Dear Parents and Guardians,
I am writing to let you know about an important opportunity that our schools are participating in this spring.
As you may have heard, Rhode Island is among a group of leading states that are in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). Rhode Island educators are helping to develop next-generation tests in math, reading, and writing that are of exceptional quality and will measure students’ content knowledge and key skills, such as their ability to think critically, solve problems and use information from what they read to write well-developed essays.
Before we can administer these tests—which will be replacing the NECAP Mathematics, Reading, and Writing tests—we have to have a practice run of the tests this spring. The practice run provides an opportunity to “test the test” to see how well it works and whether we need to make any adjustments before kids take the actual PARCC assessments in the 2014-15 school year. Some students will be taking a paper-based version of the assessment and others will take an online version. For those schools administering the assessment online, this is also a great time for us to make sure the tablets, laptops and desktop computers most students will use for the PARCC assessments next year work properly and will meet the minimum requirements for online testing. Although students and schools will not get scores back based on the assessment, they will get a chance to engage in challenging math or reading problems and writing exercises. By taking part in the practice run, our teachers and students will play an important role in the development of Rhode Island’s future tests.
Educators throughout the state are looking forward to this opportunity to become more familiar with PARCC, which is aligned to the Common Core State Standards. These Standards, adopted by Rhode Island back in 2010, are designed to prepare students for success in college and careers.
The practice run will help us to make sure the PARCC assessments are as good as they can be. If selected to participate in a PARCC test this year, your child will not receive a score or grade based on her or his performance; however, his/her participation will help to ensure that the test questions are fair, on grade level, and measure the intended skills.
Thank you for your continued involvement in and support of your child's education. If you wish to learn more about PARCC, please visit www.ride.ri.gov/PARCC or ask your child's teacher or principal.
As you know we have quite a few curriculum and professional development days coming up. I will be sending out more information about specific initiatives via email. Just to keep you in the loop, some of the upcoming initiatives include:
- District Data Use Team
- Formative Assessment Resident Experts (K-12 Reading Specialists)
- Argument Writing Resident Experts (one teacher per bldg)
- 7-12 Social Studies Curriculum Development
- Mathematics Curriculum and Assessment Refinement Project (this is a big one... each grade level/dept will have up to 4 full days to refine curriculum)
- Math K-12 Common Core Task Force (after school)
- SS K-12 Common Core Task Force (after school)
- ELA K-12 Common Core Task Force (after school)
Important Dates for February
Jan 24th- Resident Expert / Argument Writing Team @ MS 8:00am
Jan 29th- Social Studies Curriculum grade 7
Jan 29th- Social Studies Task Force @ 3:00
Jan 29th- Math Curriculum and Assessment Refinement Project Gr. 6
Jan 30th- Mathematics Curr/Assessment Refinement Project-Grade 5
Jan 31st- Mathematics Curr/Assessment Refinement Project-Grade 5
Feb 3rd- Social Studies Curriculum grade 8 & Geo
Feb 3rd- Math Curr and Assessment Refinement Project Grade 2
Feb 4th- Formative Assessment/ Resident Experts
Feb 5th- Social Studies Curriculum grade 7
Feb 6th- Math Curr and Assessment Refinement Project Gr 3
Feb 7th- Math Curr and Assessment Refinement Project Gr. K
Feb 10th- Social Studies Curriculum grade 8 & Geo
Feb 10th- Math Curr and Assessment Refinement Project Gr. 1
Feb 12th- Social Studies Curriculum grade 7
Feb 12th- Math Curr and Assessment Refinement Project Gr. 4
Feb 13th- District Data Team 8am
Feb 14th- Professional Development Day
Feb 24th- Social Studies Curriculum grade 8 & Geo
Feb 26th- Social Studies Curriculum grade 7
Feb 26th- Math Curr and Assessment Refinement Project Gr. 6
Feb 26th - K-12 ELA Task Force @ 3:00pm
Feb 28th- Math Curr and Assessment Refinement Project Gr. 5