Students To Take English STAAR Tests Online This Week

Freshman+will+take+the+English+I+STAAR+tomorrow+and+sophomores+will+take+the+English+II+STAAR+Thursday.

Brooke Miller

Freshman will take the English I STAAR tomorrow and sophomores will take the English II STAAR Thursday.

Brooke Miller, Photo Editor

The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) switched from paper to online in 2021 and continues to be on chromebooks this year throughout the district. 

Freshman will take the English I STAAR tomorrow and sophomores will take the English II STAAR Thursday.

“It has been going great with our students through our common assessments,” Principal Joey McQueen said. “Our students are prepared, and as you know, our students do their exam or their test online. Most of them do, and there’s a lot of good resources.” 

There are several online “tools”  available to the students, such as an online dictionary students can use to search for words. Also, there are new types of questions coming online, like fill in the blank and matching. 

“I don’t have to bubble in the answer sheet. It is just so much easier to have everything on the Chromebook.””

— junior Luis Castro

“There are practice versions of the testing platform online, so we have used that several times this year so students feel more confident testing online,” English II teacher Alison Brayton said. 

McQueen advises all students to fully charge their chromebooks for the day of their test. 

“We’re excited about being able to take these tests to see where our students are,” McQueen said. “We have to do this, and it is data that helps us with the students to help them get better as the years go along.”

Brayton said planning and strategizing for the test is much different now that the STAAR test is online. 

“For instance, most students can compose an essay more easily if they can plan it on paper first and then type it,” Brayton said. “So, since all students are still given scratch paper, we practice several different writing strategies on that before we even touch the chromebooks.”

Sophomore Brice Miller said online testing is more challenging than it is on paper. 

“It is more interactive, but it is hard to use,” Miller said. “It hurts your eyes if you look at the screen too long, and it can glitch and mess up submissions.” 

Junior Luis Castro said he prefers online testing. 

“I don’t have to bubble in the answer sheet,” Castro said. “It is just so much easier to have everything on the chromebook.”

The internet went down last year during the English I test.

“A lot of tests wouldn’t save the students’ submission,” junior Ciara Carnes said. “They would go into the test, and the scores were not there. It was like they didn’t take the test at all.” 

The make-up test date for students who miss their test will be Friday.

“The students have gotten used to taking tests and completing assignments online since education seems to be moving further away from paper, so I don’t think their overall performance will be hindered in any way just because the test is electronic,” Brayton said.