen
them passed out to study hall students, with no background information on why these might be useful to read or
important. Students often throw them away or leave them on the floor when they leave because they do not
In addition to the comments to earlier version, it is critical that you have a more thorough discussion of paying
for college. How do you calculate net cost? How do you keep your costs down? What about community colleges
This series is much clearer and reader accessible than the previous books. Cleaner design, less information,
better presentation. Page 12 of 9th grade is excellent. Maps are always great. Nice to see. And, page 3 of 12th
grade: I would include a male. Need to reinforce boys going to college.
I think it's very through
Listed above.
35. What other suggestions do you have to make this publication more appealing--
either generally or at which specific grade level(s), or both?
various fonts, etc. a little jumbled -- I think I'd streamline design a bit but still keep lively and child-oriented
need to decide if pub is for kids or parents---seems you are mixing it up and not real clear and targeted
The content is appealing. The information is fantastic and well written (with the exception of an overuse of the
word cool). However, the fonts and colors are overkill. It makes it very difficult to read when any given
publication has between 15-20 fonts used. This is not consistent. Additionally, there is not enough white space. I
I do not think that the publication appeals to students in grades k-2 however it does appeal to their parents,
who, I believe, are the target audience. In 6-9th grade I think we need to be weary about putting material in
paragraph format. Some students are behind in reading level and do not like reading to begin with. The students
who like reading and are motivated to go to college will pick up the publication regardless, however emphasis
should be placed on those students who either do not think college is for them or think it is out of their reach.
Many students today are visual learners, therefore condensed information and graphics should be utilized as
Design overhaul to simplify messages on each page, make headers readable, etc. Fewer cheesy stock photos of
kids jumping in the air and making faces and more actual Indiana students.
For the K-2 levels, I realize the layout may speak to a K-2 student, but since they are not specifically geared
towards the student, but the parent, some of the layout and colors seem almost too young for the intended
audience. Also, I think part of appeal is feeling like the information provided is new and pertinent. If I were the
parent of more than one child and received more than one of these, the appeal would not be there once I
I think the middle school (6-8) publications need the most work. I think the some of the material included in
those publications is not that applicable to the age group. I also think that those publications need more content
directed and appealing to parents, since students are not quite accountable for themselves yet during the middle
I think it has a lot to do with who is presenting the publication (Is it sitting in waiting room of the guidance
counselor's office? Is a teacher going through some of the activities with the students/parents?).
Good use of photographs, which although clearly posed, will be seen by most parents and students as
spontaneous. Have more activity pages, especially at the lower grades.
Think about capturing scenes in Indiana that are recognizable, ex. photos with students at local museums.
There are large blocks of writing in all the publications. The use of highlighting or bold face type on essential
words or phrases would help to guide parents' and students' eyes to relevant phrases. Some pages do a better
job of this than others. I noticed a need for this strategy in the K-3 publications in particular. Also, on page 3 of
"Tips to Get it Together in 8th Grade," tips one and three start with a slightly condescending tone ("Sounds
obvious, doesn't it / Sounds like a no-brainer, right) which is also repetitive. The way this information is handled
in the 9-12 publications is much better--straightforward and serious. To maintain the casual tone, only one of the
Though they are "pretty," they look like another mass-produced publication with pretty generic information.
Something that parents and students are likely to set aside for later (or not at all because they assume they've
already encountered the information at another time. I think that could really benefit from a re-
conceptualization of how to get this information to parents and students in ways that they will actually read it.
I prefer cleaner design. Information is good, but I would simplify. Type font for K-8 titles seems very outdated.
May want to look for ways to leverage the borrowed interest of some famous people who get children's
attention. Parents too. If Peyton Manning was shown doing something relative to the subject, it would probably
get attention in Indiana. The hot Hoosier jobs is good, but I would expand it. What are hot jobs period. We want
I think it should be mailed to families. It makes it more important. I lot of things sent home are never read.
The appeal of the publication decreases as the student ages because they become more mature, critical readers,
and they are also exposed to the internet more by those grade levels. The colorful format for the earlier grades K-
5 works because it is similar to what they might be seeing with other elementary reading materials, but grades 6-
12 spend most of their reading time in the digital word. It might be more effective for the older grades to adopt
a web or facebook format to feed the information in a visually appealling format to attract the reader.
