FWCS adjusts schedules for tests
18 Apr 2021 — Journal Gazette
Ashley Sloboda

Fort Wayne Community Schools needs middle school students to ditch their routines this week.

Students attending on a blended schedule will learn virtually Monday through Friday, and the remote students will attend in person.

The swap is because of ILEARN.

Students in grades three through eight are required to take the state's standardized test in person.

"That is not a FWCS guideline," Superintendent Mark Daniel stressed last week. "That is a state guideline."

For FWCS, that means accommodating its sizable remote-only population, which Daniel placed at 31% last month. The district has more than 28,000 students.

Elementary schools assigned testing days for their remote students, but the middle schools required a different solution for its approximately 1,900 virtual students : hence the previously described swap.

"This is solely for the reason of social distancing while testing is taking place," Daniel said.

When at school, the typically remote students will have adjusted class schedules, spokeswoman Krista Stockman said.

"Students may not have all their classes every day like a normal school day," she said.

Students on the blended schedule will take ILEARN over a two-week period beginning April 26, Stockman said.

High school students, either ninth or 10th graders, will be tested on biology, with remote learners completing the exams in-person on assigned days, officials said.

Make-up testing dates are May 10 to 14.

ILEARN results may provide insight about learning gaps, but that information won't be available this academic year, so any changes in teaching or support would happen next year, Stockman said. By then, she added, students could be at different schools.

Daniel was among almost 40 Indiana school district leaders who asked state officials to stop spring standardized testing given the challenges presented by the pandemic.

FWCS has never relied on the state's standardized test as a primary measure of student achievement, Stockman said. Other testing and teachers' assessment tools inform real-time adjustments.

Stockman said students shouldn't stress about ILEARN.

"Students should simply do their best," she said. "Get good rest over the weekend and throughout the testing period. Eat a good breakfast, and show what you know."


This story is provided free courtesy of The Fort Wayne Newspapers.
"FWCS adjusts schedules for tests" Journal Gazette 18 Apr 2021: C1