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HADDON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF EDUCATION 500 RHOADS AVENUE « WESTMONT, NEW JERSEY 08108 PHONE: 856-869-7750 ext. 1100 + FAX: 856-854-7792 WEBSITE: www.haddontwpschools.com. Dear Parent/Guardian: January 26, 2015 Re: PARCC Assessment Participation Dear Parent/Guardian: Departments of Education in many states meet the federal requirements to establish and report educational outcomes for all grade levels and for graduation from high school by establishing commen standards and assessments. In 2010, the New Jersey State Board of Education joined forty-two other states and adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) as those academic standards to meet the requirement. In addition, New Jersey has also adopted the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers or PARCC as the state assessment for meeting the annual progress targets for grade levels 3-8 and for high school graduation. This assessment will take place in March and late April and May 2015, In Haddon Township, the new Common Core programs of academic standards have represented a shift but nota significant one. As such, teaching rich content that is aligned with the CCSS, while retaining an expectation of mastery in all subject areas, is the only preparation our students need to be ready for the PARCC. Due to the electronic format, this assessment represents a greater shift than the instruction with the CCSS, however, we are confident that our teachers and students are well prepared. In order to meet the goal of delivering the best program for the students of Haddon Township, we must also ensure that we receive all funding that is due to us through state and federal sources. Ina memo from Commissioner David Hespe, dated October 30, 2014, he clearly states: Federal funding of key education programs depends on meeting the requirement of at least ninety-five (95)% participation of students in each subgroup as identified by the No Child Left Behind Act. Without 95% student participation, districts face loss of federal funding. As such, there is no provision from the New Jersey Department of Education for non-participation in state assessments at this time. Districts are left to address situations in which families disallow allow their children’s participation. In addition to being a key ingredient for academic success, attendance is also linked to state funding. Both attendance in school and participation in PARCC are linked not only to funding, but also to district performance reports that are published annually. For those reasons, we strongly encourage student participation in the PARCC. We also recognize that some families may have questions and concerns about the test. We have received inquiries from families regarding non-participation. As such, we have developed a sensible protocol that we hope will avoid confusion, misinformation and student attendance concerns as the testing dates approach. Parents/Guardians_ who choose to disallow participation must submit a written statement to the building principal prior to the actual dates of testing, documenting their intention to have their child not participate in the PARCC. In order to plan accordingly, we ask that the written statement be delivered to the principal by February 17,2015. Please keep a copy ofthe written statement. Ifyou choose to disallow participation in the testing, please send your child to school each day on time unless you would have kept your child home for a-valid reason anyway (illness, etc.) Students whose families have submitted a written statement disallowing participation in the assessment are expected to come to school on the days of testing, where they will be marked present. They will be located in a room with adult supervision that is separate from the testing environment, Students should bring a book or other appropriate material. No planned instructional activities will take place. iPads or other electronic devices cannot be used because we are limiting network traffic for security purposes during testing. Students will be asked to read or work quietly during the testing period. Students whose families have not submitted a written statement of non-participation and who are not present on the day of the assessment will be marked absent and will sit for the PARCC make-up tests as scheduled, Students whose families have not written a statement of non-participation and arrive late to school on testing days will be marked tardy however they will be expected to participate in the test make-up period. Students whose families have submitted a written statement of non-participation and who do not attend school during testing will be marked absent. However they will not be expected to participate in the test make-up period. nts whose families have submitted a written statement of non-participation and who are late to school during testing will be marked tardy, However, they will not be expected to participate in the test make-up period, Recording and Reporting We have not been given clear guidance by the DOE regarding recording and reporting on the state system or college transcripts when a student does not test. We will follow state guidelines when we receive them. From a district perspective, non-participation with a written statement from a parent/guardian will nataffect student grades or attendance records. Additional Information is available on the FAQ page on the district website under the Curriculum tab. Our goal is to ensure that Haddon Township families are fully informed about the PARCC assessment. Sincerely, Nancy B. Ward Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools