Beginning on Monday, March 6, 2017, District 65 students in third through eighth grade will participate in the spring administration of the PARCC assessment. This test is used to provide teachers and parents with information about students’ progress toward attaining the knowledge and skills outlined in the Common Core State Standards. These standards are embedded within District 65 curriculum and are a part of everyday classroom teaching and learning.
This year’s test will have the same format as the one administered last spring. Each school will develop its own testing schedule to provide students an opportunity to take the test between March 6 and March 24. Make up testing will occur after spring break—through April 21, 2017. The majority of District 65 students will once again take the online version of the assessment. Our experience with last two years of PARCC testing demonstrated that we have the necessary infrastructure in place for testing. We again anticipate a smooth testing experience for all children and we have plans in place to handle the instances when technological issues arise.
We recognize that some of our families have concerns about PARCC for varying reasons. We are also aware that some have expressed interest in opting their child out of taking the spring assessment. State and federal laws require District 65 to administer the PARCC assessment to all students in third through eighth grade. Last year’s participation rate showed improvement from the previous year. As a result, the District did not face sanctions despite fewer than 95% of students participating in last year’s PARCC test. However, we remain at risk of losing federal funding if our participation rate does not continue to improve this year. That being said, our teachers and principals will continue to be respectful of students who refuse to take the assessment. If you have concerns about PARCC, I encourage you to speak directly with your child’s principal.
As with last year, we anticipate distributing PARCC results in late summer or early fall. Additional information about the PARCC assessment is available at district65.net/parcc.
Paul D. Goren Superintendent of Schools Evanston/Skokie School District 65