GIS & CJH: Grades 3-8 assessments begin April 22

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Each spring, the Grades 3-8 English language arts and math assessments are administered to students across New York State. Although these assessments are typically administered annually, they were not administered during the 2019-2020 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we continued to navigate through the pandemic, there was much uncertainty regarding New York State Assessments for students in grades 3 through 8 for the 2020-21 school year. The Board of Regents and the New York State Education Department has continued to advocate for students, families, and educators. Most recently, this was evidenced by requesting a testing waiver from the United States Department of Education (USDE).

As we have learned, the New York State Education Department’s request to have all State Assessments waived has been denied. All schools are required to administer the assessments, however, the Board of Regents and the New York State Education Department have taken steps to provide flexibility to districts while generating the assessment schedules. With such flexibiliti es in mind, the Goshen Central School District has chosen to administer a condensed version of the 3-8 assessments. As the testing format will be slightly different, we wanted to share some key points about these assessments.

The New York State Board of Regents has given all districts flexibility in choosing dates to administer the assessments. Please note that all assessments will be administered through the use of the computer-based testing program once again this year. Additionally, all assessments will be administered to students attending in-person only. Students who are fully remote will not be required to come into the school for the assessment; however, if your child is on a remote learning schedule and you wish to have him/her take the assessment(s) in person, you may contact your building level administrators to make this request.

Furthermore, the Board of Regents has also provided us with flexibility regarding the number of sessions that will be administered. The Goshen Central School District has chosen to provide a condensed form of the grades 3-8 English language arts and math assessments this year, along with the grades 4 and 8 Science assessments. Therefore, we will only administer Session One of the English language arts and math assessments.  Only the written portion of the grade 4 and 8 Science assessment will be offered this year. The assessment schedule is as follows:

Goshen Intermediate School

ELA : Friday, April 23

Make-ups administered through 4/29

MATH: Tuesday, May 4

Make-ups administered through 5/14

SCIENCE : Tuesday, June 8

Make-ups administered through 6/11

C.J. Hooker Middle School

ELA : Thursday, April 22 & Friday, April 23

Make-ups administered through 4/29

MATH : Thursday, May 6

Make-ups administered through 5/14

SCIENCE : Tuesday, June 8

Make-ups administered through 6/11

While assessments will be scaled back this year, they remain one of many valuable tools used to provide an accurate measure of student progress as it relates to their grade-level learning targets. It should be noted that the USDE has uncoupled state assessments from the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) accountability requirements, reinforcing that the results will be used solely as a measure of student growth and achievement.

Please remember that your child’s scores on the state assessments will not affect their grades or impact our evaluation of your child’s teacher. While no single test can provide a complete picture of a student’s true abilities, annual assessments are considered along with grades, classroom activities, unit quizzes and tests to help us understand how we can best support a student’s learning moving forward. With each of these tasks, we simply ask that our students try their best.  If you plan to “refuse” the assessments, we ask that you notify us, in writing, prior to Monday, April 19, 2021.  This will assist us as we continue to prepare each facility for the assessments.

If you have any questions, please contact your building administration.

Sincerely,

Principal Heather Carman and Principal Dr. Matthew Wentworth
C. J. Hooker Middle School & Goshen Intermediate School