This spring, Hoosick Falls students from grades 3 through 8 will be taking their first assessments in three years in English Language Arts, Math and Science.

ELA tests will be in two parts on March 29 and March 30, while the math tests will be on April 26 and 27. The science test is a written one and is for fourth and eighth graders only. That test will take place on June 6.

The tests are used as a way to assess not only student performance, but a marker of curriculum as well.

“It’s good practice, the more kids we get taking state assessments, the better off they’ll be when it comes to the Regents in high school,” said middle school principal Sarah Fleming. “It’s also good [to practice] time management skills and it’s a good indicator of where we’re at and what plans we need for upcoming programming.”

In response to parent and education concerns, New York state has maintained the testing changes from 2018, including fewer test questions in ELA and Math, fewer test sessions and untimed tests.

“It’s important for students to know that they aren’t timed, so that pressure isn’t there anymore,” Fleming said. “They have as much time as they need.”

State testing provides school administrators with important data to improve education for all students, so participation is key.

“Unfortunately, when fewer students take the exams we are left with an incomplete picture of how and what our students are learning,” a letter sent out to parents on March 2 reads. “This limits our ability to address issues that would improve how we educate our students. It also gives us less information to work with if your child struggles in a particular area.”

Fleming said the main concern she wants to alleviate for parents is that the test doesn’t count as a part of a student’s overall grade.

“It doesn’t hurt their grade or go against it, it’s just an assessment to see where [the student] is at and that helps us,” Fleming said.

If there’s any questions about testing, contact your student’s principal.

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