38. What other suggestions do you have to improve the presentation of this
publication--either generally or at which specific grade level(s), or both?
Good use of color, variety of styles, flow of information. Photos look like 'real' people, not models.
same feedback as for K-2
I know you are trying to create white space and limit copy so it is read, but it seems to in some cases be too
much graphics and, for example, 12th grade, a lot of copy. you mention hot jobs, but how much does that pay---
they realte to $$. What does dollars buy--show them. Also, at some point you need to start showing if you drop
out you will be stuck at $10 per hour for a long time---if you graduate, you will make more---not over a lifetime,
but now, immediate---they cant relate to $1 m more in a life--make it more per year---difference between a car
The graphics are extremely busy and difficult to read. There are too many fonts, too many colors. Pick 4-5 fonts
for the entire publication. Stick to these. Pick 3-4 colors for the entire publication. Stick to these.
The organization of information needs some work. For instance, career information should not be sectioned in
between college prep information. Side bar information should be directly relevant to what is on the page, if the
connection is not solid then it will be too much information for students.
The 7th-9th grade publications should be careful not to write in too young a voice for the target audiences.
Social media messages should be conveyed, but in a different way (in the high school publications, can mention
instances of social media leading to expulsions, etc.--where it hits home). The information here is well-written,
The graphic design for the younger aged publications almost seems to juvenille for a parent. It almost gave me
the feeling of being talked down to while reading it. Again, I understand the appeal to the students who are K-2,
but given that they are not the target audience, I would think something geared towards a young adult might get
Sometimes the format/layout makes it difficult to follow the material. Less skilled readers may find it somewhat
I think the material quality is the best for the early grades (K-2) and the later grades (9-12). I think the overall
quality of the material/content in the 3-8 range could be improved, especially as it relates to topics that I
I thought the earlier grades were a bit too busy. Again, I think it depends on who is more of the audience- the
Good typography and color. Even so, after looking at a few years the changes in typography and color are not
enough to hide the redundancy.
Make the Indian'a Guide to Paying for College more like the other publications. The cover and the style.
Give the text adequate space to appeal to the reader. For instance in the 8th grade publication, pages 10 and 11
have opposite approaches to layout. Page 10 has small fonts printed on dark colors with four sections of
information, whereas the information on page 11 is in a larger font on a lighter background. A reader will find
page 11 more appealing to read with its easy-to-read headings and fonts, even though the information about the
Wrong format, in my opinion.
Pretty much have already addressed this question. Simplify, cleaner layout, less busy. Some of the publications
border on visual chaos. Seems like in an effort to be visually different, we lose visual continuity. Probably cost
prohibitive, but I prefer a slightly heavier paper stock. The paper used is very affordable and allows for efficient
press runs, but it also looks and feels like FSI inserts in newspapers. Some people throw this stuff out and many
others hold on to them. Probably not a right answer, but it seems like a heavier paper may help get a bit more
41. What other suggestions do you have to improve the distribution of this publication
Listed ideas previously.
or expand its reach?
Backpack mail is always iffy - encourage you to provide suggestions on distribution - at parent/teacher
conference nights, in school drop off lanes, etc. Email to parents that the publication is coming home a certain
web links to parents
There is always a disconnect between what is told to the schools and what trickles down to the teachers. As a
6/7 grade teacher, I was not familiar with this publication, but I probably would have used it more (as I found it
quite valuable and helpful when reviewing it) had I been made aware of it by our administration. Perhaps there
is a way to communicate with teachers directly to make them aware of the educational uses and lesson plan
I have never seen this publication before and I am a high school teacher who teaches college and career prep to
9th grade students. My school counselor and principals never told me that this publication existed, therefore
there is a missing link in the distribution of this resource. Additionally, the publication should be mailed directly
to student houses. A smaller supply can be shipped to the school and teachers can make copies and create
lesson plans based around the information but parents also need to be included in the distribution process. Since
it is not a guarantee that teachers will end up with this resource in their hands, the publication should skip the
Is this publication available online in its entirety? It should also be widely available at public libraries (in the
children's sections), pediatricians' offices, Children's Museum, Zoo, Conner Prairie, etc.
