George Southard Elementary School

March 2020

Dear George Southard Families

The New York State English Language Arts Test will be administered to 3rd and 4th graders on Wednesday, March 25 and Thursday, March 26. Make-ups, if necessary, will take place the following Friday and/or Monday.

The NYS Math Test will be administered on April 21 and 22.

Our goal is to have at least 95% of eligible students participate in the NYS Testing Program, which is the standard to which the NYS Education Department holds us accountable. We believe that as a result of our outstanding teachers, hardworking students, and supportive parents, our students are well prepared to participate in the New York State testing program.

Recent changes and improvements to the assessments support the belief that these tests will provide a fair and accurate gauge of how well our students are learning, and have resulted in a decline in the number of “opt-outs”/refusals in recent years:

  • The tests have been reduced from three to two days.

  • Average testing time is 60-80 minutes per day (but unlimited time is allowed).

  • NYS teachers are now involved in creating the tests.

  • The test scores are not used to compute students’ report card grades.

  • The tests are not used for student retention/promotion decisions.

  • The tests are not used to evaluate teachers.

The results of these tests will give parents and students an objective measurement of how students, schools and districts are doing compared to other schools across New York State. Additionally, the tests are used to help ensure that students receive the necessary support they need to be successful at school.

Because these tests measure student skills and abilities over time, there is no way to study for the tests. The best preparation is being done in school as a part of daily instruction. You can help us a great deal by keeping your child’s routine normal (including a reasonable bedtime and healthy breakfast), and by encouraging your child to do his/her best.

George Southard Web Calendar

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George Southard Elementary School

Pride in our Past...Faith in our Future

Home of the Lions

Deanna Schmitt, Principal