Saturday, October 20, 2018

Spring testing window extended because of fall hurricanes

A busy 2017 hurricane season kept hundreds of thousands of Florida students out of school for days, if not weeks, this past fall.

First came closures in anticipation of Irma. Then came the extended time off to allow schools time to clean up, and staffs to return from evacuation.

Districts established some makeup days. But leaders also raised concerns that the lengthy period away interfered with learning, and said more time before Florida's high stakes testing season would help.

They asked for a week delay. They got a compromise.

K-12 Chancellor Hershel Lyons has informed superintendents that the state testing window for reading and math Florida Standards Assessments, and all state end-of-course exams, and will begin as previously scheduled. They will run an extra week longer.

That means the districts can start as originally planned if they want, or impose their own delay on testing days. Test windows are the time during which the students must sit for the assessments, but do not mean that children are taking exams every day during that time.

Lyons added that the state's writing and science test dates will not change. But the department offered an extra makeup week for writing a month later. The science test already was slated for late April.

Keep an eye on your local district for any changes to their test calendars as a result of this late change. See Lyons' memo for more details.

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