Any time a school is placed in charge of distribution, there is immense potential that these publications are not
going to make it to the parent(s). While it is probably the most cost effective way for the materials to be
distributed, it is likely that a large percentage of parents never know these publications exist, and many students
will likely put them in a bookbag or locker and not pay much attention, unless it is tied to an assignment.
At lower levels if the publications are placed in the hands of students, parents are likely to actually receive them,
but at higher levels, there is certainly a tendency for young people to not get materials in the hands of parents.
I would be interested to learn more about the distribution of this publication to charter schools, as well as
schools in low-income areas. What follow-up procedures are in place to ensure that all intended recipients are
actually receiving the publications? Also, perhaps this publication could be made available during school
registration/check-in sessions at the beginning of the year, or, maybe even have it available at local retailers that
sell school supplies. Perhaps the State could partner with a large retailer as a sponsor and in turn, the retailer
would carry displays of the publication for free distribution near wherever the retailer is selling its school
The publication could also be shared with youth serving agencies (ex. Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, etc). Also, a link
to where the materials will be available online could be sent out somehow through post cards or via email to
parents (or through school websites where parents are often checking grades).
Consider having them in local stores where the other free publications are displayed.
As a teacher, I merely received these pamphlets in my mailbox with instructions to pass them out on Thursday.
Students receive many handouts and don't know which ones are worth keeping and reading. Having them
available at orientation meetings, Open House, Parent/Teacher Conferences, etc. might help parents receive this
important information. I believe that very few of my parents actually see this magazine after I hand it to their
teenager. Students meet with Guidance Counselors to discuss scheduling and plans for the future. That is a more
natural time for a student to recieve a handout such as this, and guidance counselors could even use it to help
As I noted earlier, I've never seen these as a parent. As a recruiter, we oftentimes see these left in boxes that go
Find other "gatekeeper" organizations that youth and parents are actively involved in for other parts of their
lives. Distribute via those organizations.
Needs to be mailed to families. It is good information
Need to have school post the website link on all their school website home pages
and also send home parent emails with this link, explaining the valuable Indiana-developed resources. I liked the
parent organization tips in the early years, but reality in most homes finds this publication in a drawer or recycle
42. Please provide below any The .pdf comments or suggestions for are not reaching their
bin after the first few weeks of school. furtherversion and additional online resourcesimproving this
The publishers need to remember that they are serving a diverse population of students and parents. In some
cases one cannot expect the parents to be better educated then their children and, therefore, in order to
increase readability the language used in the publication needs to be explicit, specific, defined, and backed up
with many concrete and clear examples. For example, if the terms "good listener", "peacemaker",
"professional", etc are expected to be understood then they need to be defined or examples need to be given to
make sure all readers understand what the term means. We cannot forget that there are many cultures in
An online component with free, online games (such as games that allow vocabulary words to be plugged in for
practice) would be good. As noted, design can be distracting, so a streamlined approach with more authentic art
The intention of this publication is fantastic. The content (with some tweaks) is on target. I worry that it's not
getting to where it needs to be, but for those who do have the opportunity to read it, they will get useful and
Overall, the publications seem rather valuable and great resources for both students and parents. As I have
previously mentioned, I would challenge the editor to consider students that are behind grade level, especially
from a literacy standpoint. What are the best ways to distribute this information to the students and parents
that need it the most? It is a great resource for the parents in the suburbs that have been reading to their child
since birth, but how do you plan to get this valuable information to the single parent in the inner-city that may
See above.
The more practical the information you can give students, the more useful the magazine. Students know they
have to take the SAT or ACT, but having a chart that shows the differences and similarities between the tests and
where geographically they are preferred for admission helps students to make better decisions.
I doubt that these get much utilization--especially in the schools that need them. They just aren't formated in
ways to get into the classroom and the lesson plans put too much work on teachers to integrate them into the
curriculum. There are rarely exercises of value in them, it seems.
This is tough without knowing so many other variables. I would at least consider something that is strictly
PARENT/GUARDIAN oriented and then have a separate series of student publications. Give more FOCUS to the
content. And why not consider combining all grades for parents. This could be useful as a resource guide for
families that have more than one child and who will want to reference the guide frequently. Overall, package
Do you receive input from students? Besides being an administrator, I have also worked for years as a high
school journalism and yearbook instructor. Ball State conducts a very prestigious high school journalism
workshop every summer, where the best and brightest young high school journalist would be a valuable

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