Effective assessment practices provide descriptive feedback for learners to improve on their learning. This form of feedback occurs while the learning is occurring (formative assessment). Grades are a form of feedback to a learner, indicating their progress toward reaching the standards. Learners and parents/guardians need a precise picture of what has been learned and what still needs to be learned.
In grades K-8, each academic area has defined proficiency scales for each grading period for specific learning categories. These categories of reporting often include more than one academic standard as defined by the state of North Dakota. The academic standards required have been prioritized and placed into a scope and sequence, which aligns to the statements reflected in the proficiency scales for each quarter. The entire statement for the category is to be considered at the end of the grading period when determining whether a learner has achieved a “3 - Proficient.” We are often referring to the entire learning category when referencing “standards.”
In grades 9-12, each academic area has a defined scope and sequence as well as a course description to clarify learner outcomes. Teachers utilize this curriculum framework to provide meaningful formative assessment feedback for student learning and report letter grades each quarter. We are working to create proficiency scales in grades 9-12, but grades will be reported as letter grades due to the common practice of utilizing a grade point average as a component of entrance criteria to local colleges and universities.
In addition to feedback that is provided by teachers for each grading period, the district also monitors learner progress using several standardized assessments. These assessments can be utilized to help make decisions about additional services for learners as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of our curriculum and resources. Learners complete different assessments in different grade levels and at various times throughout the year. These assessments include: the North Dakota State Assessment, STAR reading, STAR math, AIMS-web Reading, AIMS-web Math, PSAT, ACT, Work Keys, NAEP, ACCESS, and Advanced Placement Exams.
Standardized Assessment Schedule
A series of short, 1 minute assessments on reading and math. Different sub-tests are given at different grade levels. In grades kindergarten and grade 1, our primary focus is assessing early reading skills (concepts of print, letter naming, letter sound, word segmenting, decodable word and sight words). For grades 1 through 5, our reading assessment involves assessing oral reading fluency (number of words correctly read in one minute).
For math, at grades K-1, we assess early math skills (number sequence, match quantity, number identification, decomposing, ). For grades 1-5, we assess math computation skills, while at grades 3-5 we assess math concepts and applications.
ACCESS – English Learners
ACCESS is a large-scale English language proficiency assessment administered to Kindergarten through 12th grade students who have been identified as English learners (ELs). It is given annually to monitor students' progress in acquiring academic English. ACCESS is aligned with the WIDA English Language Development Standards and assesses each of the four language domains of Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.
ACT or Work Keys
The ACT Assessment measures what you learned in high school to determine your academic readiness for college. This assessment is used for college admission. ACT WorkKeys Assessment is used to measure foundational skills required for success in the workplace, and help measure the workplace skills that can affect job performance.
Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)
The ASVAB is a timed multi-aptitude test and is developed and maintained by the Department of Defense. The test is voluntary to take and the scores are in four critical areas: Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension and Mathematics Knowledge count towards your Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT) score. The AFQT score determines whether you're qualified to enlist in the U.S. military.
CogAT measures learned reasoning and problem-solving skills in three different areas: verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal. Reasoning skills develop gradually throughout a person’s lifetime and at different rates for different individuals. CogAT does not measure such factors as effort, attention, motivation, or work habits, which contribute to school achievement as well. This screening tool is used to identify students that need further testing completed for possibly placement into the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program.
The easyCBM is designed to give teachers insight into which of their students may need additional instructional supports as well as to provide a means by which they can measure the effectiveness of their teaching. The system includes a variety of curriculum based measures in the content areas of early literacy as well as oral reading fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. In addition, it offers mathematics measures aligned to the North Dakota state standards, with built-in read-aloud.
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas. NAEP provides results on subject-matter achievement, instructional experiences, and school environment for populations of students (e.g., all fourth-graders) and groups within those populations (e.g., female students, Hispanic students). NAEP does not provide scores for individual students or schools.
North Dakota State Assessment (NDSA) Reading and Math
The Dakota State Assessment (NDSA), the statewide assessments that measure student performance against the state’s challenging content and achievement standards in reading and mathematics. The NDSA consists of general, criterion-referenced assessments and is an online computer assessment.
North Dakota State Assessment (NDSA) Science
The Dakota State Assessment (NDSA), the statewide assessments that measure student performance against the state’s challenging content and achievement standards in reading and mathematics. The NDSA consists of general, criterion-referenced assessments and is a paper pencil assessment.
The PSAT will not count towards college admissions applications, but it is the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship. This is a voluntary assessment that you can use as practice for the SAT and ACT. This test is a two hour and forty-five minutes assessment focused on math, evidence-based reading & writing.
STAR Early Literacy
Star Assessments are short tests that provide teachers with learning data. Star tests are computer adaptive, which means they adjust to each answer your child provides. This helps teachers get the best data to help your child in the shortest amount of testing time. Early Literacy questions focus on print concepts, phonemic awareness, phonics and word recognition, fluency, vocabulary, counting and cardinality, operations and algebraic thinking and measurement data.
Star Assessments are short tests that provide teachers with learning data. Star tests are computer adaptive, which means they adjust to each answer your child provides. This helps teachers get the best data to help your child in the shortest amount of testing time. STAR Reading questions focus on foundational skills, reading literature and informational text and language.
Star Assessments are short tests that provide teachers with learning data. Star tests are computer adaptive, which means they adjust to each answer your child provides. This helps teachers get the best data to help your child in the shortest amount of testing time.