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Updated: iReady testing for for all K-8 students; Deadline extended for virtual learners
Posted 1/19/21

Updated Jan. 25, 2021

While the school district is listening and responding to concerns from some virtual families, Superintendent Charles Wilson and the district remain steadfast in our commitment to obtain valid data in a way that is best for all students in order to support the work of our classroom teachers.

 

For our families with virtual learners, we realize that the recent spike in COVID cases may create additional anxiety for some families. As a result we have extended the iReady testing window, and virtual families now have through February 26 to make appointments for their child to test.  The district will further evaluate the situation after that date. In addition to the original appointment offerings, we are providing individual testing sessions after hours and on weekends.

 

For virtual families who are comfortable with the safety measures (listed below) that have been put into place for iReady testing, we have asked them to proceed as planned. If any virtual families would like to discuss alternative iReady testing arrangements, we ask that they reach out to Kelly Spence by email or at  912.212.8500 to discuss arrangements that best meet their family’s needs. 

 

Posted Jan. 19, 2021

Bulloch County Schools will conduct its winter iReady testing over the next three weeks for all virtual and on-campus learners in grades K-8. Families with virtual learners need to register their children to attend two proctored iReady sessions for Reading and Mathematics. Use this online form to choose two sessions per child. 


Please remember that participation in state and district required assessments, like iReady, is an expectation for participation in Bulloch County Schools’ Virtual Learning Program.  Also, all assessments are to be taken without unauthorized assistance, so to ensure iReady results are valid, iReady must be proctored by school district faculty. 


The iReady results give teachers a true, accurate depiction of where a child is academically and what supports need to be implemented. The online form will ask virtual parents to choose their child's school, which will then direct them to a list of available session times from which to choose. Late afternoon and Saturday appointment times are available. If a school is unable to accommodate a convenient time, virtual parents may also sign up for a testing time at the school district’s Central Office (150 Williams Road, Statesboro).

 

Important information & Safeguards

  • Choose two sessions for each child.
  • You will receive a confirmation email with specific directions for the day of testing at your site.  
  • If you have more than one child in grades K-8, please complete a survey for each child in order to schedule all of your appointments.
  • Testing sessions usually take 60 to 90 minutes to complete. 
  • Each testing site will take public health precautions:
  • All faculty testing proctors will wear masks.
  • All faculty testing proctors and students must conduct a self-health check prior to coming to campus, be free of any COVID-19 symptoms, not be under a current isolation or quarantine, and not be awaiting results of a COVID-19 test.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to wear a mask. 
  • Social distance will be maintained during testing.
  • Virtual and on-campus learners will not test together in the same room at the same time. A separate testing area is being made available for virtual learners while they are on campus.
  • Evening and weekend appointment times are available.
  • To ensure a safe and equitable testing area for all students, the testing area will only be open to students and faculty proctors. 
  • All faculty proctors and students will sanitize their hands upon entering the testing areas and after any breaks. Proper supplies are provided. 
  • All computer testing materials will be sanitized thoroughly before and after each use.

Bulloch County Schools, like parents, wants to ensure children are on track academically for their age, and provide any additional individual services and support to remediate or accelerate learning. The school district uses iReady three times each year with all K-8 students to give classroom teachers important insight about where children are academically so they can better meet individual learning needs. Different from standardized tests that come at the end of an academic year, iReady provides immediate diagnostics for your child's teacher(s).


There are currently 1,262 children in our virtual learning program for grades K-8 across our 13 elementary and middle schools, and we have multiple testing sessions to help ensure social distancing. If families have any additional questions, please contact your child’s school. For requests to change a scheduled appointment time or location for a virtual learner, please contact Carole Colson by email or 912.212.8562.

 

Importance of iReady Data

  • Helps immediately inform teachers' instructional practices so they know which skills a child has mastered; It also informs remediation and enrichment plans for children
  • Provides data for one of the criteria needed to determine a student's eligibility for Gifted services
  • Provides data to determine a student's eligibility for middle school honors courses. Students can't be placed in sixth-grade honors courses at the beginning of a school year without this data. Students who transfer into the district without iReady data, are placed based on teacher recommendations and classroom data until additional iReady data is available.
  • Provides data for the district to evaluate trends and its academic  plans and initiatives for continuous improvement
  • Provides data that could be used to inform student promotion and retention decisions 
  • Measures individual student academic growth 
  • Provides detailed student skills reports for teachers which helps grade-level and subject-level teachers work together in their professional learning communities to plan together for a child's success  
  • Creates a customized learning path for each student to accelerate and remediate learning based on needs
  • Provides a way for school district to monitor progress with a student's Lexiles for reading

Updated Jan. 25 - iReady Test Proctoring (Virtual / Face-to-Face)

Bulloch County Schools' original intent in August 2020, was to conduct its fall, winter, and spring iReady assessments for all virtual students in-person. However, due to the first semester volume of virtual students and other challenges associated with beginning school in a pandemic, the district chose to allow virtual students to take the fall iReady at home. 

 

In early October 2020, Bulloch County Schools received its fall iReady results from Curriculum and Associates, and became aware of testing anomalies that indicated results were statistically unsound and could not be relied upon to adequately inform student interventions and enrichment.  After sharing this with school principals and soliciting their feedback, it was mutually agreed upon that the school district needed to ensure valid iReady diagnostic results by assessing students at school in a proctored environment.  Working collaboratively with principals through November, the district established a protocol for onsite testing. 

 

At the December 10, 2020 Bulloch County Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Charles Wilson and his leadership team updated the Board on this matter, informing them that, “virtual students will be required to take assessments, such as the iReady, face-to-face, and that failure to do so may result in students not being permitted to continue in the virtual program”. 

 

Accommodations have been put in place to ensure there are available on-site testing options for virtual families with extenuating circumstances. The school district has also extended the testing window through February 26, adding an additional three weeks of testing time, which will increase available appointment times and further limit the number of virtual students on campus during the available after hours, evening and weekend test times. If any virtual families would like to discuss alternative arrangements, they may reach out to Kelly Spence by email or 912.212.8500 to discuss arrangements that best meet their family’s needs.