Middle School ELA Assessments

New York State Assessments in English Language Arts will be administered to all students in Grades 6, 7 and 8 beginning on Tuesday, April 1, 2014, and continuing through Thursday, April 3, 2014.  Students who miss all or part of the exam on those test dates will be able to make the exam between April 4-8.  With the exception of certain English Language Learners (ELL's), this exam is required of all students in Grades 3-5. Results will be used, in part, to determine students' instructional programs for the 2014-15 school year.

  

The exams themselves will consist of three booklets, one per test day on each grade level, which will assess students' literacy skills.  Over the course of the three days of testing, students will be required to read a number of informational and fiction selections and to answer multiple-choice questions, listen to a spoken passage and compose brief written responses, and read and compare two passages by composing a written response.  

 

English Language Learners (ELL's) may be exempted from taking the English Language Arts Assessments in Grades 6-8 for one year.  This is the one and only exemption that they will be given for the English Language Arts Assessments.  Parents of Englihs Language Learners who are unsure if their children need to take the ELA Assessment or not should contact their child's principal.  Alternatvely, they may also contact Dr. Thomas Moss, Supervisor of English, Reading, and Library (516-733-2147), or Ms. Robin Throne, Supervisor of Modern Languages, ESL, and RISE 9516-733-2144).

  
Preparation for the Assessments
 
There are several things that parents can do to ensure that their children are prepared to take the assessments in April:
  • make sure that they are properly rested All the skills that students and their teachers have been practicing and reinforcing throughout the school year will mean little if students are too tired to think clearly on the day of the exam.  Therefore, parents should make sure that their children get a good night's sleep not only the night before the exam but also the night before that (Sunday).
  • make sure that they eat breakfast on each day of the examAs studies have shown repeatedly, it's hard to concentrate when you're hungry.
  • talk with them about the importance of the exams.  The ELA Assessments are used not only to evaluate teachers and schools, but factor into the creation of students' schedule and can affect their choice of classes.  As required by the State Education Department, students who do not pass the ELA Assessments by scoring at Level 3 or higher must be provided with Academic Intervention Services (AIS).  These classes are conducted during the school day and placement in them will limit students' choice of classes; they may have to postpone some elective classes or skip them entirely.
  • remind them to bring two sharpened #2 pencils on the each day of the assessments.  Essays to both multiple-choice questions and essay responses will be recorded in pencil.