Apr 17, 2020

State Testing Update — a Message from Supt. Briggs

Ohio's State Tests image

Dear PLSD family,

I would like to take this opportunity to answer some of your questions about State testing.

As you know, on March 12, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine ordered all of Ohio’s public, community and private K-12 school buildings to be closed to students due to the ongoing Coronavirus health crisis. On March 18, at his daily Coronavirus press conference, the governor signaled the ordered school-building closure likely would last longer than three weeks.

The emergency state legislation and subsequent federal waiver allows Ohio to waive most state testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year. Schools are not required to administer Ohio’s State Tests in the spring of 2020. This includes the Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities and Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment.

Spring testing. State testing will not take place during Ohio’s ordered school-building closure. The spring administration windows for Ohio’s State Tests previously scheduled to begin at the end of March through early May will not be opened.   

Spring tests that were in progress — the Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities, Ohio English Language Proficiency Screener, Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment, and Ohio Graduation Tests — were halted as of March 17 with the ordered school-building closure. 

Summer Testing. Optional summer testing windows may be available for end-of-course exams and Ohio Graduation Tests depending on the resolution of the ordered school-building closure. The Ohio Department of Education will share more details as they become available. 

Third Grade Reading Guarantee Retention Provision. Many third-grade students already met the promotion threshold after the fall administration of the third-grade English language arts assessment — either by achieving the necessary overall scale score or the reading subscore. Also, many students already may have met the promotion requirement based on scores on locally administered alternative assessments.

Newly enacted Ohio law temporarily removes the requirement that a student meet the promotion threshold for the 2019-2020 school year to advance to fourth grade. Specifically, no school district, community school or STEM school and no chartered nonpublic school that is required to administer assessments to scholarship students shall retain a student in the third grade following the 2019-2020 school year based solely on the student’s academic performance in reading. However, if the student’s principal and reading teacher agree the student’s reading skills demonstrate the student is reading below grade level and is not academically prepared to be promoted to fourth grade, the student may be retained.

Thank you! I can’t thank all of you enough — our students, parents and staff — for your continued support through this unprecedented closure, and I look forward to the time when our staff will be reunited with our students to continue in-person learning.

Meantime, remember, you can always view details about how Pickerington Schools is handling this extended closure in a “one-stop” webpage. Click the big blue “Coronavirus Closure” button at the top of the homepage for the latest info, and check our social media channels as well.

Please know that Pickerington Schools’ staff are continuing to work hard to keep our entire learning community safe. Please take care of your loved ones and yourself during this tough time and know we are all in this together.

Sincerely,

Dr. Chris Briggs
Superintendent, Pickerington Schools