Are state assessments (e.g. FSA and EOCs) still planned for the 2020-21 school year?
Yes. State assessments are scheduled for students in grades 3-10 as follows:
State Testing Schedule:
- April 2021: Grade 3 Reading. Grades 4-10 Writing.
- May 2021: Grades 4-10 Reading. Grades 3-8 Mathematics. Grades 5 and 8 Science. State EOC exams in Civics, U.S. History, Algebra 1, Geometry and Biology 1.
Will students attending school virtually (eSchool or Polk Virtual School) be provided a time and location to complete state assessments in person?
Yes. Schools will be in contact with remote learners to schedule testing times and locations. The Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) requires that all state assessments be completed in-person and on-campus in accordance with testing security and validity protocols. In keeping with health and wellness practices, the state has provided greater flexibility with testing schedules, so schools can provide smaller test settings, maintain social distancing, and have adequate time to sanitize testing locations.
How will taking the spring 2021 assessments benefit my child?
Student assessments this spring will be used to assess how students are performing according to the grade-level standards in the specific subject area. Parents will receive detailed reports from the assessment results to measure how their child is performing according to grade-level standards. Schools and teachers will use the results to identify if learning loss has occurred and to what extent students need additional support next school year. The results will also benefit teachers and school leaders as they plan for curriculum adjustments for 2021-22 and allocate additional resources from state and federal grants to accelerate student learning.
How has the state/district adjusted its plan for assessment results in light of the pandemic and possible learning loss?
Results from all state FSA and EOC assessments will not be used to determine student grades (unless the score helps the student) and will not impact promotion status or course selection for the following school year. For individual students, assessment scores will strictly be used to diagnose performance of grade-level standards and then determine which supports are necessary to accelerate student learning moving forward. School leaders may use the aggregate results in adjustments to the 2021-22 curriculum and schoolwide tutoring/programming.
How does the Florida Department of Education’s (FDOE) Emergency Order (EO-2021-01) in February 2021 impact testing?
An Emergency Order (EO-2021-01)
was issued by the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) on February 15, 2021, that extends the spring testing window for each subject by two (2) weeks
. EO-2021-01 takes into account that many districts delayed the start of school in August 2020. This extension allowed for additional testing days and for more
flexibility in scheduling tests. The emergency order established adjusted assessment data reporting timelines. Results for the grade 3 ELA FSA will be released no later than June 30, 2021, and all other assessment data will be released no later than July 31, 2021. The emergency order does not address any other aspect of state standardized testing.
How does the Florida Department of Education’s (FDOE) Emergency Order (EO-2021-02) in April 2021 impact testing?
New information from this emergency order (EO-2021-02
) is the basis for this Frequently Asked Questions webpage, including updates to graduation requirements, End-of-Course (EOC) exams, promotion/retention, Bright Futures requirements and more.
What steps are being taken to keep students and staff safe during the upcoming spring assessments?
For students currently receiving in-person instruction at their schools
, testing structures will be similar to previous school years but will be adjusted in keeping with PCPS health and wellness protocols (face coverings/masks, social distancing, etc.).
For students currently in virtual instruction (eSchool and Polk Virtual School), families are asked to remain in contact with their schools to determine the most efficient and safest method for in-person, on-campus testing. PCPS will continue to ensure the safest testing environments possible. The multi-layered health and wellness efforts include:
- Daily deep cleaning of testing locations
- Social distancing between test-takers
- Required face coverings/masks for students and adults
- No sharing of materials
Even after talking to the school and considering the enhanced testing protocols in place, what if I still am not comfortable sending my student to school to test?
Parents who choose to have their child not take one or more Florida Standards Assessments will not receive the grade- level performance data for their child relative to the grade-level standards. Schools will not be able to provide personalized learning plans based on this data. Students will not be academically penalized, but they will not receive the benefits of measuring their performance relative to grade-level standards as well as their performance versus other students in the state.
Will schools still receive a letter grade as previous years?
For the 2020-21 school year, school grades will not be calculated for schools by the Florida Department of Education (FDOE). In lieu of school grades, the FDOE will be posting all federally required data on the Florida Know Your Schools website
A grade for a school will only be calculated by the FLDOE if the district requests for this to occur. For a school grade to be calculated, a school must meet the criteria set by the FLDOE.
Student-specific performance data will be provided to parents/guardians, as done each year. School and district aggregate data will be publicly available through the Florida Know Your Schools website.