The end of each school year brings lots of standardized tests. And to make sure that all goes as smoothly as possible, the school system needs volunteers to serve as proctors.
A proctor’s primarily responsibility is to work with test administrators to make sure that everything is done in a fair and uniform way.
This year, proctors are needed from May 27 through June 10.
“Every year, schools struggle with making sure they have enough proctors set up for test administrators,” said Dana Wrights, the chief program officer for accountability services. “The earlier the schools can get that planned, the better.”
Hundreds of proctors are needed. Although most standardized tests are given to groups of students, some students’ special needs mean that, in some cases, a test might be administered to a single student. Testing sessions can vary from 200 for an elementary school, to around 500 for a middle or high school. That means most schools need from 25-50 proctors to be able to administer tests. There are 81 schools in the district serving 54,000 students.
“There is not going to be a school that won’t need proctors,” Wrights said.
The proctors are needed because, like other states, North Carolina requires that another adult be in the classroom with the teacher when a standardized test is given. Proctors receive training, which is required, as part of the state’s efforts to make sure that everything is done fairly. The training is basic and essentially provides guidelines such as proctors cannot help students with questions or do anything that might suggest to a student that he might want to reconsider an answer.
“It’s an important job,” Wrights said.
In addition to monitoring testing sessions, proctors assist in dealing with situations that come up such as a child becoming sick or needing to go to the bathroom.
Although many proctors are relatives (parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles) of children who attend the school or adults who teach at the school, that is not a requirement. At some schools, churches and community organizations regularly supply proctors.
“You don’t have to be connected to the school – just a responsible adult over 18 who would like to volunteer some time to a neighborhood school,” Wrights said.
Additional information for potential Proctors:
- A testing session might last from two to four hours.
- Although each school needs proctors for a number of days, people can volunteer for one day only.
- Before volunteering, proctors receive the training and often the training is done in conjunction with the first session as a volunteer.
- 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.
- People don’t serve as proctors in classes where they have relatives.
- While serving as a proctor, volunteers are required to turn off their cell phones and other electronic devices.
- People with limited mobility are welcome to volunteer as proctors as long as they can move around a classroom. Someone who uses wheelchair could serve outside of a classroom as a hall monitor.
People who would like to volunteer as a proctor should get in touch with the testing coordinator at the school where they want to help. For an interactive map of all schools in the district as well as a list of schools with contact information, click HERE .