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HCPSS Insight: PARCC Sessions

HCPSS Insight: Understanding PARCC Home Reports

HCPSS gathered a panel of school system experts to better understand and interpret the PARCC Mathematics and English Language Arts home reports. The panelists covered the content found in the report, identified additional resources available and explored ways that parents can continue to support their children at home.

Initial PARCC Information Sessions

HCPSS held online question-and-answer sessions on the PARCC assessments. The events were shown on the HCPSS TV channel and were streamed live on the HCPSS website.

Representatives from HCPSS Curriculum and Special Education departments answered questions. Additional information on PARCC can be found on the Maryland State Department of Education website, or at

Session 1 | Session 2 | Session 3

If you missed the Q&A live, the recorded videos are below from each session.

February 4, 2015 – Session 1

Answered Questions from the question-and-answer session

2:13 – Overview and differences of the Performance-Based Assessment (PBA) and End-of-year Assessment (EOY)

4:37 – How are the testing dates determined?

5:11 – Is PARCC pass/fail?

8:06 – What role does PARCC play in relation to our standards, curriculum, & instruction?

9:40 – Does a current 9th grade student taking Algebra II this year have to take the Algebra II PARCC assessment this year?

10:14 – How can a second grade student prepare for PARCC for next year?

11:28 – Can students opt out of PARCC?

12:16 – What is the National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC) assessment and can it be used as an alternative for PARCC?

13:35 – What are curricular offices doing to prepare HCPSS teachers for PARCC?

19:57 – Will the PARCC score impact the student’s grade in that class?

22:20 – What kind of feedback are we receiving from teachers that we are assisting to prepare for PARCC?

23:10 – If PARCC doesn’t assess science like the MSA did, will we continue to assess science?

23:41 – If we have been preparing teachers and students for PARCC, how are we also preparing them to take the science MSA?

24:43 – Will high school students still have to take and pass the HSA’s in Government and Biology?

26:18 – What role does technology play in taking PARCC? What are some of the tools that students will be using?

33:49 – By the time students take PARCC, will every student have had an opportunity to use the technology that the assessment incorporates?

35:11 – Will the test adapt to the student’s level based on their answers?

36:18 – Has PARCC ever been piloted? If so, when, where, and what were the results?

36:52 – What are we doing to ensure that students that require accommodations have an opportunity to prepare for PARCC and the tools that they will have access to during testing?

38:10 – How is the Department of Special Education and Student Services involved in the training of teachers and schools for the new assessment?

40:15 – Is there anything that could be on a student’s IEP or 504 that would not be allowable as a PARCC accommodation?

41:16 – Is there a paper version of this test available?

43:02 – Is threre a way to give a special-needs student extra time to complete the assessment?

44:40 – What sort of time allowances are built-in for all students taking PARCC? How long will the assessment take to complete?

47:00 – In reference to the ELA assessment, what is a good length for a long-form answer and what is the best way to handle answers that ask for details from the text?

50:26 – What is the difference in question format between past state assessments and PARCC?

53:57 – How can parents help their child prepare for PARCC?

Session 1 | Session 2 | Session 3

February 10, 2015 – Session 2

Answered Questions from the question-and-answer session

2:49 – What is the PARCC Accessibility System?

5:01 – What are the differences in question types from older assessments to PARCC?

12:43 – Are PARCC questions more complex than the MSA was and are students prepared for this level of complexity?

14:02 – Will questions on PARCC be overly difficult in order to assess student abilities and are students emotionally prepared for this so they don’t get discouraged?

16:57 – What are some of the scenerios that parents should be aware of when considering accommodations for PARCC?

19:24 – How can parents help prepare their child for PARCC and how can they take practice tests?

23:01 – How can parents help prepare their child for the long-form responses required on the Language Arts PARCC assessment?

24:50 – What happens if a student takes Algebra I in a private middle school and then attends a public high school – when and how is this student assessed?

26:03 – Do any adjustments to curriculum and instruction need to be made to accommodate the time committed to administering the test?

27:19 – Are we teaching to the test?

28:09 – How long are the portions of the assessment and is extra time easily given to students that have a 504 or IEP?

29:50 – My daughter is in 3rd grade studying 4th grade math. Will they take the 3rd grade or 4th grade PARCC assessment for math?

30:10 – Why aren’t elementary students learning more on computers when they will be tested on computers?

34:03 – How are elementary students being prepared to type long-form responses when they have yet to learn formal typing?

35:50 – Why is the Algebra II PARCC being given if it does not meet a graduation requirement and is not a component of student grades?

38:10 – Will my child be able to use their assistive technology when taking PARCC?

39:09 – Is there a passing score for this year’s and next year’s PARCC English tests?

39:33 – When will PARCC be administered in my child’s school?

40:39 – Does a student need to show their work on the math PARCC assessment in order to receive full credit?

42:26 – What is the expectation on students to access multiple texts – including videos – on the Language Arts PARCC assessments?

43:40 – Can my student have parts of the PARCC assessment read to them?

45:09 – Where can parents see samples of quality long-form responses?

47:54 – With the release of Common Core State Standards and PARCC, what are teachers doing to prepare students for both?

50:33 – What went into piloting PARCC last year and how was that information used in the development of the PARCC assessment?

52:20 – Since math seems so content-driven, where can I go to find out exactly what my child should be able to know and do in a specific course, grade-level, or topic?

Session 1 | Session 2 | Session 3

December 22, 2015 – Session 3

Answered Questions from the question-and-answer session

1:58 – What are some of the changes that are being made to PARCC in the second year?

3:36 – What is PARCC measuring?

4:12 – What have we seen in last year’s test results?

5:02 – What tests are students taking?

7:42 – Brief overview of the PARCC home report score levels.

9:44 – How have the five performance level settings been determined and could there be a shift in those moving forward?

11:12 – How are the PARCC results of advanced students taken into account for class placements?

16:09 – Will students only be taking one test in high school because of federal requirements?

14:51 – Overview of additional information found on the PARCC home reports.

23:32 – Are we seeing that PARCC results are aligning with the results of our other assessments?

24:57 – What could parents do as a result of their child’s PARCC home reports?

27:37 – What are some of the considerations that parents should be aware of with PARCC as a graduation requirement for high school students?

31:01 – In future years, what do we predict will be the turnaround time for parents receiving the PARCC home reports?

33:00 – Do we foresee schools using PARCC results for class placements?

34:44 – Are there PARCC practice tests available that parents can access?

36:16 – In the future, could PARCC reports be delivered to parents through the Canvas Learning Management System?

37:20 – Are there any costs associated with PARCC that HCPSS is responsible for?

38:39 – Why are states releasing PARCC scores at different times?

40:45 – Are teachers assisting students in areas they may have struggled on the PARCC test (particularly language standards) and how can parents support their child with language?

46:22 – Could any consideration be given to getting reports to parents in the beginning of the summer so parents can support their child throughout the break?

48:17 – If a high school student doesn’t score well on PARCC when it becomes a graduation requirement will they have an opportunity to retake the test?

50:16 – What insight can we gather about a student that scores differently on PARCC from year to year?

52:38 – How will we support students that may lack in knowledge taught in previous school years?

54:41 – How did Howard County perform in the first year of PARCC compared to other districts and states?