You can help as a proctor
By Kim UnderwoodWinston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
MAY 20, 2013 – Starting this month, thousands of students in the school system will be taking end-of-grade (EOG) and end-of-course (EOC) tests. To make sure that all goes smoothly, the school system needs people in the community to volunteer as proctors. Whether it’s a classroom of children or a single child taking a test, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction requires two people – a test administrator (teacher or other school person) and a proctor – to be on hand whenever an EOG or EOC test is administered.
That means that schools need lots of help. For instance, at Flat Rock Middle School, Mitzi Talbert, the coordinator for testing, as well as the coordinator for curriculum and Limited English Proficiency (LEP), needs a total of 80 proctors, 40 for the first day of testing and another 40 for the second day.
“Every school in the whole district needs proctors,” said Talbert. “Everybody is pretty much in the same boat.”
Scarlett Mooney, the curriculum coordinator at Hanes Magnet School, said, “Each school is tasked with the responsibility of fulfilling the state requirements that a proctor must be present in each testing environment and we depend greatly on parent and community volunteers to serve in this role.”
The EOG reading and math tests are May 29 and 30. The EOG science online tests for grades 5 and 8 are May 20-24.
EOC tests start June 4 and continue through June 7, with the exception of the online test for English 2, which is scheduled for May 22-24.
“Every year, schools struggle with making sure they have enough proctors set up for test administrators,” said Dana Wrights, the Director for Accountability Services. “The earlier, the schools can get that planned, the better.”
A proctor’s primarily responsibility is to work with test administrators to make sure that everything is done in a fair and uniform way.
“It’s an important job,” Wrights said.
This year also brings assessments of students learning in some other subjects not tested in previous years. Those assessments - called Measures of Student Learning/Common Exams - are being held on May 24 and May 31, and some schools are also looking for proctors for those.
People who would like to volunteer as a proctor should get in touch with the school where they want to help. Everyone is asked to commit to at least four hours because the process of taking a test may take that long. People are certainly welcome to volunteer more than one day but they don’t have to, Wrights said. “If they can only give help one day, that’s fantastic.”
The EOG tests are given to students in grades three through eight, and the EOC tests are given in Algebra 1, Biology, English 2. In general, high school students are the ones taking the EOC tests. But a middle school student taking Algebra I will take that test in addition to EOG tests.
Before volunteering, proctors receive the training necessary to do the job properly. Often, the training is done in conjunction with the first session as a volunteer. As part of the training, proctors learn that, as part of the state’s efforts to make sure that everything is done fairly, proctors have to be careful not to help students with questions or do anything that might suggest to a student that he might want to reconsider an answer.
Proctors need to be at least 18 years old. Because public school students cannot be proctors, high school students aren’t eligible even if they are 18. In many case, proctors are relatives (parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles) of children who attend the school or adults who teach at the school. When that is the case, people don’t serve as proctors in classes where they have relatives. At some schools, churches and community organizations regularly supply proctors.
You can find out more about being a proctor in “The Proctor’s Guide,” which you will find online at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/accountability/policyoperations/proctorsguide1213.pdf.