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New York State testing begins Tuesday

Photo of Mrs. Howe's class with their "THinking Caps" on!

In the photo at right, Big Cross fourth-graders in Jeanne Howe's class pose for a picture while wearing their "Thinking Caps."  "Ready for the NYS assessments!" says Mrs. Howe. "Bring it on, Common Core!"

Beginning tomorrow, our elementary and middle school students will be taking the 3-8 NYS Assessments in ELA, Math and Science. Testing days are as follows:

  • Grades 3—8 English Language Arts: Tuesday, April 1—Thursday, April 3
  • Grades 3—8 Math: Wednesday, April 30—Friday, May 2
  • Grades 4 and 8 Science (Performance): Wednesday, May 21—Friday, May 30
  • Grades 4 and 8 Science (Written): Monday, June 2

To help students prepare for these tests, please see the “Don’t Stress About the Test” tips for families. Here are other important notes for parents and guardians to help their children feel as confident and comfortable as possible on testing days:

Graphic of "Don't Stress the Test"Reading and writing on a regular basis is one of the most important factors for success on any assessment, regardless of the content area. The more children read and write, the more likely they will be to reach their highest potential on any test. Encourage your children to read different kinds of texts to help increase their vocabulary development and become familiar with different styles of writing that will help them to become stronger students overall.

Some students become anxious when tackling standardized tests. While it is important to acknowledge the value of a test, it is equally important to remind them that a test is simply one measure of performance. The more relaxed and prepared a student is about an exam, the more likely they are to perform their best and truly demonstrate their best learning.

There has been much publicity recently about state testing and the Common Core and there is a lot of misinformation being presented. The Common Core State Standards adopted by the Board of Regents in 2010 emphasize critical thinking, careful reading of fiction and non-fiction, writing with evidence, effective communication of ideas, and real-world problem solving in mathematics.

While testing has become an integral part of students’ education at every level, we recognize the concerns you may have about the upcoming testing and want to not only alleviate any fears your child may have, but also any concerns you may have about the use of these assessments in placement or grading.

We do not use these assessments as a sole determination in any type of program placement. We simply look at them as another measure of performance we have, in addition to many other valuable measures. Each child is unique; we look at the whole child in school, not how they perform on any single assessment. We certainly do not want any of our students to stay home simply to avoid taking one of these tests for fear of this.

If you have any questions about other ways you can assist your child at home or questions about the testing, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher, principal or the Superintendent.

A video on test-taking tips and reminders: