FORSYTH COUNTY — It’s that time of the year in Georgia public schools again. Time for prom, warmer weather and state standardized testing.
Georgia Milestones assessments will be administered in Forsyth County throughout the next month across third-12thgrades. And as last year was the first go-around for the then-new comprehensive testing system, this will mark the first year promotion and retention is applied.
“No matter if students are taking the Milestones, SAT, ACT or another assessment, test prep also involves taking care of the body’s needs,” said Jennifer Caracciolo, spokeswoman for the school system. “We encourage parents to ensure that students are well rested and eat a healthy breakfast.”
Elementary school testing began Thursday and will continue through April 28, with retests scheduled for May 23-25.
Students in third-eighth grades will take four End of Grade, or EOG, tests under Milestones — English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.
To be considered for promotion to the next grade level, students in third, fifth and eighth grades must pass the English language arts test.
Fifth- and eighth-graders must also pass their mathematics test.
Milestones scores did not affect the promotion and retention policy — or teacher evaluations — last year, as the first administration was used as a baseline.
Middle school testing also runs through April 28, though makeups will take place May 31-June 2.
Eighth-graders taking high school-level tests will have algebra May 4-6 and physical science May 9-11.
High school students will take End of Course, or EOC, assessments — ninth grade literature, American literature and composition, analytic geometry, biology, coordinate algebra, economics/business/free enterprise, physical science and U.S. history.
EOCs serve as the final exam for each class, with the score counting as 20 percent of their final course grade. This was also waived last year and will be put into place for the first time this testing cycle.
Following is the schedule for EOC assessments:
* English and literature classes, sections 1-2: April 25-27
* English and literature classes, section 3: April 28-29
* Social studies classes: May 2-3
* Math classes: May 4-6
* Science classes: May 9-11
* Makeups: May 12-13
Milestones testing assesses student learning along four performance levels, as opposed to its predecessor, the CRCT, which had three.
That change was intended, according to the state, to “focus away from just test scores, instead capturing the progression of students’ learning.”
Those performance levels are: beginning learner, developing learner, proficient learner and distinguished learner. Developing and above are considered passing scores.
While these are important exams, Caracciolo said, becoming too stressed out over them can negatively impact performance.
“We encourage parents to spend time relaxing with their students,” she said, “and to have an open dialogue where they can discuss the test and be reassured in their abilities and preparation.”