Student & Parent Info

Welcome! A variety of resources are linked here for the use of James River students and families. Simply click on each topic to learn more.
Each of the links below goes to the Events section of the website. Once there you can navigate between the different calendars and even subscribe to the calendar(s) of your choosing. You may also print a month at a time.
Middle School Deadlines Calendars
To access the Family Portal, you will need your username and password. Once signed in, parents have access to grades and other school information.
School forms may be found at
James River Day School uses My Hot Lunchbox for lunch service. Parents order as they choose after setting up an account with My Hot Lunchbox. To sign in or set up your account, go to
Taylor Media Center/Library Resources
Families are welcome to browse the Taylor Media Center's Online Catalog by going to Once there, feel free to browse the titles available in the school's collection.
Need to know if a book has an AR quiz available?
 Go to ARBookfind gives both the level and point values for the books listed in its database.
Ready to take an AR quiz?
When working on a research paper or project, students may use to find resources. This collection of databases provides free 24/7 access to resources such as newspapers, magazine and journal articles, and books such as encyclopedias. Materials are available for all age ranges and interests. Users will need a public library card for access.

Find Books by Reading Level and Subject
  • To help find books that fit a student's reading level, go to
  • Or, find just the right books using Book Wizard from Scholastic. You can search by reading level and even refine your search by genre or subject. You can even find a book similar to one you like by using the "similar books" tab on the Book Wizard.
James River uses several standardized tests to help support our curriculum and provide each child with the highest quality education possible. These tests provide nationwide data from reputable sources. We give standardized tests to provide the following:
  1. They provide James River Day School with a normed assessment of student progress.
    Most independent schools give standardized tests. Data from similar schools allows us to compare our students’ performance with those schools.
  2. They provide our teachers with information about student mastery of the content taught. 
    These tests provide useful data on our curriculum from an outside source. Our curriculum is not designed around the tests, nor do we “teach to the tests;” however, they give us valuable insight into student mastery of individual facts and concepts by grade level compared to other independent schools.
  3. The tests provide parents with a record of their child’s progress. 
    These tests can show your child’s trends in development and highlight their relative strengths over time. Pairing this information with classroom assessments and feedback can be invaluable knowledge for parents to monitor progress.
  4. They allow students to “practice” taking standardized tests in a low-stakes environment
    When students take the PSAT, SAT, and other standardized tests in high school, there is a significant advantage from experience taking standardized tests in various formats.
The information below can help you interpret your child’s scores.
How does the school use this information?
During a normal testing administration,  we use standardized testing data to inform curriculum reviews by department, and we use the data to monitor an individual student’s progress as well. For eighth-grade students, the scores will be sent as a part of a student’s transcripts.

What is the difference between National Norms and Independent School norms?
Testing norms represent how a student compares to peers in different sample groups. The national norm groups show how your child compares to all students who take the test nationally (public, private, parochial, etc.). Independent school norms represent a smaller sample population comparing your child to other private independent school students. It is normal for the scores to be different for each norm population. We primarily look at the independent school norms for decision-making.

What is a percentile?
Percentile represents the percentage of students who scored below your child. If your child’s percentile was 62, that means that 62% of the test takers scored below your child's.
What is a stanine?
Stanine is a single-digit score for your child (1-9). It represents the standard deviation of the scores as represented by a bell curve. The median stanine scores are 4, 5, and 6, representing an “average” score. Statistically speaking, most students will have a stanine of 4, 5, or 6.  The image below should help you visually understand stanines.
stanine visual explanation
What action should parents take if a score appears lower than usual?
First, a single standardized test score might not represent a need for concern. This is why looking at trends over time versus an individual testing session is important.  Here are a few reminders to consider lower scores:
A test score is simply a snapshot. It is possible that a child had a poor testing day. We often evaluate other scenarios to put a test score in context: Was your child distracted during the test? Were they upset about something at school or home? Have they been ill or getting ill? Do they display anxiety about tests?
Human development is uneven. While all children go through a predictable set of developmental events, the rate at which they do so is quite variable and individual. Some students may have incredible progress at younger ages with slower progress through middle school. Research shows that children can have a slight cognitive decline during growth spurts or puberty. Consistent upward progress is unusual, which is why it is best to follow the trends over time. 

If there is still a concern about test results, parents can help reinforce basic skill development by encouraging regular reading habits and math practice. Independent reading reinforces vocabulary acquisition, understanding of basic sentence structure, and improved reading comprehension and reasoning skills. Math practice reinforces basic numeracy and math facts. It is still possible that some students may need additional support at school through our Resource program to either reinforce foundational skills or provide additional evaluation for more targeted support. 
Parents who have further questions about a child’s performance on standardized tests should contact Toinette Staley, our Resource Program Director [email protected] or Jenn Lindsay, our Head of School at [email protected]