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The purpose of this letter is to inform you that your student will be participating in the State of Florida assessment program during the months of March, April and May 2016. This program includes assessments administered through the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) program and the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Tests (FCAT) program. A copy of our school’s testing calendar is included with this letter. Please reference your child’s grade and courses to identify their specific testing dates. This calendar also includes additional assessments being administered across the campus.
The statewide assessment program is designed to provide parents, teachers, policy makers, and the general public with information regarding how well students are learning Florida’s academic standards. According to section 1008.22(3), Florida Statutes, “Participation in the assessment program is mandatory for all school districts and all students attending public schools, including adult students seeking a standard high school diploma under s. 1003.4282 and students in Department of Juvenile Justice education programs, except as otherwise provided by law. If a student does not participate in the assessment program, the school district must notify the student’s parent and provide the parent with information regarding the implications of such nonparticipation.” If you wish to access this legislation, please go to http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=10001099/1008/Sections/1008.22.html.
Please review the following policies with your student before testing:
- Electronic Devices—Students are not permitted to have any electronic devices, including but not limited to cell phones, smartphones, fitbits, and smartwatches, at any time during testing OR during breaks (e.g., restroom), even if they are turned off or students do not use them. If your student is found with an electronic device, his or her test will be invalidated.
- Testing Rules Acknowledgment—All FSA tests include a Testing Rules Acknowledgment that reads, “I understand the testing rules that were just read to me. If I do not follow these rules, my test score may be invalidated.” Prior to testing, test administrators read the rules to students, and students acknowledge that they understand the testing rules by signing below the statement on their planning sheets, worksheets, or work folders.
- Discussing Test Content after Testing— The last portion of the testing rules read to students before they sign below the Testing Rules Acknowledgment states, “Because the content in all statewide assessments is secure, you may not discuss or reveal details about the passages or items after the test. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as texting, emailing, or posting online, for example, on websites like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.” Please make sure your student understands that “discussing” test content includes any kind of electronic communication, such as texting, emailing, or posting to blogs or social media websites. While students may not share information about secure test content after testing, this policy is not intended to prevent students from discussing their testing experiences with their parents/families.
- Working Independently—Students are responsible for doing their own work during the test and for protecting their answers from being seen by others. If students are caught cheating during testing, their tests will be invalidated. FDOE employs a test security company, Caveon Test Security, to analyze student test results to detect unusually similar answer patterns. Student tests within a school that are found to have extremely similar answer patterns will have their results invalidated.
- Leaving Campus—If your student begins a test session and leaves campus before completing it (for lunch, an appointment or illness, etc.), he or she WILL NOT be allowed to complete that test session. If your student does not feel well on the day of testing, it may be best for him or her to wait and be tested on a make-up day. Please remember not to schedule appointments on testing days.
- Testing Accommodations—If your student has an IEP or Section 504 plan, please contact the school to discuss the testing accommodations that will be provided for your student.
For information regarding test session length for all Spring 2016 FSA assessments, please visit the FSA Portal at www.FSAssessments.org, click on the Students and Parents tab, select Student and Parent Resources, select the Computer-Based Testing Information folder, and then select Spring 2016 Testing Times. If you or your student would like to gain familiarity with the computer-based testing platform, item types, and response formats your student will see on the FSA assessments, training tests and answer keys are available at http://www.FSAssessments.org/training-tests.
For information regarding test session length and other helpful information for Spring 2016 FCAT, FCAT 2.0, and NGSSS EOC assessments, please review the Fact Sheets for FCAT and FCAT 2.0 assessments at http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/5423/urlt/FCAT2FS2014-15.pdf and for NGSSS EOC assessments at http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/5423/urlt/NGSSSEOCFS2014-15.pdf.
If you have any questions related to this test administration, you may contact me, Pattie Forcier via phone at (941) 426-2050 ext. 707 or via email at Pattie.Forcier@imagineschools.org.
Thank you for supporting your student and encouraging him or her to do his or her best during this test administration.