Message from the Superintendent – April 18, 2019

Dear school district staff and school families,

After thorough review and monitoring, I have made the decision to cancel our District final exams. This decision does not include iReady testing.

During this first week of testing, we have experienced significant issues with the administration of the computer based tests. I am thankful for our District staff that have worked many hours into the evening trying to resolve the issues we have observed. I am also appreciative of the patience of school staff and students as we have worked diligently to improve the performance of the computer based testing system. Ultimately, I felt we needed to cancel the District computer based and paper based exams to remove the frustration of inconsistent test administration and protect instructional time.

Students need the opportunity to continue to learn each day from our teachers and be at their best for other required upcoming assessments. On the horizon are several high stakes assessments including the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA), state End Of Course (EOC) exams, and several other secondary exams such as AP, AICE, IB, and Industry Certification. These assessments are not done on the same testing platform as our district exams and I have full confidence in their administration.

We will be certain to adjust our second semester grading scale so that the absence of a final exam will not penalize a student. We will also adjust the student performance element of the teacher evaluation in a fair and equitable manner. As soon as an alternative grading plan is finalized it will be communicated to our teachers, parents, and students.

I am sorry for this change so late in the school year, but feel it is the right decision for both students and teachers. Additional communication will follow as soon as a revised grading plan is finalized.

Sincerely,

Mr. Tim Forson
Superintendent of Schools
St. Johns County School District

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