2021 Spring Testing FAQ

K-12 Assessments

State - General Information

1. The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) has extended the spring 2021 state testing calendar in the recent Emergency Order No. 20-316. Has OCPS extended their spring state testing window or made changes to their spring 2021 Test Calendar?

The OCPS 2020-21 Testing Calendar remains unchanged. The testing calendar was designed to maximize days available for schools to complete testing and allows for flexibility within the makeup window to safely schedule [email protected] and OCVS students. Schools may contact the Test Development and Measurement department if they need additional assistance with scheduling assessments.  

2. Is there a waiver for state assessments?

As a district, we are required to offer opportunities for all students to participate in state assessments. According to Section 1008.22, Florida Statutes, “participation in the assessment program is mandatory for all school districts and all students attending public schools, including adult students seeking a standard high school diploma under s. 1003.4282 and students in Department of Juvenile Justice education programs, except as otherwise provided by law. If a student does not participate in the assessment program, the school district must notify the student’s parent and provide the parent with information regarding the implications of such nonparticipation”. If/when the Florida Department of Education provides information regarding potential waivers of state testing requirements, the District will provide updated information.  

3. What plan did OCPS select for spring state testing?

Data from survey results were presented and staff reviewed information regarding logistics (e.g., staff capacity, technology support, accommodations for students with extended time, Section 504 plans and Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), etc.) for administering state assessments. The options considered included the possibility of Saturday testing for middle and high schools and the proposal for Testing-Only Days for high schools.

Executive Policy Group (EPG) reviewed the information and decided not to move forward with the proposed options of Saturday testing and Testing Only Days based on the data. All schools will administer state assessments on week-days during the window while proceeding with testing in accordance with the OCPS COVID-19 Health and Safety Procedures Manual. All face-to-face students will attend school for testing, and [email protected] and OCVS students will be invited to report to school sites for testing days.  

4. When will the state release scores from the assessments administered this spring?

According to information included in the most recent Department of Education Emergency Order No. 20-316, the results of the Grade 3 ELA assessment will be made available no later than June 30, and the results of the remaining assessments will be made available no later than July 31.  

5. What are the health and safety guidelines schools must follow during test administrations?

Schools should follow the guidelines in the OCPS COVID-19 Health and Safety Procedures Manual.

6. Can schools create outside testing locations for students to take state assessments in open spaces outside of the building?

OCPS does not permit outdoor testing.

7. What happens if a class, grade-level, or school must pivot to [email protected] remote learning due to FDOH requirements related to positive reporting of COVID-19 cases?

The school should immediately contact the OCPS Test Development and Measurement department to provide assistance.

State - [email protected]

1. Are all students, Face-to-Face and [email protected], required to take state assessments on the same day?

This is a school decision. The [email protected] students can either be tested on the same days as the Face-to-Face students or they can be brought in on a makeup day.

2. Do schools need to keep face-to-face students and [email protected] students separated when testing?

All schools will administer state assessments on weekdays during the window while proceeding with testing in accordance with the OCPS COVID-19 Health and Safety Procedures Manual. School leaders will review the capacity of their school building/facility and staff availability when scheduling students.

3. Will the state consider offering the administration of state assessments at home with an online proctor?

The FDOE stated that all state tests must be done at the brick and mortar sites.

4. Will [email protected] magnet students test at their zoned school or their magnet school?

Magnet [email protected] students will be tested at their enrolled magnet school.


5. Will transportation be provided to [email protected] students that are scheduled to come to school for testing?

Details surrounding transportation of [email protected] students are being determined and will be communicated to schools when such details are finalized.


1. Will schools be required to test OCVS and FLVS students at their zoned school?

Schools are required to test OCVS and FLVS students. These virtual students will take the assessments at their zoned school.

2. Will OCVS students be provided transportation to their zoned school for testing?

Following past practice, OCVS students will not be provided transportation for testing.

3. Will FLVS students be permitted to test at OCPS school locations?

FLVS students will test at their zoned school. Schools are being provided with rosters of FLVS students who will need to be accommodated at their zoned school.  

4. What if students need their device to be updated or need technical support?

Families and students should contact their school to arrange technical support.


1. Will CFEs be administered this year?

The Common Final Exams (CFEs) will be administered as posted on the OCPS 2020-21 Testing Calendar. The CFEs will be administered online. [email protected] students can test from home. Camera sharing is mandatory on CFEs. The CFEs replace a teacher-created final exam and are worth 20 percent of students’ grade for their corresponding course.

National - AP, IB, AICE

1. What do Advanced Placement (AP) exams look like this school year (2020-2021)?

Please refer to the AP 2020-2021 Updates webpage for AP Exam information.

2. What do OCPS International Baccalaureate (IB) exams look like this school year (2020-2021)?

OCPS IB High Schools will be utilizing the alternative route. Please review the IB May 2021 Exam Update for more information.

3. What do Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) exams look like this school year (2020-2021)?

Cambridge AICE exams will be face-to-face for June 2021 exam series. For additional information on Cambridge AICE exams please review the Cambridge June 2021 exam series webpage.

National - SAT, ACT, ACT NCR

1. Will there be any changes made to the April 27th Standard Time ACT administration?

No changes will be made in preparation for the Standard Time ACT April 27 administration. This administration will be computer-based and only students in grade 11 are eligible to participate.

