Schenevus central school district

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Dean of Students



Dear Parents and Guardians:

Starting in April, students in grades 3-8 will be taking NYS assessments.  These assessments are very important not only for your child to gain experience in taking NYS assessments, as they prepare to take Regents exams as early as 8th grade, but also as a tool to determine if your child is performing where needed for college and career readiness.  In the past, there have been families who have chosen to Opt-Out of the exams. This is a trend we would like to stop, considering, there is a large benefit for your student in taking these exams. Please review the following facts, and feel free to contact your child’s teacher or principal with questions.

Why take the NYS 3-8 ELA and Math Assessments?

There are several reasons we believe having active participation in the 3-8 state assessments are important. The results are used to help:

=         Students begin to gain testing experience since all students have to pass a minimum of 5 regents exams starting as early as 8th grade, to be able to graduate

=         Parents learn about their children’s academic achievement;

=         Teachers understand how well students are learning what is being taught;

=         School, district, and state education leaders determine what is and is not working well;

=         Stakeholders identify achievement gaps that may be forming among different student populations; and

=         Title funding can be impacted by student participation and ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) is requiring 95% participation within a district.

Student refusal can still negatively impact the District

=         Grade 3-8 test results remain a factor in federal accountability measures under the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

=         Schools that persistently and substantially fail to meet the 95 percent participation requirement must conduct a self-assessment and develop an improvement plan.

  • Schools that implement a school improvement plan and do not improve their participation rate will have a district participation rate audit and must update their plan.  

  • The process involved with being on an improvement plan is very costly to districts.

How have the assessments changed?

Over the last few years, there have been changes to the assessments to make them more student-friendly and less stressful. The changes include:

=         Reduction in days; each assessment has been reduced to two days;

=         Untimed; students who are actively working can take as much time as they need to complete the assessment;

=         State assessments are not tied to teacher evaluations; and

=         Educators are deeply involved in the development of the assessments.

What can parents do?

Teachers have been speaking to students about the assessments and both teachers and students have worked hard to prepare for them. You can also help your child to prepare by:

=         Reminding your child that assessments are a part of life and they will have to complete them at various points throughout his/her life and state assessments are good practice;

=         Making sure they go to bed early and arrive at school on time;

=         Reminding your child to start the day with a good breakfast either at home or in school; and

=         Encourage them to do his/her best.  State tests are truly necessary to help us understand any areas we as a district need to work on related to instruction, materials used, etc.  

The English Language Arts exam will be administered on April 2nd and 3rd. The Math exam will be administered on May 1st and 2nd. All students in grades 3-8 will be taking both ELA and Math state exams.  Testing will begin each day at 8:30 a.m. If your child refuses to take the assessments he/she will be assigned to a classroom to complete alternative work. No cellphones and Chromebooks will be used during this time.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns about NYS testing. Or join me for a Parent Information Night Thursday, March 21st at 6 pm in the Draper Room.

Best Regards,

Melissa Leonard




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Melissa Leonard
Dean of Students
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Schenevus Central School District
159 Main Street, Schenevus, NY 12155
Phone 607 638 5881 | Fax 607 638 5600
5210 Every day!
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