The purpose of this communication is to make you aware of a Michigan Department of Education (MDE) update that calls for the replacement of the M-STEP (Math and English language arts) assessment for eighth grade students across the state with the PSAT8. While the change in assessment tools was shared with school districts last year, MDE only recently announced that the PSAT8 must be given to eighth graders on April 9, 2019, with no exceptions.
Over the past several years, the Northville Public Schools calendar has included a teacher professional day for all K-12 teachers (Cooke included) and no school for students (except ninth, 10th, and 11th graders taking the PSAT/SAT) on the second Tuesday in April. This alignment of a teacher professional day on the state-mandated testing date was intentionally put in place by the district when MDE first implemented the Michigan Merit Exam/ACT testing in 11th grade, as it allowed Northville High School to manage proctoring requirements, test schedules, and professional development across the three-day high school testing period without negatively impacting instructional time.
With this most recent mandate of a specific test date for eighth grade, it is no longer feasible or advantageous to have a teacher professional development day overlap with the April testing date. In an effort to address these issues, district leaders and the Northville Education Association have agreed to the following modifications to the 2018-19 K-12 School Calendar:
- The Tuesday, April 9, 2019 teacher professional day will move to Tuesday, February 19, 2019. This change essentially lengthens mid-winter break for students by a day and provides minimal disruption to the school year.
- School will be in session for all K-11th grade students (including Cooke) on April 9, 2019, with PSAT and SAT testing for eighth through 11th graders, and a regular instructional day for the K-seventh grade students.
- Although seniors will not be required to physically report to school on April 9th, they will be given a range of meaningful options from which to choose as a required alternate assignment, including opportunities for service learning, virtual learning, or even college visits. (Details will be shared with seniors during seminar time at a later date.)
Click to view the entire 2018-19 K-12 School Calendar.
As always, we thank you for your continued support of Northville Public Schools. For questions or more information, contact Aaron Baughman, Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org.