Deadlines, dates & more: What to know ahead of TCAP score release

This is the first year TCAP test scores will determine whether or not third graders will graduate to the fourth grade, as part of Tennessee’s new third-grade retention law.
Tennessee teachers are preparing for third grade TCAP scores to be released on Friday.
Published: May. 18, 2023 at 1:53 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - State testing scores are set to be released as early as Friday, according to reports, and parents will learn if their child will be attending summer school or not.

To avoid repeating their grade, third graders who fail portions of the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) must attend summer school, retake the test or get a tutor. This is the first year TCAP test scores will determine whether or not third graders will graduate to the fourth grade, as part of Tennessee’s new third-grade retention law.

Students will be put into one of four categories based on their TCAP scores:

  • Exceeds Expectations: Moving on to fourth grade.
  • Meets Expectations: Moving on to fourth grade.
  • Approaching Expectations: Choice of whether to go to summer school or be tutored the entire fourth-grade year.
    • Districts and schools are responsible for providing this. The state has provided Tennessee All Core since the COVID-19 pandemic as a funding source. It provides small-group tutoring and is intensive.
  • Below Expectations: Students who score below the top two categories have to do both summer school and intensive tutoring.
Pathways to 4th Grade: TN Dept. of Edu.
Pathways to 4th Grade: TN Dept. of Edu.(Tennessee Department of Education)

The Tennessee Department of Education said it’s up to each district when they will release scores to parents. You can find the TN DOE’s overall timeline below:

Another important date to know is May 23. That’s when students can retake the test for Metro Nashville Public Schools and KIPP Nashville Public Schools.

Exemptions for the state’s new third-grade retention law:

  • Child has IEP (individual education plan) that provides services for reading
  • Child has less than two years of English Language (EL) services
  • Child is currently being evaluated for a disability (IEP) that might include services for reading
  • Child was previously retained between K-3rd.

Appeal Process Overview:

Breaking down school districts’ timelines, WSMV4 has been able to confirm with:

Metro Nashville Public Schools:

  • If a student receives an “approaching expectations” score, the law requires they participate in a summer learning camp or receive high-impact tutoring the following year.
  • The student should plan to attend Promising Scholars over the summer to meet mandates in the new state law.
    • The district sent a letter in December and February letting parents know their child’s predicted proficiency level.
    • Right now Promising Scholars is full, but spare spots will remain open for third graders who do not score proficient on portions of the exam.

Rutherford County:

  • Assuming Rutherford County receives TCAP scores on Friday from TDOE, they plan to send a phone and email message Friday to all third-grade parents telling them to expect a status letter next week.
  • Next week, parents will get the status letter stating whether their kid was promoted to 4th grade or what steps are needed for their child to get there (summer learning camps, tutoring, etc.).
  • Automatic retakes of the literacy portion will be available next week for any student who needs it.
  • Summer learning camps will be held throughout the month of June, Monday-Thursday:
    • No cap on third-grade spots; Rutherford County plans to accommodate as many students as needed.
    • The camps are free.
    • Rutherford County will offer free after-school tutoring throughout the year.

Wilson County:

  • Scores will be released to families between May 26-29.
  • Summer learning plan options:
    • Option to retake the reading portion of TCAP (May 22 – June 5); if they score proficient or higher on the retake, they can be promoted to 4th grade.
    • Attend summer learning camp in June:
      • Must have a 90% attendance rate and make adequate progress (determined in pre/post assessment).
    • Receive reading tutoring at school during 4th grade year:
      • Must show adequate growth on the 4th grade ELA portion.

