Part Three of a three part letter from Director of Curriculum 

This month, the NJDOE release updated information regarding the PARCC assessment. As discussed last month, the structure of the test has been changed. One of the biggest impacts for our students is the extension of graduation requirements as outlined last year to this year’s freshman class - the Class of 2019.

This extension means that the PARCC will not be the sole indicator of high school graduation as the HSPA was for many years. The PARCC may be used by students, but so can other measures such as:

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  • SAT,
  • ACT,
  • ASVAB,
  • PSAT10,
  • And other standardized tests.

The NJDOE also announced that local districts may now exempt students from the PARCC ELA 11 if they participate in either English Lit and Comp or Language and Comp. In order to be exempt, these students must complete these AP courses and take the AP exam.

The New Jersey Department of Education has shared that results for the PARCC testing should begin to arrive in district by the end of October, beginning of November. This will be followed with parent reports by mid- to late November. As soon as we receive these results, we will forward them on to you as quickly as possible.  Additionally, district comparisons will be available in December.

As we continue through the year, it is important for us to frame the PARCC testing as a positive part of our instructional program - encouraging our students and community to participate in the assessment.

Districtwide, we will utilize the data when reviewing our curricular efforts, when determining interventions, and for other diagnostic purposes. As you aware, students’ performance is also tied to educator evaluations, so we want our students to properly demonstrate their knowledge as proof of our excellent teachers' efforts. The NJDOE, in a memo dated September 9, clearly indicated that state law and regulations require that all students take State assessments.

Please work to continually encourage participation. The Sparta School District is committed to providing our students the best education possible. One of the ways we do this is through continual use of data to gauge progress. PARCC is one of those data points that we will eventually utilize.

I thank you in advance for your assistance in providing a true picture of the education within our schools.