2. What is the difference between ACT Standard Time and ACT NCR?

ACT NCR (Non-College Reportable) scores are for state or district assessment purposes only and can be used as concordant or comparative scores to meet graduation requirements. ACT will not report ACT NCR scores earned to colleges, scholarship agencies or other entities. The ACT NCR was offered in OCPS on October 6 and March 9 as paper-based test administrations. On April 27 (makeup day April 29), an ACT Standard Time administration will be offered during the school day through the CARES Act funding. This will be a computer-based administration that is offered at school sites. ACT Standard Time scores can be used as concordant scores to meet graduation requirements and can also be reported to colleges, scholarship agencies or other entities.

3. Have there been any changes to the Spring ACT Non-College Reportable (NCR) administration?

No changes were made for the Spring ACT NCR administration. The Spring ACT NCR administration (paper-based) was held on March 9, 2021. Schools prioritized administering the test to students in grade 12 who had not yet met the Grade 10 ELA and/or Algebra 1 EOC graduation requirement. Some schools permitted select grade 11 students to participate if they met the aforementioned requirements.

4. Have there been any changes to Spring SAT School Day administration?

No changes were made for the Spring SAT School Day administration. The Spring SAT School Day administration (paper-based) was held on March 3, 2021. All students in grade 11 and select students in grade 12 were eligible to participate.

Promotion and Graduation Requirements

Grade 3 Promotion

1. If my third grade student does not take the FSA, will he/she be automatically retained?

Currently, state law (s. 1008.25, Fla. Stat.) FDOE policies and procedures require students to take the Grade 3 FSA ELA to determine promotion to grade 4. We are waiting for further direction and guidance from FDOE regarding potential changes in testing requirements due to the pandemic. Additionally, all available avenues for third grade promotion (e.g. portfolio completion if a student scores a Level 1) remain available under s. 1008.25, Fla. Stat.

FSA Results and Implications

1. What are the implications for a student who does not participate in FSA this year?

The FDOE has not provided any information at this time regarding changes to requirements connected to using assessment scores for promotion, final grade calculations for EOC courses, and/or graduation requirements listed in Florida State Statute. If/when the Florida Department of Education provides information regarding potential waivers of state testing requirements and/or potential implications for failing to participate in FSA, the district will provide updated information.

2. How will course placement for students in grades 4-10 be determined if they do not have an FSA score?

Student placement is reassessed each year with consideration from multiple sources of data.

Final Grade Calculations - EOC

1. What would happen if my child does not participate in the statewide EOC assessment?

Currently, state law (s. 1008.22, Fla. Stat.) state that all students enrolled in Civics, Algebra 1, Geometry, Biology, and/or United States History must take the EOC assessment for that course. Further, the FDOE EOC Fact Sheet state students who have not yet taken the assessment must have the EOC assessment account for 30% of the final grade. However, we are waiting for further information and guidance from FDOE regarding potential changes in testing requirements due to the pandemic.

2. If a senior does not have a final grade for an EOC course, can they participate in their graduation ceremony?

Students are permitted to participate in the graduation ceremony if they are awaiting final EOC scores from the state.

Graduation Requirements

1. What happens if a student did not sit for the FSA ELA assessment last year, are they waived from that graduation requirement?

Emergency Order 2020-EO-01, released in March, 2020 by FDOE provided a waiver for the Grade 10 FSA for students graduating in 2020. However, current students who have yet to pass the Grade 10 FSA ELA must still meet the exit criteria by passing that assessment during a future administration or earning a concordant score.

Diploma Designations

1. What are the requirements for the scholar diploma designation?

The requirements for the scholar diploma for current seniors can be found on FDOE Graduation Requirements and Diploma Designations.

2. Are seniors required to take the EOC to earn a scholar designation, even if it was waived last year?

Yes, the waiver for the scholar designation only applied to students graduating in the class of 2020. However, further information may be provided from the state on this requirement.

English Language Learners (ELL)

Promotion Guidelines - ELL

1. Can an English Language Learner (ELL) student be retained due to English language proficiency?

An ELL student who has been in a U.S. school for less than two years, based on their date entered United States school (DEUSS), cannot be retained based on his/her linguistic or limited English language proficiency.

2. What guidelines are there for ELLs who have regressed during the 2020-21 school year?

Procedures outlined in the Florida Department of Education Emergency Order 2020-EO-07 should be followed regarding ELLs. If an English Language Learner's English reading, writing, listening or speaking skills have regressed during school closures, school districts should convene an ELL Committee meeting with appropriate staff and parents to determine if additional or supplemental English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) services are needed. Although ELL Committee meetings may take place virtually or on-site, school districts should ensure that appropriate identification of English skills has been noted and that schools have the resources to implement additional interventions and strategies.

Until Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) for English Language Arts (ELA) assessment scores are available, and despite Rule 6A6.0903(2)(a)2. b. and c., Florida Administrative Code, school districts are authorized to use scores from district reading assessments, such as progress monitoring, in lieu of FSA-ELA assessment scores, to exit a student from an ESOL program for the 2020-21 school year. Further, despite the requirements of Rule 6A-6.09022(2), Florida Administrative Code, districts may use existing proficiency assessment scores, in lieu of re-testing students for the 2020-21 school year, when determining whether to provide extended services to ELL beyond three years.

3. What guidelines are in place to determine the progression of ELLs in OCPS?

School Board Policy IA, the District’s Student Progression Plan, describes on pages 32-34, pages 63-65 and pages 128-129 the process for progress monitoring, promotion and retention of ELLs. It also includes procedures for grading and documenting the academic progress of ELLs.



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