Matt Schilit is a longtime school administrator, having served as a teacher, assistant principal and principal. In his current position with the Allendale County School District in South Carolina, Matt Schilit supervises all data, evaluation and testing. Since testing is an integral part of a school’s funding, it is important for school systems to find leaders such at Matt Schilit with extensive experience in the classroom environment.
In this brief interview with the staff of A Gathering of Experts, Matt Schilit discusses the High School Assessment Program known as HSAP.
A Gathering of Experts: Matt Schilit, what is the HSAP and what is it designed to assess?
Matt Schilit: It is South Carolina’s standardized testing tool designed to assess the academic progress of our high school students in the spring of their sophomore year, or the second year after their initial enrollment in the ninth grade. It consists of an English language arts test and one in mathematics.
A Gathering of Experts: Matt Schilit, is it required of all students?
Matt Schilit: Yes. A passing grade is actually now a requirement to receive a high school diploma in South Carolina.
A Gathering of Experts: Matt Schilit, what happens if a student fails to pass? Can a student take it more than once?
Matt Schilit: Yes. Students who are unsuccessful in one or both parts of HSAP on their first attempt are given the opportunity to take the test again during the set testing dates. In addition, a summer remediation program may be available and a summer administration of the HSAP may be offered to students who have not passed the exit examination and who are planning to graduate before the beginning of the next school year. State guidelines require that an opportunity to receive assistance be offered to all students who fail to pass all or part of the HSAP.
A Gathering of Experts: Matt Schilit, what types of items are on the test?
Matt Schilit: The English language arts examination consists of multiple choice and constructed response items as well as an essay-type portion, during which portion students may use dictionaries. The mathematics test contains multiple-choice items and three constructed-response items that require students to show their work to support their answers. Students may use calculators while taking any part of the mathematics examination.
A Gathering of Experts: Matt Schilit, are there any exceptions to who must take the HSAP?
Matt Schilit: Yes, there are. For students with disabilities who have an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) and have taken the test at least once, the IEP team will determine on an annual basis whether or not they will be required to pass it. They may be offered an alternate test known as the SC-Alt upon the recommendation of the IEP team. There are participation guidelines in place. Also, certain accommodations may be made for students with limited English proficiency (LEP) plans in place.
Matt Schilit has a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and a master’s degree in Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina.