MTSD Parent FAQ

  • Last Updated: 11/13/2017
     
    In anticipation of questions you may have about the statewide assessments we have identified a collection of questions that are general in nature as well as specific to your child or the grade level of your child. If you have a question that is not answered below, please pose your question to your school principal.

    [Top]
    Who takes the statewide assessments and what do they look like?

    Staewide assessments will be administered in grades 3-11 this school year, in the areas of English Language Arts and Mathematics.  Additionally, an assessment will be administered to any 12th grade student who is currently enrolled in ELA9, ELA10 or ELA11 and an Algebra I, Geometry, or Algebra II.

    [Top]

    How is the Montgomery Township School District preparing students for statewide assessments?

    NJSLA similarly to PARCC is stadards-based and our curriculum is aligned to the New Jersey Learning Standards.  In addition, our teachers at every level (elementary, middle and high school are committed to incorporating best instructional practices, which support both the technology and the content assessed on the statewide assessments. 

    [Top]
    When will statewide testing occur this school year?

    Computer Administration for Grades 3-8, and the High School will occur April 8- May 28, 2019

    Paper Administration for Grades 3-8, and High School Students will occur April 8 – April  29, 2019

    Specific dates for VES, LMS, UMS, and MHS will be communicated to parents/guardians by the building principal.
     

    How long is each test?

    In the chart below, the times are presented by grade level and by subject areas.  Please note that this year, the New Jersey Department of Education has selected our students in grades 3-11 to participate in an additional unit, a third unit of English Language Arts for the purposes of field testing.

    2019 NJSLA-English Language Arts

     ELA*  Unit 1  Unit 2  Total Time
     Grade 3  75 minutes  75 minutes  150 Minutes
     Grade 4-5  90 minutes  90 minutes  180 Minutes
     Grade 6-11  90 minutes  90 minutes  180 Minutes

    2019 NJSLA-Mathematics

     Math  Unit 1  Unit 2  Unit 3  Total Time
     Grade 3-5  60 minutes  60 minutes  60 minutes  180 Minutes
     Grade 6-8  60 minutes  60 minutes  60 minutes  180 Minutes
     Algebra I,
     Geometry &
     Algebra II 
     90 minutes  90 minutes N/A  180 Minutes
     

    [Top]

    Will my child who has an IEP receive accommodations?
     
    Yes. Students with IEP’s, 504 plans, and who are English Language Learners can receive accommodations.  In addition, all students are entitled to accessibility features. 
     
    This link details both accommodations and accessibility features: 

    Accessibility Features and Accommodations Manual 

     
    This link will provide a tutorial of some of the accessibility and accommodations for the statewide assessments: http://parcc.pearson.com/tutorial/ 
     

    [Top]
    Will my child who has a 504 Plan receive accommodations?

    Yes. Students with 504 plans ,IEP’s, and who are English Language Learners can receive accommodations.  In addition, all students are entitled to accessibility features. 

    This link details both accommodations and accessibility features: Accessibility Features and Accommodations Manual

    This link provides a tutorial of some of the accessibility and accommodations for the statewide assessments: http://parcc.pearson.com/tutorial/

    [Top]
    Who are the high school students who are required to take the statewide Mathematics Assessments?

    At present, all high school students, irrespective of grade level and previous PARCC test history, who are currently enrolled in an Algebra I, Geometry, or Algebra II course, must take the NJSLA mathematics assessment for that course. (This includes high school students who previously took the Algebra I or Geometry assessment in middle school and are repeating the course). High school students not currently enrolled in a requisite mathematics course will not take a NJSLA mathematics assessment at this time.

    [Top]
    What if my child is enrolled in multiple mathematics courses?

    Students who are enrolled in multiple mathematics courses during the regular school year (i.e. Algebra I and Geometry or Geometry and Algebra II), will take only one NJSLA mathematics assessment, either Algebra I or Algebra II.

