Hermiston schools opt out of state assessments for 2021

Hermiston
PC: Hermiston School District

HERMISTON, Oreg. — In light of the limited in-person learning offered for students in the region this year, the Hermiston School District (HSD) will opt out of state assessments for the Spring portion of the 2021 school year.

According to a letter issued by Hermiston Superintendant Dr. Tricia Mooney, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) was granted a conditional waiver to reduce the number of state assessments required in the state’s school districts. Under normal circumstances, results from state tests will inform decisions made by the United States Department of Education. This year, they’re allowing for more leniency considering the hardships of the pandemic.

That paved the way for Dr. Mooney and the Hermiston school district to opt out of state assessments altogether.

RELATED: Hermiston schools set to bring all students back for in-person learning this April

Generally, students would begin state testing around this time of year. In Oregon, students are tested in English Language Arts (ELA), math, and science. These tests are generally used to assess curriculum at a state and local level, putting Oregon’s education professionals in a position to adapt to their students.

There was another option: Implement shorter, more concise tests in place of the standard length of standardized tests. After months of distance and hybrid learning, students are finally getting back to classrooms on an everyday basis. Dr. Mooney decided against interrupting this progress with state-level assessments.

This week, students returned for full-time, in-person learning throughout Hermiston schools. That decision was made in large part due to updated guidance from state leaders and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). When the CDC reduced the required space in between students in classrooms to three feet, school districts throughout the region made the push for a return to the normal schooling structure.

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