From the Superintendent



We are moving another step closer to having our students ready for the Next Generation of Assessments in spring 2015. As of today, teachers and students can see sample items in math and English language arts and complete those items on the same technology platform they’ll be using in 2015. Students also can see training tests in science and social studies. Using these resources will help teachers and students feel more comfortable when it’s time to take the actual exams. Students will not receive scores for the sample items or training tests.

For more details on how to access all of these resources, see the two items immediately following this letter.

On another note, Ohio weather is unpredictable, and this winter’s snow and cold have resulted in many lost school days. Here’s a reminder of the procedures that surround school closings:

According to Ohio law, school districts must be in session a total of 175 full days, which may include up to two days of parent-teacher conferences. If it appears that your district will have less than that due to school closings, you must make-up as many days as are necessary to reach 175. First, though, you must get a make-up plan approved by the Ohio Department of Education. Send questions about calamity days to calamitydaywaiver@education.ohio.gov.

A district may plan to make-up no more than three calamity days through blizzard bags (lessons that students take home) or online. Districts that want to make-up calamity days using online lessons or blizzard bags must submit a plan electronically each year. These plans must include a signed and dated board resolution, a plan for compliance with each of the components in Ohio Revised Code 3313.88 (this could be part of the board resolution), and a signed and dated written consent of the teachers’ employee representative. Submit plans to use the online make-up option and inquiries about this process to onlinecalamitydays@education.ohio.gov.  

Thank you for all you do for the boys and girls of Ohio.


Dr. Richard A. Ross
State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Math and English language arts sample items released
The Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) has posted sample items in math and English language arts on a new, interactive platform. The sample items originally appeared on the PARCC website as PDF documents. Now, students, teachers and parents will be able to click on and complete the sample items to get a better sense of how the online tests will work.

Before engaging with the sample items, check out the technical specifications to make sure your devices will work with the testing platform. To do that, click here and then select the Resources tab.

Below are links to the sample items for three grade bands. If you have problems opening the link, you may copy it and paste it into your browser.

Grade 3-5

Grade 6-8

High School

PARCC also is offering online tutorials that demonstrate how girls and boys will navigate the math and English language arts tests. Teachers and students can access them at http://practice.parcc.testnav.com/#.

If you have feedback or questions, please contact Doug Sovde, PARCC’s director of content and instructional supports at dsovde@parcconline.org.

Science and social studies training tests posted
Students and teachers can visit a Student Training Site to become familiar with how the spring 2015 tests will work for elementary, middle school and high school students. Through training tests at the site, students and teachers will see various kinds of test questions and learn how to complete them using the technology platform.

Click here to enter the Student Training Site. You must have the Internet Explorer 10 or the Mozilla Firefox 4.0 browser to access this site.