Every year, our students take a number of state assessments. We share the results of these assessments with you in order to give you an idea about the progress your child is making in school. We also use the results of these assessments to help us improve classroom instruction and to identify areas where students may need some extra support.
This year, we will introduce the new PARCC (or Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) assessments in Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA)/Literacy. These assessments will replace the NECAP Mathematics, Reading, and Writing assessments that we have used for the past 9 years.
Another change is that PARCC testing will have two separate testing periods: One in the early spring and another shortly before the end of the school year.
For the PARCC ELA/Literacy tests, all students in Grades 3 through 10 will participate. These tests will include both Reading and Writing in every grade. (Previously, we tested writing in only three grades.)
For the PARCC Math tests, most students in Grades 3 through 8 will take the Mathematics test for their grade level. In high school, however, the test your child will take depends on course enrollment. High-school students will take either PARCC Algebra I or PARCC Geometry, depending on which course they’re taking. High-school students not taking either of these courses will not participate in the math assessments this year.
Students in middle school enrolled in either Algebra I or Geometry will take the PARCC test for their course, rather than the PARCC test for their grade level (for example, PARCC Geometry rather than PARCC Grade 8).
Another exciting change is that students will take PARCC assessments using a computer rather than using paper and pencil. Students will either be using the desktop computers in the computer labs or use chromebooks. We have ordered 14 chromebook carts for the district (30 chromebooks per cart.) A chromebook is similar to a laptop in look and feel, but it does not have the typical programs such as Word or Excel. It operates only using Google Apps and web based applications. We expect the chromebooks to be in the schools by February. The best thing about chromebooks is the simplicity of use. There is almost zero training needed as long as the user is familiar with Google Apps. Since PARCC is web-based, students will simply click on the icon and sign in to the assessment.
The testing windows are as follows:
Performance-Based Assessment (PBA): March 16 - April 10, 2015 End-of-Year/End-of-Course Assessment (EOY/EOC): May 4 - May 29, 2015