Freeport, Illinois — Spring is in the air and that means students and teachers are preparing for the PARCC exam. This is the third year Illinois has participated in the PARCC assessment. The 2018 exam has a simpler format to improve the testing process while still providing reliable information about student achievement. This year’s results will allow parents, teachers, and students to see how the student is growing in his or her knowledge and understanding of the State’s learning standards, which are focused on college and career readiness.
No assessment can ever fully capture the skills and abilities sof a great teacher or the extraordinary benefits and positive impact of a great school. This assessment is simply one reflection of your child’s academic growth. Assessments, along with other indicators such as classroom work samples and teacher observations, help provide a sense of where and how we are succeeding and where and how we must improve. The PARCC assessment is designed to give schools and teachers more information to support improvement efforts and personalize teaching to better guide our students’ learning.
These spring assessments correspond with what the students are learning in the classroom and with the performance expectations of the Illinois Learning Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics.
Below are a few highlights specific to FSD145:
- This is our third year of computer-based testing. Our students and teachers are becoming more proficient in the testing process and we expect that testing will go even more smoothly than last year. Teachers have now been working with online PARCC practice tests for three years. Our additional use of online reading and assessment systems like myON and MAP have also helped our students transition to computer-based testing.
- Our technology infrastructure has improved since last year with the addition of several Chromebook mobile labs. This has increased our testing capacity. In some cases, this has allowed us to complete testing in a shorter test window.
- We have worked with students on test-taking strategies.
- We have aligned our Reading and Math curriculums PK-12. We have also aligned them with the Illinois State Standards.
- Testing begins on March 5th and will be completed by April 20th. Most schools will complete testing by March 23rd.
- Testing for the PARCC test will be in grade levels 3-8.
Ways you can help your child with PARCC testing:
- Offer practice exercises and questions that are similar to those that may be on the test. The school has provided several resources, such as: https://www.isbe.net/Pages/PARCC-Place.aspx.
- When practicing with your child, focus on their weakest areas in order to strengthen those areas and to build their confidence for taking the actual test.
- Keep practice sessions short and if your child becomes frustrated, stop the session.
- Be sure your child gets a good night’s sleep.
- Be sure your child eats a healthy breakfast.
- Share the importance of the exam with your child. This test will help gauge the learning level of your child. Encourage them “To Do Your Best on the Test!”
- Help your child stay calm the day of the test.
The district has implemented several new reading and math strategies, curriculums, and programs the last three years to help the students increase their learning ability. These strategies and programs will help them in the classroom and on the test. Thank you again for your continued positive support as we educate every student for the challenges of today and the opportunities of tomorrow through the continuous pursuit of excellence.