Assessments and Personal Electronic Devices
Personal device considerations during assessments
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Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) implements a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiative as part of a commitment to foster an open environment for students to utilize personal devices to enhance learning. At the same time, FCPS has an obligation to guarantee a secure test environment during standardized testing, such as Standards of Learning (SOL).
The Virginia Department of Education, College Board, and other entities overseeing standardized test practices establish guidelines and restrictions on student access to personal electronic devices, such as cell phones, within the test environment. These restrictions are designed to maintain test security and to minimize potential distractions while students are taking tests. Students are not permitted to take SOL tests on their personally-owned devices; all online SOL testing must use FCPS-owned computers.
Tips to Avoid Testing Issues Related to Personal Electronic Devices
- Lock it up. If students forget and bring their personal devices to school on a testing day, they will need to find a secure location to store the device at school to avoid taking it into the testing environment. School staff may assist students in finding a safe place for their personal devices, as needed.
- Know the consequences. If a student fails to secure his or her personal electronic device and brings it into the test environment, he or she will be subject to procedures for addressing test security concerns. Depending on the type of test and the situation, this could include penalties up to and including:
- Confiscating the student's personal device
- Rescheduling the student's test session to another day or time
- Identifying the student's actions as a disruption or as attempted cheating, which could affect the student's score
Sample Electronic Device Policies for Testing
Below are a few examples of electronic device policies that apply to standardized tests used within FCPS.
- SOL tests (section 4.4.2)
- Advanced Placement (AP) tests
- SAT tests
- Preliminary SAT (PSAT) tests