Kathy Siso - School Counselor

School Counselors - Exploring Human Potential

Kathy Siso has been the Guidance Counselor at Madison Junior School since September 2001. She has both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from New York University. She is a member of the Morris County Counselors Association, the American Counseling Association, and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

As the Guidance Counselor her first priority is to advocate for each student. She is the voice that they sometimes feel they do not have. As their advocate she helps them to talk to teachers, friends, and classmates when a problem arises. Her main goal is to eventually have the children advocate for themselves. She has an open door policy and students are welcome to stop by at anytime as long as they have a pass from their teacher, unless of course it is an emergency.

In addition to being the student's advocate Mrs. Siso is also responsible for student schedules, coordinating placement for the next school year, working closely with the high school guidance department, serving as a liaison between the parents and their child's team.

If you need to contact Mrs. Siso you can do so by calling her at 973-593-3149 ext. 3193 or emailing her by clicking here: mailto:sisok@madisonnjps.org

How to read and understand standardized test results.

What Does it All Mean? A Guide for the Perplexed
Your children will be taking standardized tests soon, whether it is the NJ ASK or the SAT. This information is your guide to common questions asked by parents, like yourself.
You will find brief explanations on why testing is necessary, what type of test your child may take, scoring, and much more.

Why do schools test our children?
So that schools can gather information about the knowledge their students have learned and what their potential learning may be.

I'm confused about the difference between an aptitude test and an achievement test. Aren't they really the same thing?
No they aren't. An achievement test measures what your child has already learned; while an aptitude test measures your child.s learning potential. •

Why do teachers need to use published tests?
So that grade levels can be compared year to year and school to school using the same measurements.

What do you mean by norm-referenced?
A student.s score is compared to the scores of other students nationally who are the same age, in the same grade and took the test the same time of the year.

What does standardized test mean?
It means the tests were uniformly developed, administered, and scored.

What is percentile rank?
When a score falls below a point on a distribution scale; for example, a score on the 65 th percentile indicates that 65% of the students received that same score or a lower score.

What is a stanine?
A scale that divides the scores of the norming sample into 9 groups, where 1 is the lowest and 9 being the highest. Stanines have a constant relationship to percentiles.

What are grade equivalents?
Test scores that equate a score to a particular grade level.

Some parents and teachers claim that most published standardized tests are unfair to minority and inner-city children. Is this true?
Most test-makers review items for obvious biases, such as ethnic, race, gender, regional, and age. Some test-makers also use statistical bias-reduction techniques.

I think that our child should only be compared to local children, rather than compared to national norms. Isn't that more logical?
Some tests give group scoring that allows comparison of schools and grades within the same district. However, it is important for districts to first evaluate their students and curriculum with those in the nation

Why don.t you have tests that tell whether or not a student has learned a skill, regardless of what other pupils know?
Some tests do exactly that, but the standardized tests allow us to evaluate the curriculum and students. learning and how it compares nationally.

What happens if my child fails the NJ ASK?
If your child scores partially proficient in Math, Language Arts, or Science, he or she may be placed in remedial classes as a freshmen in high school or an additional aceademic support class at the junior school.

What can I do to better prepare my child for the NJ ASK?
Take the test seriously and encourage your child to read. The more a student reads, the better the vocabulary and comprehension.

What is the school doing to prepare our children for the state assessments?
Students complete warm-up/preparation exercises daily in each area tested (Science, Language Arts, and Math). In addtion, the NJ ASK is based on the Core Curriculum Content Standards which is what we base our curriculm upon and therefore, what they learn in class will help them to answer the questions on the NJ ASK.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Guidance Department at (973) 593-3149 ext 3193