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A letter from the middle school principal regarding upcoming New York State ELA and math testing

Dear Stillwater Middle School Families:

We would like to make you aware that all middle school students will be taking the upcoming New York State assessments in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics on a computer this year. This is the first time that students in our district will be taking these tests in this manner. The dates are as follows:

  • New York State English language arts (ELA) exam: April 1 & 2
  • New York State math exam: April 30 & May 1

The intention of the State Education Department is that all students in grades 3-8 will take state assessments (ELA and mathematics) on a computer beginning next year. As such, we feel it is important for our school system to gain some experience with the computer-based testing.

It is important to note that the computerized test asks the same questions as the paper-and-pencil version and students will have as much time as they need to complete it. Students also have access to pencil and paper while taking either assessment on the computer.

As you are aware, state test results do not affect local student grades and are not the only measure we use in determining a student’s academic program. They are one piece of data that we use to assess how students are progressing toward meeting the learning standards set by New York State.

You and your child can preview the computer-based testing environment online at https://ny.nextera.questarai.com/tds/#practice. The New York State Question Sampler that can be accessed there also includes accommodation features for students with disabilities, including text-to-speech.

Students have had the opportunity to practice taking tests on the computer using the official Nextera testing platform with sample assessments released by the State Education Department. Additionally, our district has taken part in a short testing simulation in late February to ensure that we are as prepared as possible.

If you have any questions about computer-based testing or state exams, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Sincerely,

Tim Hulihan
Middle School Principal

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