It was nearly one year ago that we began our battle against COVID-19 that forced schools to close and introduced us all to remote learning. Through creativity, trust, innovation, and good old hard work, we have continued to provide a great education for our kids, the Wylie Way. We look forward to the day when we can return to a normal school experience, and that day will come sooner than later.
Together, we have continued to RISE UP and meet every challenge head-on. This work has regarded classroom instruction as well as the assurance that students are provided with a safe and secure learning environment. The upcoming STAAR assessments are no exception. Our Curriculum and Instruction Department has been working hard to guarantee that the administration of this year’s STAAR tests will be safe for our students and staff. As we prepare to comply with the TEA requirement of providing every student an opportunity to take the state assessments, we move forward with plans to follow COVID-19 guidelines and recommendations. Safety is our number one priority, and it always will be. Because the administration of the state assessments will look somewhat different this year, we want to help answer a few questions most commonly asked by both educators and parents regarding this year’s administration of STAAR.
Yes, TEA requires all state testing this spring to take place in face-to-face sessions monitored by a trained test administrator. This includes students who have been learning both on campus and at home during the 2020-2021 school year.
Although students are not required to pass their STAAR tests to be promoted to the next grade level, data from STAAR may be used to determine if students are prepared academically for the next grade level. Data will also drive both state and district efforts to help close any learning gaps. At this time, end-of-course (EOC) exam requirements are still in place. In order to graduate from high school, students must pass the five required end-of-course exams. This has not changed from previous years.
Because remote learners will also be in attendance for testing, TEA has provided guidance and special allowances to ensure that each campus is able to socially distance students during testing. This year, Wylie ISD will adjust the STAAR testing schedule as well as require specific grade levels to participate in learning from home on the dates when they are not taking a STAAR test.
We want our students and parents to be safe and feel safe. Our campuses will be taking extra precautions to promote health and safety. We know that some families of remote learners will still not be comfortable sending their students to campus. If parents or guardians of a remote learner do not wish to send their student to school for state testing, they will need to email the student’s principal.
During the week of March 1-5, letters will be sent home with additional information regarding testing. If you have any questions, please reach out to your campus principal.
Thank you to the principals and C&I department for the extra hours and comprehensive planning necessary to make this happen. We appreciate all you continue to do to prepare our students for success, the Wylie Way!