Religious and Cultural Considerations for Assessments
Considerations for assessment during religious and cultural observations
Fairfax County Public Schools is home to students, families, and staff from hundreds of cultures and dozens of religions, many of which have special days of observance throughout the year. Sometimes, these days of observance coincide with scheduled tests for a student's grade level. In these cases, schools and families often need to work together to determine if schedule adjustments are needed and, if so, how best to meet students' needs, given testing guidelines and available school resources.
Examples of adjustments that may be appropriate in some cases include:
- Arranging an alternative assessment date if the student will need to be out of school on the scheduled date;
- Scheduling test sessions in the morning when fasting is less likely to impact energy levels.
How Can Families Discuss Test Considerations Based on Religious or Cultural Observances?
Parents and guardians are encouraged to:
- Review the division testing dates for assessments at each child's current grade level;
- Contact school staff to let them know about any religious or cultural observance children will be observing this year that are within the division testing windows;
- As the testing window approaches, talk with school staff about the specific schedule planned for each child's tests (keep in mind schools may not have the full details until a few weeks before testing begins); and
- Share any concerns about the impact on test performance and work with school staff to determine the best option to address children's needs.