Message from the Principal


The New York State Testing Program will begin at the end of this March, earlier than in years past. The New York State Education Department describes the tests this way:

Every spring, the Grades 3-8 English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics Tests are administered to students across New York State. These annual tests are designed to measure how well students are mastering the learning standards that guide classroom instruction and help to ensure that students are on track to graduate from high school with the critical thinking, problem solving, and reasoning skills needed for success in college and the modern workplace. The tests also show how schools and districts are progressing with the learning standards.

The first administration of these tests to all students in Grades 3-8 began in 2006, with the first Common Core testing starting in 2013. Since then there have been many changes to the tests and their basic format. Since 2018, they have remained largely consistent in their current form. The tests are given in two subjects, English-Language Arts (ELA) and Math. The tests are now done by all students on a Chromebook instead of using pencil and paper. Each test is given over a two-day period, starting first thing in the morning and continuing until students are finished. The tests are not timed, meaning each child may take as much time as they need within a school day. Generally students take anywhere from 45-90 minutes on each testing day, depending on the specific test and grade level. For example, it will take longer to complete open-ended questions than multiple choice. As it will take longer for 6th Graders to read passages than 3rd Graders, simply because the passages are longer and more complex.

While there has been much debate and discussion over these tests, they will continue to be present in our school and State for the foreseeable future. It is strongly encouraged that students take these assessments as they are a measure of our students and our school. Should you wish to know more about these tests, there will be an informational Parent Night on Thursday, March 12, 2020 beginning at 6:00 PM. This will give parents and guardians the chance to make an informed decision before testing begins on March 24 and 25. Please join us there. Should you have any questions before that, please contact me in the Elementary Office.

Respectfully submitted,

John Cataldo
Elementary School Principal



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