    [Top]

    What if my child is enrolled in a two-year middle school mathematics course?
     
    Middle School students enrolled in a two-year Algebra I course or a two-yea Geometry course must take their grade level mathematics NJSLA assessment in the first year of the course (i.e. grade seven or grade eight mathematics) AND then the NJSLA end-of course assessment associated with that course in the second year of the course (i.e. Algebra I or Geometry).

    [Top]
    Will the NJSLA and PARCC assessments be a graduation requirement?

    Please visit the NJ Department of Education website to view the graduation requirements established for the classes of 2019, 2020, 2021 & beyond. 

    Once a student has met the graduation requirement by passing a statewide assessment in both language arts and math, is it necessary to continue to take statewide assessments in subsequent school years?

    Yes, students are required to take the statewide tests even after meeting the graduation requirement. The graduation requirement is just one purpose for standardized testing. The NJ Department of Education requires ALL students to take the statewide assessments in English Language Arts (ELA) Grades 9-11, and Algebra I, II, and Geometry during their high school years. State statute requires all public schools to test students annually in these courses to determine student progress in literacy and computation skills. The statewide assessment results will help schools drive curriculum and instruction, so we can identify any gaps and ensure that students graduate fully prepared for college and careers. In summary, even after meeting the graduation requirement, students will still be taking the statewide assesments if they are enrolled in one of the above mentioned courses. 

    [Top]
    Why does the State require students to take a standardized test?

    In 1975, New Jersey passed the Public School Education Act, requiring schools to give students a thorough and efficient education. In 1978, the Minimum Basic Skills test was given in grades 3, 6 and 9 to assess if students were being adequately educated. Passing this test became a requirement for graduation beginning in 1983.  

    [Top]
    Does the testing have anything to do with No Child Left Behind?

    In 2001, NCLB required schools with students in grades three through twelve to demonstrate annual yearly progress (AYP), and required 95% of students to be tested. Doing so was tied to federal funding.

    [Top]
    Can I Opt-Out my child from the statewide assessments?

    New Jersey does not currently have an opt-out policy. Students are expected to participate in state assessment programs, as per the provisions under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and New Jersey Administrative Code (N.J.A.C.), and as advised by the Executive County Superintendent's Office.

    However, if you decide to refuse the statewide assessments for your child, it will not result in disciplinary action by the District, but may jeopardize a student’s ability to fulfill all New Jersey Department of Education requirements for graduation (see "Graduation Testing Requirements for the State of New Jersey" posted above).

    Students refusing to test must be coded and reported as such, per the State-issued test administrator’s manual. Parents who wish to have their child/children refuse to test must inform the principal, via writing, of this refusal to test. Students refusing to test may sit quietly and read during testing.

    [Top]
    What is the impact of test refusal on a school/district?

    The recently reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which is now the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), continues to require each state that receives funding under Title I, Part A to implement a high-quality academic assessment system and that all children in tested grades participate. In particular it requires schools with students in grades three through twelve to demonstrate Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). In order to make AYP, a school must ensure that assessments have been taken by at least ninety-five percent (95%) of enrolled students in each subgroup, i.e., special education, English language learners, low income, race/ethnicity. Federal funding of key education programs is dependent upon districts meeting this requirement. The ESSA does not preempt a state or local law regarding the decision of a parent to not have their child participate in the assessments. However, that child is still counted against the 95% participation rate requirement.

    [Top]

    Are schools required to offer alternative instruction if my child does not participate in testing?

    No, since the statewide assessment is part of the required educational program, schools are not required to provide an alternative educational program.

    [Top]

    Will statewide assessment scores be included on students' permanent records?  Will scores be added to transcripts?
     
    No, scores will not be recorded on transcripts at this time. We don't know if the requirements will change in the future, but the District has no plans to include the scores and will do so only if and when it is required by the NJ DOE.
    Scores have to be reported to NJ SMART, which tracks every student's standardized test scores. This has already been occurring for numerous years.