Dear parents, staff, and students,
We will be meeting next week with the Police Department to discuss these issues and others that were brought up at the Board of Education meeting. After these issues have been addressed, I will be reaching out to interested parents to schedule a meeting to further discuss these issues and other concerns.
In addition to several relevant issues, there was some information presented at the Board Meeting and also on social media that was not totally accurate. I would encourage anyone who has a concern or question regarding a safety issue or any other issue to please contact the school or my office. In this way we can focus on the relevant issues that need to be addressed and not be distracted by misinformation.
I believe our schools are safe but we are not perfect. It is important that we continually work to address safety and security issues to make our schools even safer. In order to accomplish this we need to continue to work cooperatively with our police department and continue to gather input and address concerns from our parents, staff, and students.
I want to thank the parents for their input and we look forward to continue working with the Manchester Police Department and our parents, staff and students to make our schools as safe as possible.
Thank you again for your cooperation and support of our district.
Students in the Manchester School District, grades 3 through 11 will be taking the PARCC assessment this year. It is important to understand that the Manchester Township School District is required to give the PARCC assessment to all students. These assessments are replacing the NJASK and HSPA that had been given previously. There are two sessions of the PARCC test, the Performance Based Assessment (PBA) and the End of Year Assessment (EOY). These tests are not used to determine student grades or placement
The PARCC Performance Based Assessment Test Schedule is as follows:
Elementary Schools and Middle School
Grades 3 & Grade 6 March 2 through March 6
Grades 5 & Grade 8 March 16 through March 20
Regular instruction will be taking place for grades not testing during a specific time.
Elementary students will be tested in their own classrooms with their classroom teacher unless specific accommodations are necessary.
Middle school students will also be testing in classrooms according to subject area.
English (ELA) 11 March 2, 3, 4 Alg II March 5,6
English (ELA) 10 March 9,10,11 Geometry March 12,13
English (ELA) 9 March 16,17,18 Algebra I March 19,20
Makeup Sessions March 23 through March 27.
Also, an Infrastructure Trial Test will be given during the week of February 16th. This will be an opportunity for students to take a practice portion of the assessment and will give the district an opportunity to check the technology devices. These tests will not be used for any assessment scores.
Several parents have inquired about the ability to “opt out” of the PARCC assessment. As per the directive of the New Jersey Department of Education, there is no “opt out” option for any section of the PARCC. The district must offer the test to all eligible students.
In accordance with the above, State law and regulations require all students to take State assessments. For the 2014-2015 school year, the PARCC assessment will replace the prior statewide assessments - the NJASK in grades 3-8 and HSPA in high school; as such, all students shall take the PARCC assessment as scheduled. Since the PARCC assessment is part of the State required educational program, schools are not required to provide an alternative educational program for students who do not participate in the statewide assessment.
Please click on the following link to read Commissioner Hespe’s letter.
I have received questions from several parents regarding
concerns of students taking the PARCC assessment. I have tried to address some of these concerns
It is important to note that this assessment is not used in grading or classroom placement and we just urge students to do their best on the assessment.
Since the students have been using Chromebook in their regular classroom setting over the past year and even longer, they are comfortable with the technology. Also, students with 504 plans and special needs students will have testing accommodations if needed.
Since this is the first time for the PARCC assessment it is difficult to determine this at this time. I am confident that our teachers and students are working effectively in their classes and we only expect our students to do the best that they can. This assessment will have no bearing on their grades or class placement.
3. 3. Special accommodations will be available for students with special needs.
4. 4. In the event that a student refuses to take the assessment either in class or by parental request, the student will be allowed to read a book or other appropriate material in the testing classroom. There will be no alternative setting assigned at this time.
5. 5. Certain sessions of the assessment will require the use of headphones or earbuds. Students have the option of using their own set or one will be provided to them.
New Jersey has been giving standard assessments statewide
for a long time. The assessments have
changed over time and this year the change is from the NJASK and HSPA to the
PARCC. Please understand that the
Manchester Township School District is required to give the PARCC assessment to
all students and to maintain a 95% participation rate. If there are any changes directed by the NJDOE we will keep you posted.
Since this is the first year for this assessment, I understand that many parents have concerns regarding the implementation of the PARCC. We have tried to address these concerns whenever possible. Since the PARCC has no effect on grades or placement of classes, we are just asking that our students do their best on the assessment.
Superintendent of Schools
Parents and Staff,
If the timing of these predictions are accurate, there will be a strong possibility that we will have an early dismissal tomorrow. I am asking that parents and staff please be prepared and plan for this possibility . Everyone will be notified of any changes through our calling system and the website.
Parents, Staff, Students and Community Members,
The High School, Middle School and Manchester Township Elementary School are the three schools that were selected to participate in the pilot program. Two of our third-grade classes will be taking the pilot test in the area of literacy. Additionally, two of our seventh grade literacy classes and two of our high school English classes will be taking the Pilot test in literacy as well. Finally, two of our high school geometry classes will be participating in the Math PARCC Pilot. These classes were selected by a random drawing as outlined by the NJDOE.
In addition to assessing higher level thinking skills in the new Common Core Curriculum, the PARCC test requires students to use a computer to take the test. This is a new experience for students throughout New Jersey. Therefore, to help prepare our students for this type of assessment, we have purchased additional computers for most of these pilot classes. New chrome books have been distributed to the third-grade classes, the seventh-grade classes and the geometry classes for use in classroom instruction and to provide our students the opportunity to become familiar with the process of taking a test on the computer. Our ninth-grade English students who will be taking the pilot test have been given additional opportunities to use the computer lab in the high school. Additional chrome books have also been purchased for use in the Ridgeway and Whiting elementary schools so that students in these schools will also have experience working with the computers in their classrooms.
To date, I have received positive comments from the teachers and the students who have had the opportunity to use these new devices. In addition to providing valuable input regarding the new PARCC test, we are also getting information regarding the type of computers that we will be looking to purchase for the next school year. Our goal is to provide more opportunities for all of our students to work with computers and technology throughout the year so that they would be better prepared for the new state test.
For the students taking the pilot test it is important to note that the field test will not yield a student score report and will in no way become part of the student's educational record.
Although no individual results will be reported from the pilot program, I’m looking forward to the comments from our teachers and our students regarding the type of questions on the PARCC test and the experience of taking the assessment on a computer.
Again, Monday February 17th will be a regular school day for staff and students. Friday February 14th will remain as a staff in-service day and no school for students.
Please refer to the website for updates on our school calendar.