Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers)
This document has been prepared to to help answer questions revolving around the NYS Computer Based Testing.
- How are students being prepared to be familiar with the kinds of questions they will encounter on the State tests?
All class work is based on the Common Core standards covered on the State tests. Additionally, the students will practice test questions that mirror the State test.
- How are students developing the stamina to concentrate and persist through the online state tests, without an inappropriate level of test prep?
Like the State tests, the NWEA assessments are untimed, and students take them online three times per year (twice prior to the State tests). Students will also take multiple practice tests under similar conditions to the State tests, in part to help them develop the stamina to focus throughout the State exams.
Lastly, the work that is done to support literacy and math is frequently done on a device (iPad or computer), increasing the student’s proficiency with online assessments.
- How are students being prepared to understand the importance of their best efforts on the state tests, without creating anxiety or fear?
School leadership and staff will ensure that students hear a consistent and supportive message around the state tests, similar to what they have heard regarding NWEA assessments. They will be encouraged to take their time in answering questions, to maintain focus and attention, and to work hard to show all that they have learned. In addition, teachers will be present to proctor the exams and to help students with encouraging messaging, maintaining attention and focus, and troubleshooting any technological issues.
- How, specifically, can parents support the School’s instructional efforts?
Parents can do a number of things to support the School’s instructional efforts and their students’ progress:
- Please make sure that your child arrives on time every day.
- Ensure your child has a quiet space to complete their homework.
- Encourage your child to read at home.
- Ensure your child has completed all school-related assignments.
- Stay in regular contact with your child’s teacher, and review your child’s NWEA results with the teacher.
- Discuss with your child’s teacher whether there are specific activities you and your child can do at home to reinforce areas of learning.
- Parents who are interested can do additional work with their child on Prepdog.org.
- How do parents learn the specifics of where their children are struggling or succeeding and what the School is doing about it?
Your primary point of contact is your child’s general education classroom teacher. In addition, depending on the area of interest, you may also need to be in touch with your child’s Hebrew teacher, special education teacher, or other school staff or leadership team members.
Reading the school newsletter is a great way to stay on top of what students are doing at school. If you feel that you need more support in this area, both the Head of School and Hebrew Public staff are available to answer any questions.
6. Is the School planning any additional use of time to address the needs of struggling students?
In addition to the strategies, supports, and interventions described above, we are looking closely at school schedules and staffing to enable individual and small groups of students to receive additional targeted support during the school day. Classes have been scheduled additional computer time for small group instruction which occurs multiple times during the week as part of the planned lessons.
- How can I support my student’s readiness to take the state tests online in the spring?
New York State has provided a wealth of information on its computer-based testing. We encourage you totake the sample test at home. They are questions that were taken directly from prior yers exams, and represent the level of questions your children may see. We will also be using this at school as one of our many practice tools. For more information on the State’s computer-based tests, please see http://www.nysed.gov/edtech/schools/computer-based-testing-cbt
In addition, Compass Learning or Study Island will have at-home logins that students can use to practice and push their learning. ThinkCERCA is being utilized in our classrooms. Please see the HLA instructional staff if you have questions about access.
Lastly, for those new to, or struggling with, typing and keyboarding, this resource is very effective: https://www.typingclub.com
- How are teachers supported and trained to improve their instruction?
This year, they are supported through formal trainings with our consultants at Atlantic Research Partners, and through ongoing support from the Hebrew Public and School leadership teams, including observations, co-planning, and coaching.. This instruction has been geared towards individualizing student learning and differentiated lesson work in the classrooms.
For more information, you may wish to visit:
- Atlantic Research Partners
How does the School know which students are struggling, and in what ways?
We use formal assessments, such as NWEA, NYSELAT, and Fountas & Pinnell (F&P) to identify struggling students. The NWEA-MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) tests are given three times per year, and they identify areas of strength and growth opportunities for all students. The NYSELAT addresses areas of strength and growth opportunities for English Language Learner students. The F&P assessment helps teachers track students’ reading levels. The NWEA assessments, in particular, are highly aligned with the content and skills measured on the New York State annual tests.
Thank you for your support of your child’s education!