Superintendent's Corner

Bernard F. Bragen, Jr. February 1, 2015

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Our Transition to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)

As you may be aware, New Jersey is one of over 40 states that have adopted the Common Core Curriculum Standards for Language Arts and Math to increase the rigor and expectations for our students. The Hazlet Township Public Schools eagerly adopted these new standards and adjusted our curricula to meet those new expectations and benchmarks.

Consequently, a new method of assessing student performance compared to these benchmarks is also being implemented. This new assessment is know as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and will be implemented this year in schools across New Jersey in grades three through eleven. Two significant changes with the PARCC, as compared to the former State assessment vehicle, the NJ ASK, are the alignment to the new Common Core Curriculum Standards and the fact that the test will be administered online. Our students and teachers have been preparing for both these changes and several grade levels actually participated in the pilot PARCC test last spring.

What can parents do to assist our students in preparing for PARCC this year? First and foremost, assuage any fears your child may have about this assessment. Our students are well prepared and have been instructed via curricula that are aligned to these new standards. They should have no fear of the new assessment’s content. In regards to the online format, our students have been using this technology since they started their schooling in kindergarten and most likely, even before that! To help students transition from a pencil and paper method of assessment to an online format, our teachers have had students take practice online assessments and simulations. I would encourage you to do the same at home. You can access a wealth of PARCC information and practice tests on our district homepage at In addition, we have planned parent and student meeting to review PARCC scheduled for February 5, 2015 at 6:30 PM at Raritan High School (

As with most changes, the anticipation of the impact is likely to be much more than it will be in actuality. Our students and staff are well prepared for this new assessment process. I am confident that working together as one school community, we can ease this transition for the NJ ASK to the PARCC so that our students continue to thrive and are able to achieve their maximum potential.

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