The purpose of this letter is to inform you that students in the intermediate grades will take the Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) in the months of March and April in Writing (Gr.4,5), ELA Reading (Gr.3,4,5), and Mathematics (Gr.3,4,5). If you or your student would like to review the computer-based practice test at home, the practice tests and answer keys are available at http://www.fsassessments.org/students-and-families/practice-tests/.
For information regarding test session lengths for all Spring 2016 FSA assessments, please visit the FSA Portal at www.fsassessments.org, click on the Students and Families icon, and then select Spring 2016 Testing Times.
Please review the following policies with your student before testing:
* Electronic Devices—Students are not permitted to have any electronic devices, including but not limited to cell phones, smartphones, and smartwatches, at any time during testing OR during breaks (e.g., restroom), even if they are turned off or students do not use them. If your student is found with an electronic device, his or her test will be invalidated.
* Testing Rules Acknowledgment—All FSA tests include a Testing Rules Acknowledgment that reads, “I understand the testing rules that were just read to me. If I do not follow these rules, my test score may be invalidated.” Prior to testing, test administrators read the rules to students, and students acknowledge that they understand the testing rules by signing below the statement on their planning sheets, worksheets, or work folders.
* Discussing Test Content after Testing—The last portion of the testing rules read to students before they sign below the Testing Rules Acknowledgment states, “Because the content in all statewide assessments is secure, you may not discuss or reveal details about the passages or items after the test. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as texting, emailing, or posting online, for example, on websites like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.” Please make sure your student understands that “discussing” test content includes any kind of electronic communication, such as texting, emailing, or posting to blogs or social media websites. While students may not share information about secure test content after testing, this policy is not intended to prevent students from discussing their testing experiences with their parents/families.
* Working Independently—Students are responsible for doing their own work during the test and for protecting their answers from being seen by others. If students are caught cheating during testing, their tests will be invalidated. FDOE employs a test security company, Caveon Test Security, to analyze student test results to detect unusually similar answer patterns. Tests within a school that are found to have extremely similar answer patterns will be invalidated.
* Leaving Campus—If your student begins a test session and leaves campus before completing it ( an appointment or illness, etc.), he or she WILL NOT be allowed to complete that test session. If your student does not feel well on the day of testing, it may be best for him or her to wait and be tested on a make-up day. Please remember not to schedule appointments on testing days.
* Testing Accommodations—If your student has an IEP or Section 504 plan, testing accommodations will be provided for your student.
If you have any questions related to this test administration, you may contact Jason Youse at 727.547.7857. For more information about the FSA program, please visit the FSA Portal at www.fsassessments.org.
Thank you for supporting your student and encouraging him or her to do his or her best during this test administration.
Suzanne Hester, Principal
Over the next few months, many of your students will take statewide standardized assessments. I am writing today to share with you that we have redesigned the score reports to make them more meaningful for Florida’s students, parents and educators.
As a former classroom teacher, principal and district administrator, I have a personal appreciation for the time, energy and effort that you put into ensuring your students have the foundation necessary to succeed in each subsequent grade and/or course. I know that you communicate regularly with your students and their parents to provide helpful information about the progress being made throughout the school year. Likewise, when parents receive score reports for statewide assessments, they deserve a clear depiction of how their student performed so they – and their student’s future educators – can be empowered to help them reach their full potential.
We took a close look at the key components of the current score report. One of the key concerns we noted in our research was the tendency to use the terms “satisfactory” and “proficient” interchangeably, although they actually represent two different levels of mastery. “Satisfactory” is representative of level 3 on the assessments, while “proficient” is really a more appropriate term to describe level 4.
To address this common misconception and provide additional clarity, we incorporated the following features into the newly redesigned score report:
Color-coded levels (1-5), so it is apparent which level the student achieved at first glance;
I know that your students and their parents have a high regard for the information you provide, so I wanted to make sure that you were among the first to receive the details. We have provided sample score reports and additional information online at http://www.fldoe.org/accountability/assessments/fsa-report.stml.
We value your input, and I hope that you will let us know if you have any questions by responding to this email.
Sincerely, Education Commissioner