In 2010, New Jersey joined 40+ other states in adopting the Common Core Standards.These standards provide clear expectations for what students need to know and be able to do in each grade in order to graduate high school ready for college and careers. They also help develop critical thinking skills and the ability to solve real-world problems rather than just memorizing facts. Developed with an eye toward academic standards from the highest performing countries, Common Core Standards ensure that our students are equipped to thrive in the new global workforce.
NPS PARCC Testing Calendars for 2015-16
Newark Public Schools will be administering PARCC during the following schedules to insure students have the most amount of instructional time prior to taking the assessment. A detailed calendar for all schools can be accessed from the district PARCC testing web site however parents should check with their schools as some will be adopting a slightly modified schedule.
- Schools with students in Grade 3-8: April 12th – May 13th
- Schools with students in Grade 3-4: April 20th – May 13th
- High Schools: April 25th – May 19th
- Paper based administration window: April 18- April 29
Three Improvements for Year Two of PARCC testing
The 2016 PARCC implementation includes several improvements from the first year including the following
What’s Different About PARCC?
- The computer-based PARCC assessments will replace NJ ASK & HSPA and measure how your child is performing on the new standards. They reflect new trends in how we teach and evaluate performance.
- The single greatest predictor of college success is a student’s ability to read challenging texts and understand them – this is at the heart of the new standards for reading.
- Other countries that do better in math ask kids to learn fewer topics in math, but learn them really well – this is at the heart of the new math standards.
- PARCC assessments measure the Common Core Standards & allows comparisons across states: Designed to check whether your child is on track for success in college or a career and ensure all students across the nation are well-prepared for success beyond high school regardless of where they live.
Are NPS Students Ready for PARCC?
- TRAINED TEACHERS: For 4 years, all literacy, math, social studies, and technology teachers have had many professional development opportunities to adjust instruction to the new standards.
- USEFUL DATA ON STUDENT MASTERY OF THE COMMON CORE: For 4 years, NPS students have been taking Common Core-aligned ‘no stakes’ assessments to give teachers regular feedback about students’ progress towards mastery of the standards.
- NEW CURRICULUM RESOURCES: NPS provided Common Core-aligned curriculum resources in literacy and math, and supplements in Science and Social Studies to allow them to shift instruction.
- NEW TECHNOLOGY FOR STUDENTS: NPS has purchased over 11,000 new computers for students to use in the classroom to enhance their learning and ready them for online testing.
How Will the PARCC Assessments Affect NPS ELL Students?
The new standards and accompanying tests require a lot more from students. It’s important for families to know that Newark has been preparing your child for this transition since New Jersey adopted the standards in 2010.
- 3rd to 8th grade ELL students who entered the US on or after July 1, 2015 are exempt from the English Language Arts section of PARCC. High School ELL students must take the PARCC exam regardless of when they arrived in the US.
- ELL students who entered the US on or after July 1, 2014 will be permitted to take the math section of the PARCC assessments in Spanish.*
*Please note at this point alternate versions of the exam are only available in Spanish. Those whose native language other than Spanish must take the test in English.
How Will the PARCC Assessments Affect NPS Special Needs Students?
PARCC assessments are administered to all students, except for students with the most severe disabilities. To ensure that the assessments enable students to demonstrate what they know, students with special needs will have accommodations as necessary when taking the tests. Accommodations will be provided in accordance with students’ Individualized Education Program (IEPs) and 504 plans. To get specific information about your child’s accommodations, please reach out to the Child Study Team at your child’s school.
How Can I Learn More About PARCC?
Key information, resources and updates from the district:
- PARENT TEACHERS ASSOCIATION (PTA): Parent Guides for Student Success explain the changes in the standards and including activities parents can do at home.
- CORE STANDARDS INITIATIVE: An overview of Common Core standards including “Myths vs. Facts”
- COUNCIL OF GREAT CITY SCHOOLS: Outlines of student lessons and ways parents can support their learning. Also includes 3-minute video explaining the Common Core.
- PARCC: One page document for families.
- STAND FOR CHILDREN: Brief description about how Common Core standards will impact students.
- PARCC BROCHURE ON ACCOMMODATIONS: A description of the accommodations available for students. Please talk to the Child Study Team at your child’s school to learn more about his or her specific accommodations.
Guidance on PARCC Participation
The following summarizes Newark Public Schools’ (NPS) key guidance on participation during the Spring 2016 administration of PARCC. The goal of this guidance is to ensure students are afforded the opportunity to do their best on the PARCC assessments. NPS will also follow relevant state and federal policy in administering these assessments.
- NPS thinks the assessment is a valuable way to gauge the success of students, noting it is only one metric to judge their success. Given this, all eligible students are encouraged to take these tests and all school leaders have been asked to convene meetings with their parents and guardians to explain the benefits of having their children participate in PARCC.
- If a parent or guardian does not want their child to participate in this assessment, they need to notify the principal by submitting a written letter.
- Students who do not participate, but who are present in school during test administration will be appropriately supervised, either in their classroom setting or in an alternative setting. These students are expected to bring books and other materials to keep themselves occupied.