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A message from Superintendent Paul Jenkins on grades 3-8 testing

March 21, 2018 —

Dear Parents and Guardians:

We want to communicate some positive changes taking place with our annual New York State English Language Arts and Mathematics Assessments in grades 3-8. Beginning this year, all testing in grades 3-8 will be a two-day event rather than a three-day event. Continuing from last year, all NYS testing in grades 3-8 is untimed, allowing students to do their best work without the pressure of time. And as the state transitions to computer-based testing (CBT) for students in grades 3-8, Glens Falls students will take their tests on Chromebooks this spring.

We have much to be proud of in the Glens Falls City School District, including a graduation rate that now tops 87 percent, and repeat awards for our High School (US News & World Report Silver Award), and Middle School (Essential Elements School to Watch). However, we still face significant pressures surrounding our continued designation by New York State as a “Focus” District. Despite our extensive work and improvement in response to the Focus designation, our district is unable to get off the Focus list until our test participation rate exceeds 95 percent of all eligible students. For this reason, I respectfully urge you to support your child(ren)’s participation in the state tests this spring.

Testing days are as follows:

  • Grades 3 + 4 English Language Arts: Tuesday, April 10—Wednesday, April 11
  • Grades 5—8 English Language Arts: Wednesday, April 11—Thursday, April 12
    • ELA make-ups: Friday, April 13—Friday, April 20
  • Grades 3—8 Math: Tuesday, May 1—Wednesday, May 2
    • Math make-ups: Friday, May 4—Friday, May 11
  • Grades 4 and 8 Science (Performance): Wednesday, May 23—Friday, June 1
    • Science Performance make-ups: Must be given within the testing window.
  • Grades 4 and 8 Science (Written): Monday, June 4
    • Science Written make-ups: Tuesday, June 5—Wednesday, June 6

Over the course of this year, students have been engaged in authentic learning tasks that provide them with the type of knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in a computer-based testing situation. Most students have reported that they liked the change from traditional paper and pencil tasks to the digital formats, and we are excited to be able to use our district-wide Chromebook initiative for this purpose. Accommodations or testing situations may still require paper-based tests and those are being planned for in each building according to state guidance and regulations.

As a reminder, individual student scores are not included on the student’s official transcript or in the student’s permanent record, and are being provided to the student and parents simply for diagnostic purposes. This year’s test questions were written and developed with greater teacher involvement, and have no official evaluation consequences for educators.

This link contains additional information about this year’s tests, and I encourage you to read it over. If you have any questions about testing, please contact your child’s principal or reach out to me directly. Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Paul Jenkins, Superintendent