Administration developed workable plan for ISTEP, more resources should be offered

Administration developed workable plan for ISTEP, more resources should be offered

HiLite Staff

One of the most challenging aspects of this school year is standardized testing. On Feb. 5 and Feb. 10, juniors will take one of their most important tests of their academic careers: the ISTEP+. During this unprecedented hybrid semester, CHS administrators had a tall task on their hands to organize testing sessions and ensure that all juniors (hybrid and virtual) fulfill this graduation qualification requirement. 

The plan they devised is commendable, and the responsibility shifts to juniors to ensure that they are in the right place at the right time on testing day. Room lists are published in the main cafeteria, media center, and counseling office windows. 

On Feb. 5, juniors will sit for the English section of ISTEP+ for the entire school day. All students must be in their seats by 8:45 a.m. Testing intervals will last 60-80 minutes, with a 10-minute break in between. Students will eat during A or B lunch, and the test is scheduled to end at 3:45 p.m.

Students will take the Math exam on Feb. 10, which is a late start day. Students must be in their rooms by 9:25 a.m. instead. Otherwise, the rest of the testing day will proceed similarly, and will conclude at 3:45 p.m.

More communication is key over these last few days to ensure that students are prepared. Counselors and administrators should offer more testing resources through next week through emails or other announcements. Families can independently find sample tests and scoring criteria through the IN Department of Education. Even a half-hour of ISTEP+ review with these resources can make a critical difference and unearth trouble spots.

Teachers, especially those for non-junior classes, need to keep their students on track. ISTEP is equivalent to a mass-absence, since juniors miss the whole day. 

A contingency plan must be announced for students forced to quarantine during this short testing window. According to the IN Department of Education, the ISTEP+ spring window is open from Feb. 2 until Feb. 26 — leaving just over two weeks between the second session and the deadline. Safety concerns remain paramount, and students must have this information as soon as possible. COVID-19 can strike at any moment.

Time is ticking until testing day, and juniors must be prepared for what comes ahead. Administration should not waste a moment in distributing ISTEP+ guides and releasing the fallback plan for students in quarantine. Ultimately, however, in this difficult year, it can only do so much. Juniors must do their due diligence and put their best foot forward for this crucial exam.

To read more of the HiLite’s issues, see here. To see the ISTEP schedule, click here.