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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Letter from Susan Viccaro on PARCC and MCAS Tests

Letter from Susan Viccaro

January 25, 2016

Dear Parents/Guardians:
You may have heard that we will be administering the PARCC test (The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) in English/Language Arts and Mathematics this spring in grades 3-8.
Grade 3 will take the paper version and Grades 4-8 will take the computer-based version. For the time being, our grade 5 and grade 8 students will take the Science, Technology and Engineering MCAS Test until a new assessment is developed that is aligned with the standards.
MCAS testing will remain in place for the Alternative Assessments and all High School exams.
The Commissioner of Education has determined that beginning in 2017, the entire state will take what is being termed, “MCAS 2.0.” He has also indicated that the MCAS 2.0 will include a large number of PARCC-like items and that we will be moving to electronic testing. Because of these decisions at the state level, we want our students to have an opportunity to experience the PARCC test items and a computer-based format.
Due to our recent building projects, we are fortunate to have the technological infrastructure and the number of electronic devices to test our students. In this transition year, all scores will be reported but the state is holding districts’ accountability status harmless.
Attached to this letter is a general spring testing schedule. A more specific PARCC test schedule will be sent from your child’s school.
As always, I thank you for your support and your patience as the state transitions to a new assessment system.

Susan L. Viccaro
Superintendent of Schools

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