PARCC Letter to Parents

February 1, 2014

Dear Reading Public School Parents/Guardians,

This year, the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will be field testing assessment questions as part of a transition from the current MCAS testing to an online assessment program called the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC.  As part of this transition, approximately 17% of the students in Massachusetts will be field testing PARCC questions this spring.  The purpose of this field test is to allow schools and students to experience a new assessment before it counts and to allow the DESE to ensure questions are fair, on grade level, and measure the intended skills.

Classes in seven of the eight schools in Reading have been randomly chosen by the DESE to participate in the field test.  The following Reading schools and grades will be participating in the PARCC field test later this spring:

School Name

Grade/Course

Subject Area

Number of Classes Participating

Alice M Barrows

4

Mathematics

2

Arthur W Coolidge Middle

8

Mathematics

2

Birch Meadow

3

Mathematics

2

J Warren Killam

5

ELA

2

Reading Memorial High

10

ELA

4

Walter S Parker Middle

6

Mathematics

2

Walter S Parker Middle

7

Mathematics

2

Walter S Parker Middle

8

Mathematics

2

Wood End Elementary

4

Mathematics

2

All classes will be field testing the questions online as a computer-based test, except for the Reading Memorial High School classes. (RMHS will be field testing a paper version of PARCC.)  Specific classes of students chosen to complete the PARCC questions will be communicated by the building principal.  The amount of time dedicated to the field testing will be approximately 4 hours, depending on the test that the students take.  Students who are selected to participate in a PARCC field test this year will not receive a score or grade on the PARCC.  As all Reading students will be taking the MCAS, however, all students will receive their MCAS score as usual.

As we get closer to the field test, your child’s building principal will be communicating to you further information.  In addition, I have included some resources from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education that explains the field test and the PARCC in further detail.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s principal or the Reading Public School Administrative Offices at 781-944-5800.

Sincerely,

John F. Doherty, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Attachment 4 Letter to Parents revised 1 21 14

Attachment 3 10 Things Parents Should Know about PARCC

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