Cheatham County:

  • Cheatham County had not received any English Language Arts test results for third grade as of 2 p.m. Therefore, third-grade students who qualify for the ELA retake test will take the test on Tuesday, May 23 instead of Monday as originally planned.
  • Raw scores will be released to schools when the state provides them on Friday. Schools will utilize these scores to be included in students’ final grades as outlined in district policy 4.700.
  • Schools will communicate with families of 3rd-grade students who are not proficient based on the state-provided cut score that their student is eligible for the 3rd-grade retake.
  • When the state releases proficiency level scores on May 26, parents of 3rd graders will receive notification of their student’s proficiency level if they did not meet expectations.
  • The Cheatham County School District’s Bridge Camp will run June 5 through June 27 with two makeup days offered for 3rd graders on June 28 and June 29. The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. every day.
  • Students who are eligible for the 3rd grade ELA retake will be able to participate in retake testing on Monday, May 22.
  • TN All Corps tutoring is provided both during the school day and after school. Tutoring occurs twice a week for 45 minutes each session. Students who are enrolled in tutoring participate for the entire school year.
  • Parents who wish to appeal will need to follow the steps outlined by the state.

Franklin Special School District:

The state told districts to expect 3rd-grade “raw scores” from the TCAP English language arts (ELA) by the end of the week. If a child’s score is below the state’s proficiency cutline and is in either the approaching or below expectations categories, we are letting parents know of their options and the state requirements for promotion to fourth grade.

Unless a parent opts their child out, all third-grade students who scored below proficient and who do not meet the state’s “exclusions,” will retake the ELA assessment next week between May 22-24 (depending on school).

The state has pledged to provide retake results to districts within 48 hours of test administration. Our schools will notify families of the results as soon as we have them. If the student scores at or above the proficiency level on the retake, s/he may be promoted to fourth grade without further intervention.

If the student does not reach proficiency on the retake OR chooses not to retake the ELA section, there are other pathways to promotion to the fourth grade, based on the student’s score, including one or more of the following free opportunities:

  • Attending the FSSD Summer Learning Camp (June 5-29: Mon-Thurs; 8:30-3:30), maintaining a 90% attendance rate, and passing the post-test at the end of camp. Summer Learning Camp provides four weeks of additional reading and math instruction and intervention in a fun environment.
  • Participating in tutoring support for the entirety of fourth grade. Sessions are provided after school by a qualified tutor in small groups to help students accelerate their learning through individualized, intensive support.
  • When we receive the student scores by category (exceeded, met, approaching, below) from the state tomorrow (hopefully), we will be able to determine which students are eligible for an appeal. If a student scores in the approaching expectations category, submitting an appeal to the Tennessee Department of Education to request a student be promoted to fourth grade without any additional learning supports will be an option. The appeal must be based on previous universal screener scores (e.g., iReady Reading) from fall, winter, or spring; or from catastrophic circumstances experienced by the student close to or on the testing dates. The schools will assist parents in accessing the appeal form and, pending the outcome, discuss the continuing reading interventions that the student may need over the summer and throughout next year. If a student appeal is not granted, the student will be required to participate in tutoring for the entirety of fourth grade in order to be promoted.

Dickson County:

  • DCS will release and send home third-grade TCAP results no later than Monday, May 22, 2023.
  • Our Summer Learning camps are being held June 5-30, 2023 at four school sites. There are three elementary school sites and one middle school site.
  • DCS will be offering the TCAP Retake on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, to all eligible 3rd-grade students.
  • The TN All Corps Tutoring Program is available to our students during the school day and during aftercare hours.
  • We will be sending all applicable appeal information home to parents on May 25. Also, we are hosting a Parent Appeal Day on Tuesday, May 30 from 8 am-7 pm at each elementary school to assist parents who would like school support in filing the appeal.

”Our schools have been very intentional in informing our third-grade parents multiple times throughout the school year of these possibilities. Once we receive the scores, we will immediately communicate with parents to let them know their child’s pathway options to fourth grade,” Dr. Mary Decker, Associate Director of Schools for Teaching and Learning said.

WSMV4 has also reached out to Williamson Co., Sumner Co., Robertson Co., Maury Co., Clarksville-Montgomery, Murfreesboro City Schools, and more for information on their timeline for TCAP scores.