With vaccinations rolling through school district staff, but no impending plans for student vaccinations in the state, many are wondering how standardized testing will play out this spring.

While the Harwood Unified Union School District (HUUSD) is still finalizing plans for state testing, director of curriculum Shannon Lessley had some insight into the district’s spring standardized testing plan.

According to Lessley, the district will administer the English/Language Arts and Math test, Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC) for grades three through nine and the Vermont Science Assessment (VTSA) for grades five and eight. Both these tests will be administered in person.


The Vermont Physical Fitness assessment for students in grades four, seven and nine has been waived and will not be administered this year.

One specific change to this year’s testing protocol is that now tests will be conducted over the course of several days. This is possible because each test is divided into individual sections.

“All HUUSD schools are planning to have students take the tests beginning in May,” said Lessley. “Tests will be administered over the course of several days.”

Regarding a pandemic-safe approach to testing, Lessley said all schools will apply the Vermont COVID guidelines to test administration. “This would include screening students for COVID symptoms upon arrival to school, using the proper spacing between students, having them all face the same direction and washing hands and surfaces before and after touching testing materials, including laptops, scratch paper and pencils.”

Lessley will distribute more testing details as they come. “As the test administrator for the district, I receive regular updates from the AOE regarding testing. This includes weekly email updates and monthly virtual meetings,” said Lessley.