Teacher Training Available
The FCAT Explorer/Focus Support Services Team is available to provide training
to teachers and staff across the state. Support Services Staff can train any
teacher, media specialist, school administrator, or other school staff in using
the FCAT Explorer and Focus Teacher's Desk features.
Using a conference call format, Support Services Staff can provide hands-on,
step-by-step guidance through the features of the Teacher's Desk, including
enrollment, class and student management, reports, program features, and
content review. Training can be done on an individual or group basis.
To schedule a teacher training session, call 1-888-750-3228.
FCAT Explorer and Focus Newsletter
The FCAT Explorer/Focus newsletter is delivered to all public school teachers in Florida via e-mail.
The newsletter is designed to provide teachers and administrators with the latest information about these two free resources from
the Department of Education. If you would like to receive the newsletter and have not yet, please send an email to
email@example.com and type Subscribe in the subject line of the e-mail.
To see previous issues of the newsletter, click on one of the links below:
ISSUE 1, FALL 2006
ISSUE 2, WINTER 2007
ISSUE 3, SPRING 2007
ISSUE 4, SUMMER 2007
ISSUE 5, FALL 2007
ISSUE 6, WINTER 2008
ISSUE 7, SPRING 2008
ISSUE 8, FALL 2008
ISSUE 9, WINTER 2009
ISSUE 10, SPRING 2009
ISSUE 11, FALL 2009
ISSUE 12, WINTER 2010
ISSUE 13, SPRING 2010
FCAT Explorer and Adobe Flash
Are you up to date?
Currently, most FCAT Explorer programs will run under Adobe Flash Player 6.0.
However, it is a good idea to update the Flash Player program on your computer,
especially if you want to take advantage of the new features planned for FCAT Explorer.
In June 2008, we launched Science Station: 5th Grade Benchmarks. Science Station and
other programs launched in the upcoming school years will run under Adobe Flash Player 7.0.
Please note: The current Flash Player version is 10, so if you've updated since October 2008,
your Flash player will support all FCAT Explorer programs.
You can download Adobe Flash Player at no cost from the Adobe site:
If you have problems installing the new Flash, you can find help from Adobe at this site:
Tools for Teachers
The Focus and FCAT Explorer Web sites offer tools to help teachers and
administrators make the most of these free, benchmark-based programs.
On both the teacher's and school administrator's desks, PowerPoint
presentations and users manuals are available for download. These materials can
be used for teacher training, parent workshops, or mentor and tutor training.
To access these tools, teachers and administrators should click on the
Tools/Resources tab from their teacher/administrator desk. The presentations
require Microsoft PowerPoint. The users' manuals are available in both
Microsoft Word and PDF (Adobe Acrobat required) format. Manuals and
presentations may both be downloaded and printed.
Send Us Your Stories!
How do you use Focus? Over the years, teachers have shared with us
their stories about Focus and how their students use it. We'd like to
compile these kinds of stories for use in future issues of the newsletter.
If you have a tip for other teachers, suggestions for incentives, or a
success story, we'd love to hear from you.
to submit a success story or an incentive. After we collect your
suggestions, we'll publish them in an upcoming issue of the newsletter.
Yearly Database Renewal and Purge
To prepare for the new school year, all FCAT Explorer and Focus sign-in names and passwords for students and teachers were deleted on August 2nd. New sign-in names and passwords will be available when your school district has completed the re-enrollment process, typically within two weeks after the start of school. Additionally, student performance data and class records will be deleted.
Starting August 3rd, the Support Services Team will be working with your district office to process student and teacher sign-in names and passwords. Once the enrollment for your district is complete, your FCAT Explorer School Administrator will distribute new sign-in names and passwords.
The list of Currently Enrolled Districts and School Administrators is available on the News and Information page of FCAT Explorer. Click the News & Information link on the left side of the home page, and then scroll down to see the list. Click a district name to see a list of the schools and the associated school administrator. Thank you for your patience as we prepare the database for the upcoming school year enrollments.
ATTENTION SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS: Your district will provide the Support Services Team with enrollment information for FCAT Explorer and Focus. If you add students into your school manually, you will run the risk of creating duplicate sign-in names and passwords for your students. Please check the Currently Enrolled Districts list below to see when your district is enrolled. If you do not see your school in the list, please contact us at 888-750-3228 (Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm) and we would be happy to assist you.
Science Item Specifications Released
The Science Item Specifications for grades 5 and 8 have been released and are available on the DOE website (fcat.fldoe.org). These item specifications are based on the newly revised standards for Science.
The FCAT Explorer Support Services Team is working to revise the science and math content in FCAT Explorer and Focus over the next year. To accomplish this, the Team is reviewing the items, revising where necessary, and replacing as needed. The revised content will be available on the websites after the 2011 administration of the FCAT.
Beginning in 2011, the FCAT 2.0 will measure student achievement in reading (grades 3 – 10) and mathematics (grades 3 – 8). Starting in 2012, the FCAT 2.0 will measure student achievement in science (grades 5 and 8). The Specifications for FCAT 2.0 Reading and Mathematics will be posted on the DOE website in December 2010.
Implementing Next Generation Sunshine State Standards
The question of when the FCAT Explorer and Focus websites will be updated to reflect the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS) has been coming up a lot lately. The Support Services Team and FLDOE are working hard to keep your students prepared for FCAT, as the standards are being updated and revised.
As you may know, the Sunshine State Standards were revised recently. The resulting new standards (NGSSS) will be phased in over the next few years. The content on FCAT Explorer and Focus will be updated based on the scheduled implementation of the NGSSS on the actual FCAT.
Further, this year's FCAT will be based on the 1996 standards for reading, math, and science. This year's FCAT will include some NGSSS mathematics questions that are being field tested, but these will not count in a student's score. Next year (2011), students taking FCAT mathematics will be tested on the NGSSS. Only mathematics is scheduled to switch to NGSSS in 2011. Consequently, the 2009-2010 school year finds the Support Services Team updating the mathematics content on both FCAT Explorer and Focus.
For the 2010 FCAT, what is currently on both FCAT Explorer and Focus is appropriate. When students return to school in the fall of 2010 to start a new year, mathematics content based on the NGSSS will be available.