HUNTINGTON – A three-week window for state-mandated testing opened this week for students in Cabell County, reintroducing a long-standing method of measuring academic progress.
All students in Grades 3 to 8 will be tested in Reading, Language Arts and Math, while students in Grades 5 and 8 will also be tested in Science. The test is mandatory for all students, in person and virtual.
“Although our county has a three week window, each school is able to designate its own testing window. Some schools are doing it this week, some next week, and it really depends on when the school wants to do it, ”said LeeAnn Porter, Head of Assessment and Education Programs for County Schools. Cabell.
This three week window opened on May 3 and schools will continue to offer testing for the next two weeks until Friday May 21. This is the first form of state-standardized testing since spring 2019.
As the school year drew to a close in 2020, West Virginia State Schools Principal Clayton Burch canceled annual standardized tests for public schools statewide following the decision of the Governor Jim Justice to close all schools in an effort to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
Resuming testing this year will allow local school districts to see exactly where the biggest learning gaps have occurred since the start of the pandemic, without fear of penalization for schools and educators who have worked diligently to ensure they are give it back.
In early April 2021, the West Virginia Department of Education obtained a waiver from the United States Department of Education for accountability, school identification and reporting requirements, which ultimately allows educators to better focus on academic success and recovery.
“We do diagnostic tests throughout the school year, which are snippets of currently taught content, but this is a one-day snapshot to assess our academic growth as well as the gaps we need. fill, ”said Kelly Watts, assistant superintendent of training and leadership division for Cabell County.
Porter said tests are typically administered over a three-day period with at least one, sometimes two days of makeup. Each school can decide when these tests are administered, provided they are completed at the end of the three week period. .
She added that all students, including those who have been virtual throughout the year, will be required to take the test, which will be offered to them in school buildings, at their home school or at another testing site. .
“We gave them different opportunities at different testing sites to be able to do it,” Porter said, “but it’s still in a school building, for example, some of our virtual elementary school students are being tested in colleges. .
The test results, said Watts, will be used to help the district plan recovery programs and other intervention methods to help students bounce back from a difficult year.
“This year, we understand the importance of getting as much data and information as possible about our students in order to better plan our intervention and our summer programs for the coming year,” said Watts.
In addition to testing for elementary and middle school students, Cabell County also participated in the SAT School Day in West Virginia, which saw all high school juniors take the exam on April 13.
Luke Creasy is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook @HDcreasy or contact him by phone at 304-526-2800.