Update on NYS Testing for Grades 3-8

We want to update you on the status of this year’s grades 3-8 assessments. The federal government indicated recently that it will not grant a waiver to suspend this testing, unlike last year when the U.S. Department of Education deferred state assessments because of the pandemic-related school closures.

This means that state assessments will be given this spring; however, the federal government has offered states flexibility in how the tests are administered with the health and safety of students and staff in mind.

We currently await more guidance as to what this will mean for New York and how our State Education Department plans to proceed. We know this raises questions, in particular about testing for our remote learners. Please know that above all we remain committed to ensuring that our health and safety protocols are observed at all times and we will make the best plans possible based on the guidance the state provides.

Despite the challenges this year, Watervliet teachers continue to use several different approaches to measure student learning. It is important to keep in mind, that the state assessments are helpful in determining progress related to grade-level learning standards, but they are just one of the tools we use to help identify how we can better support students and provide resources to improve teaching and learning in our schools.

On a related note, the state Board of Regents is scheduled to meet this month to consider potential changes to current Regents exam requirements for high school students, in light of the federal government’s announcement about waivers.

Please know that when we receive more information from the state about administering the assessments, we will share that with you.

Dr. Lori Caplan, Superintendent