From Principal Phillips:
April 7, 2021
Dear Families with Children in Grades 3, 4, and 5,
As you know from a previous letter, the federal government is requiring states to administer standardized ELA and Math exams for grades 3-8. New York State has mandated that exams must be given in person, not remotely. Because of this, and because the majority of New York City students are learning remotely, the DOE has decided that this year, parents of all children, those learning remotely and those coming into the school building, MUST OPT IN IF THEY WANT CHILDREN TO TAKE THE EXAMS.
It is very important you let us know if you would like your student to participate in this year’s State exams so that we can prepare and create a testing schedule that ensures the health and safety of all of our students. IF YOU WANT YOUR CHILD TO TAKE THE ELA EXAM, YOU MUST NOTIFY US BY APRIL 15. FOR TAKING THE MATH TEST, YOU MUST NOTIFY US BY APRIL 29. Please complete THIS FORM if you want your child to take one or more of the exams. If you have trouble accessing this form, you can email Deb Orr at email@example.com and let her know you want your child to take the exam. This year, unlike past years, if we do NOT hear from you, your children will not take the exam. This lead time is important so that we can determine how many children are taking the test and set up a schedule for administering it safely. I will send a separate letter to fourth grade families about the Science Exam, which is not until June.
There will be no consequences for students who do not take the exam, and schools will not be held accountable for test scores or participation rates.
The DOE has prepared this FAQ for families:
What State exams will be administered in the school building?
The Grades 3–8 English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics exams, and the Grades 4 and 8 Science exams, will only be administered in your child’s school building. All schools will adhere to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Visit schools.nyc.gov/RTShealthsafety to learn more.
How will you keep my student safe during in-person test administration?
Health and safety are our first priorities. We are asking for you to sign up so we can create testing schedules and room assignments that allow for social distancing protocols.
How do I sign up for the exams?
If you would like your child to participate in this year’s State exams, please notify us by completing this Google Form by April 15 for the ELA, April 29 for the Math example, and May 28 for the 4th grade Science exam. If you know now that you want your child to take the Math test, you can complete it for both tests at the same time. If you do not wish to have your child test you do not have to take any further action.
If we do not hear back from you by April 15, your child will not participate in ELA state testing.
If my student is already learning in the building, do I still need to sign up for the exams?
Yes. You must let us know if you would like your student to take State exams, whether they are learning in-person or remotely.
My student is fully remote. Are they expected to come in to take the exams?
No. Students receiving fully remote instruction may come to school to take the exams but are not required to. If you would like your student to take the exam, they can be included—just notify us using the Google Form
If my student does not take the exams, will they be penalized?
No. Any student who does not participate in the 2021 NYS ELA, Math, or Science exams will not be penalized.
When are the exams?
The exams will be administered within the following dates:
• English Language Arts for grades 3 through 8: April 19–29, 2021
• Mathematics for grades 3 through 8: May 3–14, 2021
• Science for grades 4 and 8: June 7–11, 2021
Testing will not occur on May 13, when schools are closed for Eid Al-Fitr. We will share the scheduled testing date for your child prior to the start of testing window.
If I don’t sign up, what will my child do while their classmates are taking the exam?
Students receiving in-person instruction who do not take the exam will continue their instructional program, as will fully remote students.
Are the exams different this year?
Yes. This year, the ELA and Mathematics exams for grades 3 through 8 will be multiple choice only. The Science exams for grades 4 and 8 will consist only of questions that are multiple choice or require a short, written answer. The tests are untimed, but most students will complete the tests in 55 to 90 minutes.
I have more questions. How can I learn more?
The DOE has created a Parent Guide to address commonly asked questions about the administration of the Grades 3–8 ELA and Mathematics and Grades 4 and 8 Science exams in the 2020-21 school year. You can also reach out to Assistant Principal Sara Despres with any questions or concerns.
Please note: While we will strictly adhere to the DOE’s covid safety and social distancing guidelines, we may be placing students from different classes together in the same room for testing.
Also be aware that our teachers will not be spending any classroom time on test prep this year.
We appreciate your collaboration and flexibility, and as always, respect parents’ rights to make decisions about testing that make sense for your families.