DeKalb schools change test dates to accommodate holidays

DeKalb County School District officials have revised their testing schedule for the beginning of the school year because of conflicts with holidays for religious minorities.

The system will spread out testing that determines eligibility for gifted programs through September and October.

Superintendent Steve Green says Iowa Tests of Basic Skills testing will now take place on Sept. 9, 10, 11, 16, 18 and 21, with make-up days from Sept. 22-25. Testing for the Cognitive Abilities Test will take place Oct. 5-7, with a make-up day on Oct. 8. The changes remove potential conflicts with several religious observances, including Rosh Hashanah and Eid-ul-Adha.

“The revised school testing calendar removes all conflicts with religious holidays while ensuring timely testing for students,” Green said in a district press release. “We have been responsive to concerns that have been raised and we have sought and arrived at a solution that is in the best interest of our children.”

The tests were originally scheduled for the first three full weeks of September.

The calendar was put together by a committee in October 2014 before Green took his job, with members signing off on the fact that testing would take place during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. In the process, about 6,000 surveys were collected from parents, teachers and other “stakeholders,” Green said. At no time did the holiday conflict come up as a major issue.

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