2016-2017 District 49 Assessments Calendar

(F) Federal Req. | (S) State Req. | (L) Local Req. | Last Updated Aug. 16, 2016

Assessments Portfolio Overview


What should students know and be able to do? How do we know that students learned? What if they know it already? What if they don’t know it after being taught?

These are questions teachers routinely ask themselves about student learning throughout the school year. The answers come, in part, through assessments. Different types of assessments are routinely given to students during the year. A balanced approach to testing gives teachers, parents and students ongoing feedback about student performance.

With this ongoing feedback, teachers are able to adjust instruction to fit the needs of each learner. Students are able to use this information as well, to set goals and internalize their learning and education.

District 49 uses a variety of assessments that allows teachers to tailor and customize instruction for each student. Different types of assessments serve different purposes in the educational process.

Benchmark and interim assessments are given periodically throughout the year and happen “in the middle of learning” so teachers, students and parents can understand how well students are progressing and make adjustment in instruction as necessary.

Formative assessments are similar to interim assessments but are much more frequent and may be more informal. These quick checks allow teachers to see if students understand specific concepts just taught. From formative assessments incorrect understanding can be addressed immediately. Examples of formative assessment include, but are not limited to, questioning, exit tickets or quizzes.

Summative assessments are given at the end of something (a course, unit or grade level) once all, or most of, the instruction has happened and provide information on what students have actually learned and retained. Consequently, they provide a measure of effectiveness of instruction.

How We Assess Student Performance

Benchmark & Interim Assessments

Schools have a menu of assessment they can choose from based on their needs. Benchmark and interim assessments are given periodically throughout the year and happen "in the middle learning." Some interim assessments that may be used in District 49 include:
DIBELS Next (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills), given three times a year in kindergarten through fifth grade, it shows how students are  acquiring foundational reading skills necessary for further academic success.
ACT Aspire, designed to prepare students for college and career success.
Scholastic Math Inventory, a computer adaptive assessment that monitors math skills through Algebra I, providing immediate data and may be given up to  five times a year.
Scholastic Reading Inventory

Formative Assessments

The more frequent and informal assessments for District 49 may include: DIBELS Next Progress Monitoring, Burst, Aimsweb and EasyCBM. Assessment happens all day, every day in instruction through things like questioning, checks for understanding, exit tickets and quizzes.

State Summative Assessments

State Assessments are an example of summative assessments. Colorado Measures of Academic Success is the new state assessment system required of students in public schools. These assessments measure achievement of the Colorado Academic Standards adopted in December 2009. Students do not take all of the state assessments. As testing approaches, schools communicate testing schedules with families.

CMAS:  Science & Social Studies and CoAlt:  Science & Social Studies 
The science and social studies CMAS tests measure the Colorado Academic Standards in the content areas of science and social studies. A small number of students with significant cognitive disabilities who meet specific criteria may demonstrate their content knowledge on the Colorado Alternate Assessment. These assessments must be administered under standardized conditions to ensure the reliability and validity of results. Students in fifth and eighth grades take the science assessment and fourth and seventh grades complete the social studies assessment in the spring. Schools taking the Social Studies assessment will be selected by the state through a sampling process and will only take Social Studies every three years.

Students taking the CMAS science and social Studies assessments are given an overall scale score that ranges from 300–900. Colorado educators set cut scores for each performance level based on the specific content that students should be able to engage with at each of the four Performance Levels (Distinguished Command, Strong Command, Moderate Command, and Limited Command). Each Performance Level of the CMAS: Science and Social Studies is a measure of readiness for college and career readiness. Students scoring in the Distinguished and Strong Command levels are on track for college and career readiness.

PARCC:  English Language Arts and Mathematics 
In compliance with legislation, Colorado joined the PARCC consortium as a governing member in August 2012. PARCC is a multi-state assessment consortium has developed shared English language arts and mathematics assessments.  PARCC consists of ELA assessments in grades 3-9 and mathematic assessment in grades 3-8 plus high school assessments. The PARCC ELA and mathematics assessment replaced the TCAP reading, writing and mathematics assessments in the spring of 2015.

Dynamic Learning Maps:  ELA & Math
Students who take CoAlt for science and social Studies also take DLM to assess their achievement on the extended evidence outcomes of the Colorado Academic Standards in English language arts and mathematics.

ACCESS:  English Language Proficiency
ACCESS annually measures the attainment of English proficiency by English language learners in the areas of listening, reading, speaking and writing.

College & Career Readiness
Eleventh-graders complete the SAT exam.  Tenth-graders complete the PSAT 10 exam which, along with the 11th grade SAT exam, is aligned to the Colorado Academic Standards.