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From the principal: Changes to NYS assessments

Dear Berne-Knox-Westerlo Parents and Guardians,

As a parent, the decision to allow your child to sit for the New York State assessments can be a difficult one. Over the past few years families have questioned the value and purpose of these exams for many reasons. I too, as a mother of three, have sat at the kitchen table with my family having similar conversations.

To address some of these concerns, last year the state made some of the changes listed below:

• The tests are now shorter and untimed, allowing students the opportunity to do their best work.

• NYS teachers have assisted in the development of the test questions.

• Score reports for parents are clearer and provide more feedback on individual student performance.

As a student-centered school we respect and value the parents’ right to decide what is best for their child. We understand each child is special and has his/her own set of strengths and weaknesses. The decision of who sits for the exam or even which exam they sit for, may vary within the same family.

Please know as you are deciding what is right for your child, our BKW teachers are committed to providing highly engaging and cognitively challenging lessons every day. Whether they are tapping maple trees for science class or presenting projects at the annual science fair, our students are working hard and developing the 21st century skills they will need for success in the future. As such, teachers will use the results from the assessments to drive their instruction and identify areas where individual students may be struggling.

One final point to keep in mind as you make your decision is the tests are administered over three days. If a student starts the test on day one and refuses to sit on day two or day three he/she will still generate a score from NYS.
The NYS ELA exam will be administered on March 28-30, 2017 in grades 3-8.

Click here for additional parent resources to help you with your decision-making process.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.

Annette Landry
Elementary School Principal