It Was a TerraNova Week

It was an unusually quiet week at St. Mary on the Hill Catholic School.  It certainly was not the week to wear tap shoes in the halls.

The 1st through 8th grade students were taking their TerraNova standardized test.  Published by CTB/McGraw-Hill, TerraNova is our only standardized test.   Its purpose is to assess student achievement in language arts, mathematics, reading, science, social studies, spelling, and vocabulary.

So, I hung up my tap shoes and did my best not to be noticed.  Fortunately, the tests did not actually comprise the entire week.  Classes, including specials classes (art, computer, library, music, PE, and Spanish), were held on a modified schedule. 

I almost forgot about testing week since there is not much fanfare leading up to it.  The teachers do not spend teaching time preparing the students for the tests unless you count reminding students to get plenty of sleep and eat a good breakfast as preparation.

Yes, there has been a lot of negative discussion in the news about standardized tests.  The biggest discussion seems to center on too much required test taking in public schools.  So, why would a private school even bother with a standardized test?

St. Mary’s and other Catholic schools in our Diocese, the Diocese of Savannah, use TerraNova results to show how our students compare with other students nationwide using nationally-based standards. 

Our teachers use TerraNova results to identify students’ needs and achievements with regard to lesson planning.  St. Mary’s also uses the aggregate scores to analyze curriculum strengths and weaknesses for internal review and improvement.  TerraNova results provide us with important information that we use to make our curriculum and teaching even better than it already is.    

How do our students perform on the TerraNova test?  Our students consistently score well above the national average.  And, our students do not seem to mind taking the tests; it’s a small price to pay for a no-homework week.


St. Mary on the Hill Catholic School is located in the beautiful and historic Summerville area of Augusta, Georgia.  For more information, please contact Christine Sweeney, Marketing Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 706-733-6193.