High School Assessments (HSAs) are state-level, end-of-course exams aimed at raising academic standards and preparing graduates to compete in the workplace and post-secondary education. Taking the HSA is a graduation requirement.
All students --- including students in special education, English language learners and those with 504 plans --- must take and pass the High School Assessments in order to graduate (or use the Bridge Plan for Academic Validation, which allows students who meet the eligibility criteria to complete one or more projects in an HSA content area; see the school counselor for details).
High school students enrolled in Biology and Government must take the exams at the completion of each course. Taking the HSA is a graduation requirement.
AP/IB Exception: A student who earns a state-approved score on an Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) test does not have to take the HSA in the related subject. The student will receive the passing score for the content area.
Students with AccommodationsStudents with disabilities are entitled to receive both instructional and testing accommodations as outlined in the student's IEP. The Mod-HSA is an alternative test for students with an IEP who meet specific participation criteria. A student with an IEP who has taken and failed the HSA once may have the opportunity to take the Mod-HSA if approved by the school. If you have questions about your child’s accommodations for an HSA or Mod-HSA or for the Bridge Plan, contact your child’s teacher or IEP team.
Take and Retake The HSAs are given in October, January, May, and July/August. A special, seniors-only administration will be given in April. Exact testing dates by subject can be found in the FCPS Calendar Handbook. Students may, in conjunction with intervention and continued instruction, take the test(s) as many times as necessary to earn either a passing score or a score high enough to allow them to use the Combined Score Option. Students who do not pass one or more HSAs must be offered locally-administered or approved assistance.
Scores Scores are mailed to FCPS 4 weeks after the test is taken. FCPS then sends the individual student scores to the schools. The schools are responsible for sending students’ scores to parents/guardians. Contact your child’s school if you do not receive his/her HSA scores in a timely manner.
For additional information about HSA graduation requirements, please contact the school counselor.