Changes to Testing at Palmetto

Ana Martinez, Feature/Design Editor

Like many Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Palmetto Senior High School has made testing alterations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting all end-of-year tests, from Florida State Assessments to Advanced Placement exams.

The school has decided to adopt a hybrid testing schedule, including both in-person and at-home tests, all dependent on the type of exam the student takes. As required by the State of Florida, students must take any end-of-year tests that have to do with the state — such as EOC and FSA exams — on campus. 

Throughout the year, Palmetto has continued to administer FSA exams to all underclassmen. As the FSA exam window ends and the EOC exams approach in May, Palmetto administration has created a schedule to ensure that staff can administer and handle the number of exams given the limited amount of proctors and limited amount of space caused by renovations. 

“When we are scheduling, we need to look and see how many end-of-course and FSA exams that we need to do from now until the end of the school year,” Palmetto principal Victoria Dobbs said.

With regards to AP testing, the school had multiple options for taking the exam, as the College Board offers the exam on multiple dates on various platforms, allowing students to take most exams either online or in-person.

“When we looked at the schedule for AP, there were four different testing sessions that were available,” Dobbs said. “So, we had to look and see which tests were mandatory on paper and which tests could be done from home and, in addition to that, what works best with the schedule we have here.”

Ultimately, Palmetto decided to mandate at-home testing for all AP exams other than science, math and language exams, including, but not limited to: AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Physics, AP Statistics, AP Spanish Language and AP Spanish Literature.

Aside from students with accommodations, individuals must take the AP exams during administration two of the College Board testing schedule, or between May 18 and May 28. For students taking the exams at home, they must download the College Board digital testing app prior to exam day. 

“[At home], we had a great passing score overall at the school and the students did very well,” Dobbs said. “So even though the platform might be a little different this year than what the students did last year, there is an overall confidence with testing at home.”

While students take the FSA and EOC exams in spaced-out computer labs, the large number of students taking the in-person AP exams may not allow for this separation. In upcoming weeks, the administration plans to publish the students’ testing room numbers for exams on Palmetto’s website. Decisions regarding whether physical students can learn from home on testing day currently remains undecided. 

For a complete list of Advanced Placement testing schedules, please click here.