Students in the Wyckoff School District will be taking a new state exam early, a move that district officials say should test the district’s readiness for it, and give students an early look at what to expect.
The new PARCC exam, or Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College Exam, will rollout statewide during the 2014-15 school year. The new exam is in line with the Common Core Curriculum Standards.
While most students will be taking their first official PARCC next year, some Wyckoff students will be doing it early, District Superintendent Richard Kuder announced at a Board of Education meeting earlier this week.
Wyckoff 3rd, 4th, and 7th graders will take a pilot version of the PARCC test this spring, Kuder said at Monday night’s meeting.
Kuder said the district is one of only a handful that will participate in the early exam, and that it offers a good opportunity for a dry run of what the district will need to do next year.
“There is a lot to learn” about administering the PARCC, he said.
Perhaps the biggest change with the test is that it is entirely computer-based, so students will take it online.
The announcement came after a presentation on the district’s implementation of the Common Core Standards to the Board of Education by District Director of Curriculum Diane Schulthes.
Schulthes described some of the teaching shifts emphasized by the Common Core, and said they are more rigorous than the previous set of standards in place in New Jersey.
She also called the standards a, “floor, not a ceiling. [Wyckoff’s] curriculum in many ways is already written above the standards, and we are encouraged to go above and beyond the Core.”
Schulthes also said Wyckoff new curricula, which reflect the Common Core Standards, are “living documents,” and can be changed and updated in the future.