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Important Message On Improving Student Achievement

photo of student taking test

To improve learning for all students, the Phelps-Clifton Springs Central School District values all information that can help shape the design of what we teach and how we teach. Every spring, school districts across the state are required to administer New York State assessments in ELA and Math (grades 3-8) and science (grades 4 and 8). The results of these assessments provide teachers with important insights about student progress that help identify appropriate instructional adjustments. 

The assessments help determine who needs additional support, who needs enrichment, and who needs more challenging opportunities. It also helps to shape improvements in curriculum and instruction for all students.

Over the past several years, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) has taken steps to respond parent and educator concerns regarding the assessments and the standards being tested.

As a result, the annual assessments have been redesigned and shortened, time limits have been removed, and computer-based testing is being implemented, all in response to concerns regarding unnecessary stress on students and the interruption of instructional time. NYSED is also in the process of aligning the annual assessments to new learning standards that are specific to New York State, rather than the Common Core Standards.

In light of these changes and the role the assessments play in helping us meet the needs of our students, we encourage all parents to have their students take the math, ELA, and science assessments, at the appropriate grade levels. Our teachers and administrators take to deliberate steps to administer these assessments in a thoughtful and relaxed manner, and the results help teachers to provide targeted instruction.

The best interests of our students guide everything we do. It is important to note that the state assessments given in grades 3-8 also help prepare students for the experience of taking mandatory state Regents Exams in high school. Regents Exams are required for high school graduation and cannot be refused.

Therefore, it is helpful for students to experience standardized testing before it has a direct impact on their graduation from high school. Thank you for your continued support and helping us ensure that we have all the information needed to meet the needs and promote the success of all students.