FCAT headed to week 2
LAKE PLACID - After five days of testing, schools are gearing up for week two of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test as principals note the challenges of more computerized testing. Fifth-grade math will be administered online for the first time. Lake Placid Elementary Principal Carey Conner said so far things have been “going great.” “Our absences have been minimal. Next week we will be doing our computer-based testing for the first time,” she said.The Florida Department of Education stated that fifth-grade math testing may begin Monday with make-up tests administered through April 30. The test is administered in two 70-minute sessions “We don’t have enough computers for everybody to take every session in the same day, but we have three [computer] labs,” Conner said. “We will be able to get them all tested as best we can, but not all fifth-grade will be able to take Session 1 in the same day, but we have enough [computers] to get them tested in the allotted time.” “We are looking forward to getting the computer part behind us for the first time,” she added. Hill-Gustat Middle School Principal Chris Doty also said so far things were good. “It’s a little bit different when it’s not 100 percent paper and pencil where we’ve got some kids doing computer and some kids are not,” he said. “So we have had to adjust how we do our scheduling in terms of making sure we get all the kids through because we only have a limited number of [computer] labs on campus to be able to test at one time.” Prior to the computerized test, they could hand out 220 tests for seventh-grade reading and all the students would be tested at the same time, Doty said. Now with 130 computers, the students have to be tested in sessions. The campus has to stay quiet longer this way, he said. That’s the only downside, he added. The kids who are not testing are still in a “test mode” to stay quiet for the other students who are. The other testing this week includes the online sixth- and ninth-grade Reading FCAT. Make-up testing is scheduled for Wednesday through April 30.