NYS Testing Letter
April 1, 2021
Dear Parents and Guardians:
The NYS Board of Regents recently issued guidelines for this year’s Grades 3-8 English Language Arts and Math assessments. You may be aware that the state requested a waiver from the federal government to cancel these tests for 2021, due to pandemic hardships affecting students and their educational delivery models. That waiver has not been granted thus far. So, the Regents approved some major changes to this year’s testing, including:
- Math and ELA exams in Grades 3 through 8 are still being given but will only be one session.
- Schools must administer these exams in person, at school. Remote testing will not be allowed. However, “Schools are not expected to bring students into the building to participate in the tests if the students are receiving entirely remote instruction during the testing windows.” This means any student in the “all remote” or virtual instructional mode during testing will not be required to sit for the exams.
- No accountability is tied to the 2021 exams—for students, teacher evaluation, or district progress. As such, there will be no detrimental effect on any group, including the district’s participation rate, if it were below 95%.
- If your child takes these assessments, we will not be using her/his 2021 results for any purpose, as not all of our students will be taking the exams.
- Our district procedure for opting out of the 3-8 ELA and/or math exams remains the same: parents or guardians should contact the district in advance to discuss the specific needs of their child. We commit to a respectful conversation, as it is always the parent’s decision regarding their child’s participation in state assessments.
- As a result of current state guidelines, which require school districts to maintain at least 6ft of social distance at all times, we have had to utilize every square inch of our building to allow for all students to receive daily, in-person instruction. This creates a problem for state testing in that we do not have space available to accommodate all students' needs. Therefore, in order to properly administer the state assessments, students in grades K-2 will be remote on Tuesday, April 20th and Tuesday, May 4th. Students in grades 3-6 will report to school and take the assessments in the morning and follow their normal schedule after completion of the exams. Remote schedules for students in K-2 will be sent home the week of April 12th.
Testing days are as follows:
- Grades 3-6 English Language Arts: Tuesday, April 20, 2021; Grades K-2 Remote
- Grades 3-6 Math: Tuesday, May 4, 2021; Grades K-2 Remote
- Grades 4 (Written): Monday, June 7; Grades K-6 All In-Person
If you have any questions about testing, please reach out to me directly. Thank you for your continued support.