Schenectady City Schools

ELA Testing This Week
Quick Tips

As you know, students in grades 3-8 will be taking the New York State English Language Arts (ELA) test Wednesday through Friday.  These tests are designed to measure how well students are mastering the learning standards that guide classroom instruction and help to ensure that students are on track to graduate from high school with skills that are needed for success in college and the modern workplace.    Click here for a fact sheet on what parents need to know.

Kerri Messler, SCSD Coordinator of English Language Arts and Library, said that "planning is the key to success," and offers the following suggestions:

  • Get a good night sleep - 8 hours is ideal.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast - high protein, low sugar (fruit, eggs, oatmeal are good choices).
  • Leave for school a littler earlier than usual so that your child gets to school with time to spare and they don't feel rushed.
  • Dress comfortably.
  • Plan for your child to stay in school for the entire test and be here for all three days of testing.
  • Encourage your child to think positive thoughts.  Science shows that thinking positive thoughts can actually help the brain function.  Tell him or her, "You've got this," and "show them all that you know."  
  • Try some relaxation techniques that your child could use during the test:
  • Mindful breathing - deep cleansing breaths with slow exhales
  • Counting - with deep, cleansing breaths
  • Or another strategy they have learning in school during mindful    minutes.
  • Encourage your child to do the best he or she can on the test.  Let him or her know that there may be questions they don't know the answer to or don't understand.  Suggest they skip these questions and move on, and come back to them later.

The New York State Education Department has a website - - where parents can find more information.

If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact your child's teacher.

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