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Nicolet Information and Technology Essentials

Nicolet Information and Technology Essentials Requirement

What is the Nicolet Information and Technology Essentials requirement?

All current 8th grade students planning to attend Nicolet will be expected to be literate in the areas of information and technology prior to starting their junior year at Nicolet High School. In order to succeed in high school and beyond, our students must be confident and competent in a range of 21st century essential skills. In order to satisfy this requirement, all students must take an Information and Technology Essentials course as a freshman, sophomore, or during any summer prior to starting Junior year.

How can students “test out” of this course?

As some 8th grade students are quite information and tech-savvy, they will be given the option of demonstrating that they already possess mastery of these essential information and technology strategies and skills through the Information and Technology Essentials Assessment. Students who earn a score of 70% or above on each section and an overall score of 80% on the assessment are considered proficient and will be exempt from taking the course.

What is the Information and Technology Essentials Assessment like?

The attached document identifies the tested topics and skills on the Nicolet Information and Technology Essentials Assessment. The assessment consists of six sections: One section is a written test and the other five are hands-on assessments of word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, database and web publishing skills.

This is a timed test; students who have been successful in the past were able to apply the specified skills automatically and independently. While all skills and topics have been addressed throughout students’ Glendale-River Hills K-8 curriculum, it is important to keep in mind that the assessment should not be used as an evaluation of the student’s 8th grade abilities or as an evaluation of the middle school’s technology instruction; this test is being used to waive a high school requirement and therefore, is looking for high school level skills and abilities.

We strongly recommend that students review the skills listed on the tested topics and skills and mark the items that they know right now that they are able to do without assistance. If students have marked more than half the items within each section, they should consider taking the test. If students find that they do not know how to do at least half the items in each section, they should strongly consider planning to take the IT Essentials class.

How does this test differ from Nicolet placement tests?

As the Nicolet Information and Technology Essentials Assessment and Nicolet Placement Tests are given at approximately the same time of year, there is often confusion about the purposes and difficulty of these tests. The chart below points out several of the key differences between the tests in order to help clear up any confusion.

Nicolet Placement Test

Differences with regard to…

Nicolet Information and Technology Essentials Assessment

To assist in determining the most appropriate level of Freshman courses (e.g. College Prep v. Accelerated; Spanish I v. II) for each student Purpose of the Test To determine whether students are exempt from taking a Sophomore level Information and Technology Essentials course
8th grade students projected to attend Nicolet High School Who participates in testing Designed for those students who have obtained a high level of mastery in a broad range technology skills
Designed to assess grade 8 level skills and abilities Difficulty of test Designed to assess high school level skills and abilities
Required for students projected to attend Nicolet High School
Whether the test is required
Optional; students who do not take the test must take the Information and Technology Essentials course as a freshman, sophomore, or during any summer prior to Junior year.
During regularly scheduled class
When test is administered
Outside of the school day
Once
How often students can take this test
Twice, with at least a semester between each test administration
Used by Nicolet teachers, along with other information (e.g. teacher recommendation, WKCE test results) to assist with placement decisions; placement decisions communicated to parents
What happens to test results
Used by Nicolet High School Technology Coordinator to gauge students’ technology skills and determine whether students need to take the IT Essentials course; students receive feedback on areas of mastery and those which require additional study for optional re-testing

When will this test be offered and how often can students take it?

Eighth grade students will be given their first opportunity to take the assessment in late Winter of their eighth grade school year. Students may take the assessment twice, with a semester’s worth of time between assessments. Students who do not demonstrate proficiency after participating in the 2nd test will be required to take the course to satisfy this requirement.

What happens after the assessment?

The Nicolet Technology Coordinator will review the results of each student’s assessment. The test is developed and scored based on the skills indicated on the next page. Parents and students will receive feedback from Nicolet within a few weeks of the test, indicating specific feedback on areas of mastery and areas of need. The results will also indicate whether the student is able to exempt the Information Technology Essentials class or whether the student needs to take the class.

How do students register for the Information and Technology Essentials Assessment?

Parents and guardians of 8th grade students interested in taking the assessment this year must complete the permission form (at top right) and return it to the school office no later than two days prior to the test date. Students who do not take the assessment as 8th graders or who are unable to attend this year’s test date will be provided additional opportunities to participate as Nicolet freshmen.

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