While they might not know the name, educators are preparing for a version of the 20-year-old Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System that will be more in-depth and more complex than ever before.
"Sometimes the upgrades are really minor, and you as a user might not even notice what has actually changed," Superintendent Barbara Malkas told the School Committee on Tuesday. "This is not one of those situations."
Superintendent Jason McCandless said he is watching closely what the federal replacement to No Child Left Behind will ultimately mean for the district.
Last year the federal government adopted Every Student Succeeds Act and it was signed into law on Dec. 10. The program replaces No Child Left Behind but it does retain some of those provisions. When it comes to the local level, the largest changes would be regarding the ranking system.
Mount Greylock Regional School has maintained its Level 1 rating, but it would have dropped down if the spring standardized tests had been counted.
For the first time last spring, some Mount Greylock students were tested using the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) standardized test, while the rest took the traditional MCAS exam.
The elementary school has again scored a top level ranking from the state.
The scores from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers have placed the school as Level 1. While the school has consistently ranked Level 1 in recent years, what stands out about this year's results is that PARCC was a pilot program which had a clause allowing schools to be held harmless in state accountability.
McCann Technical School Principal Justin Kratz told the Northern Berkshire Vocational Regional School District School Committee on Thursday that McCann students have continued to score highly on the MCAS.
"This is really the same thing I have said the past couple of years. We continue to do very well on the MCAS," he said.
On the surface, standardized testing scores for the Pittsfield School District distinguishes the system as Level 3 in the state's rankings.
But Superintendent Jason McCandless says looking deeper into the numbers, the scores show progress in the areas the district has focused on. The district revamped its English curriculum in the elementary school to a unified one and this year expanded it to the middle school level, is piloting math curriculum this year to do the same. But maybe even more
Clarksburg School has achieved a Level 1 status based on last spring's standardized tests.
"Staff and teachers really worked hard over a number of years to reach this level," Superintendent Jon Lev said at Thursday's School Committee meeting.
Williamstown Elementary School passed its first year under a new standardized testing regime with flying colors, the School Committee learned on Wednesday.
Last spring marked the first time the school's pupils were evaluated by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, test in place of the commonwealth's traditional Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System.
Another year of subpar standardized test scores has administrators in the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District seeking ways to improve performance.
"What we need to do is more parent outreach and work with students, teachers and administration because it is going to have to be a broad initiative if we want to be successful because we have to turn around what has been a steady trend for a long time," interim Superintendent Robert Putnam told the School Committee on Monday.
Superintendent Jason McCandless is regretting the district's decision to pilot the PARCC test.
City schools entered a two-year agreement with the state for students to take the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Career and College test.
While the results revealed some holes in the curriculum, McCandless said the district focused too much on the logistics of administrating the test, which could have better used.
The elementary school was one of just 45 schools in the state to receive commendations from the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
The state's 2015 accountability data gave the school scores of 98 out of a 100 in closing proficiency gaps for all Lanesborough Elementary School students and a score of 100 for those with high needs. Both of those calculated scores are above the state's target of 75. The school is again ranked a Level 1 — the highest the state ranks — because