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PARCC Testing Information
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 11:10 AM -0400By: Diana Guzzi
March 10, 2015
 
Dear Bowen Families:

As you know, the Massachusetts Department of Education has launched a new standardized test called PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) that may replace MCAS.  Our 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders at Bowen will take the PARCC assessment in both English/Language Arts and Math beginning later this month.  This assessment is new, and we are treating this year as a way to gather information both about the test and our performance.  Results will be used to plan for growth in future years.
 
The PARCC tests are computer-based, not paper-and-pencil based.  Our primary goal during tutorials and practice test sessions is to familiarize students with the technology aspects of the test: how to navigate the testing site, use the online tools, and determine how to answer the different types of questions.  More information about these topics can be accessed by visiting http://parcc.pearson.com/ and clicking on the “Test Preparation” link.  As we introduce the tutorial and practice tests to students, the following points are being emphasized:
 
  • Since this is a new test, we do not yet have a lot of information about it.  As a result, students may still have questions as we enter the testing period and may not feel as prepared as they did during MCAS, which was a very familiar test.
  • During the test sessions, students should remember that they are trying a new test for the first time.  The results will let teachers and schools know if we are focusing on the right things in our teaching.  
  • Ultimately, students should understand that that our expectation is simply for them to do their best.  They may not finish the test, and that is completely okay.
  • Our goal is to guide students through this process with as little stress as possible, while still providing them with the basic tools they need to take this assessment.  We ask families to join us in helping students remain calm and positive by providing a similar message to ours.
  • Once again, here are the testing dates for March and April:
  •  
  • ELA:                                                                                         Math:
  • Grade 3: 3/23; 3/25; 3/26                                                            Grade 3: 4/9; 4/10
  • Grade 4: 3/23; 3/26; 3/27                                                            Grade 4: 4/8; 4/10
  • Grade 5: 3/24; 3/25; 3/27                                                            Grade 5: 4/8; 4/9
  •  
  • As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.  
  •  
  • Sincerely,
  • Diana Guzzi
  • Principal, Bowen School


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