Sulphur Springs ISD granted waiver by Texas Education Agency for TAKS testing day

By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor

Feb. 24, 2008 - Sulphur Springs Independent School District was granted a waiver to keep from reshuffling the school calendar due to TAKS testing a second time this year.

Texas Education Agency in January, after concerns expressed by school officials, revised the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills testing schedule so that no TAKS tests will be conducted on March 4, when the primary election is held at many schools. It was determined the presence of voters on school campuses could represent a distraction to school children taking the tests, thus the commissioner of education ruled the calendar should be amended, with tests originally slated for March 4, rescheduled to another day.

When it became apparent that SSISD's calendar also had a staff work day and student holiday on one of the state designated TAKS testing dates later in the year, the district applied to TEA for a waiver. The request was that the school be allowed to administer tests originally slated for May 2 on three different days that same week so SSISD calendar wouldn't have to be amended. On Feb. 8, SSISD receive approval from TEA for the alternate test dates.

Beginning Monday, March 3, the exit level social studies TAKS test will be administered. On Wednesday, March 5, grades three, five, eight and nine will take reading tests; grades four and seven will take writing tests; grade 10 will take the exit level English language arts tests, and exit level ELA retests will also be administered. On Thursday, March 6, the exit level TAKS math test will be administered. The exit level science retest and 10th grade ELA makeup tests will be conducted on Friday, March 7.

The week of April 28-May 3 was also designated by TEA for TAKS, TAKS A and TAKS M testing.

On Monday, April 28, the LAT math tests for grade 3-4, 6-7 and 10 will be administered. The two-day LAT reading test for grade 3-10 and LAT ELA for grade 10 will be administered Tuesday, April 29, as will sixth, seventh and 10th grade math tests and exit level ELA retests. Additionally, the eighth grade social studies, exit level social studies and exit level retests have been added to testing slate for April 29.

Also, in addition to the full slate of activities on Wednesday, April 30, the 10th grade social studies test will also be administered. Fourth, sixth and seventh grade reading tests; third, fifth and eighth grade reading retests; exit level math and exit level math retests will still be administered on Wednesday, April 30, according to schedule.

The school calendar will vary from the state calendar again on Thursday, May 1, with grades five, eight and 1 still taking the science tests; grade nine taking the math tests, and the exit level science test administered. SSISD's calendar also includes the LAT grades five, eight and 10 science tests on May 1.

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