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OCSD prepares for online testing

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Ogdensburg City School District is moving forward with a plan to install wireless Internet access throughout the district before the New York’s Common Core testing roll out.

Transitioning to computer assisted instruction within the district is necessary in order for students to take the state’s new assessments, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Kevin Kendall said during Monday’s board meeting.

“We’re really making the push towards getting ready for these new set of exams that are set to come out and they are all online,” Mr. Kendall said. “We have to be able to assess every student at each grade level at the same time, whether it be on a wireless computer or a hardwire desktop.”

Mr. Kendall said the state has delayed online testing for another two years after the change was originally scheduled for this year.

“But we will do field testing this year with two grade levels – grades third and fifth in math and English language arts, respectively,” Mr. Kendall said. “That way we can become familiar with the inner workings of the programs and so that we are ready to go when the time comes.”

The school has appropriated $150,000 of next year’s budget towards computer updates - $50,000 less than this year.

“Really we have not changed anything in the budget as far as that goes,” Ogdensburg City School District Business Manager Jeffrey R. Swanson said. “We can’t really afford for any increase.”

Wireless access is already set up at Grant C. Madill and John F. Kennedy elementary schools, Mr. Kendall said.

“We’re working on updating OFA,” he said. “The old tradition of paper and pencil will be going away.”

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