TUCSON, Ariz. — Leaders in the Vail School District say they've had procedures and practices in place to make sure that students have everything they need to succeed. Kelly Pinkerton runs the assessment and innovative learning program at the Vail School District. She says the pandemic is changing the school year, but when it comes to online testing, they've had a testing portal in place for years.
“Our teachers teach a concept online, then they give the formative exam to see how students are doing, are they learning that content. What we’re doing right now is we’re assigning the tests, so that students take those at home and we analyze those results as they come in,” Pinkerton said.
Part of Pinkerton's job is to build the test for teachers and add them to the portal. 100 of the districts 14,000 students were already using the portal prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I put them in and the teachers can assign the tests to students they take that multiple-choice test and within 15 minutes we have the results back so that we can look and decide to the kids need more time to learn this concept,” Pinkerton said.
Teachers use a conferencing tool to maintain the integrity of the testing process. So far officials say 15 percent of students will continue to use the portal when campuses reopen.
“They schedule the test they open up the conferencing tool they can see the students in that platform so they can watch as the students are taking the tests,” Pinkerton said.
Testing is typically done on Fridays, however, adjustments to dates and times are being made on a case by case basis. Officials say it is available to help students who might not be able to log in during certain times of the day.
“Our formative testing is what we’re giving right now. Its 5 question multiple-choice tests,” Pinkerton said.
ACT make up exams are scheduled for Oct. 6 and standardized testing is still set for the spring. All of the testing must be done in person unless legislative changes are made.
The district also says they have staff trained as contact tracers at each school and at the district office on hand if needed.