Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ohio’s New Assessments

As you know, Mechanicsburg had a Waiver Day/Professional Development Day on Monday October 27, 2014.  During this time, the teachers attended sessions focusing on Ohio’s New Learning Standards in  English Language Arts and Math, as well as preparing for Online Assessments in all content areas.  It was a jam-packed day of learning.  Boy were our brains exhausted!  

With Ohio moving to new learning standards and state assessments this year, teachers spent time understanding the features of online testing, exploring practice questions and  watching tutorials to assist in preparing students for new/revised content and online testing.  

Parents can access the following sites to explore what online testing includes as well as practice at home. (English Language Arts)

There have been many changes in testing for this school year.  Instead of taking OAAs this year, students are now taking Ohio’s Next Generation Assessments (except for 3rd grade which will still take a paper pencil reading OAA in the fall).  These assessments are all online.  

Here is a list of this year’s Next Generation Assessments
  • Grade 3: ELA and Math
  • Grade 4: ELA, Math and Social Studies
  • Grade 5: ELA, Math and Science
  • Grade 6: ELA, Math and Social Studies
  • Grade 7: ELA and Math
  • Grade 8: ELA, Math and Science (Algebra 1 if enrolled in course at Bunsold)
  • Grade 9: If currently enrolled in the following courses - Algebra 1, Geometry, English 9,
  • English 10, Physical Science, American History, U.S. Government

OGTs (Ohio Graduation Tests) not the Next Generation of Assessments are in effect for students in 10th-12th grade unless they are currently taking American History and/or US Government.  Those students currently enrolled in American History and/or US Government will take the Next Generation Assessments in those courses this school year.  

The Next Generation of Assessments consist of two sections taken at different times during the school year.  Individual grade levels and buildings will be sharing those exact dates with you as testing times approach.  

Mechanicsburg is preparing for Ohio’s New Learning Standards and Next Generation Assessments in a variety of ways.  This is a learning experience for all of us and a challenge that we are prepared to address.  You may see changes in how students take classroom assessments, taking online tests created by the teacher to become more familiar with the skills of online testing.  There will be changes in the timing of when content  is presented to better match the timelines for each section of the test.  Our students are also using devices more frequently in the classroom to increase their comfort and skill level in demonstrating learning via technology.  

The more practice your children have in “dragging and dropping” answers using the cursor, typing answers in sentences, scrolling and highlighting words on the screen, and completing online tables, the more comfortable they will be when they take the new state assessments.  

Please feel free to talk with your classroom teachers, building principals, or myself if you would like to know more about online state testing.  Our hope is to keep you informed so that you can talk with your children about online testing and help us in preparing them for testing this year!


Danielle Prohaska
Superintendent of Schools
Mechanicsburg Exempted Village Schools

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