The memo makes clear that there is no formal procedure for such opt-outs, and that the state expects students to take the examinations. “State law and regulations require all students to take state assessments,” notes the document. “For the 2014-2015 school year, the PARCC assessment will replace the prior statewide assessments.”
The memo also notes that since the PARCC assessment is part of the state-required educational program, schools are not required to provide an alternative education program for students who do not participate in the statewide assessment. “We encourage all chief school administrators to review the district’s discipline and attendance policies to ensure that they address situations that may arise during days that statewide assessments, such as PARCC, are being administered,” Hespe said in the statement.Focus on the Positive The commissioner encouraged districts to discuss the positive aspects of PARCC with parents and students. Those benefits include the ability of PARCC to provide parents with important information about their child’s progress; and the fact that the PARCC tests will allow for timely and detailed diagnostic information about individual student performance that can be used to pinpoint areas of difficulty and customize instruction for students.
With the recent reports of Enterovirus-D68 (EV-D68) in New Jersey, I want you to know that I understand your concerns and that you have many questions surrounding it. To help address some of these questions, the New Jersey Department of Health has developed a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document regarding EV-D68. These FAQs are available at http://nj.gov/health/cd/documents/faq/ev_faq.pdf and are continuously updated, so please check back often. You can also access information from the CDC here. We will continue to monitor any instances of the virus throughout the state and locally and be in contact with additional information of necessary. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns regarding EV-D68 with regards to your own child, please contact your pediatrician or school nurse.
Paula Valenti, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
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The Performance Reports include measures of student growth, utilizing the Student Growth Percentile (SGP) methodology. SGP creates a measure of how students progressed in grades 4 through 8 on the NJASK language arts literacy and math assessments when compared to other students with a similar NJASK test score history. A short video explaining the SGP methodology can be found here: http://www.state.nj.us/education/njsmart/performance.