2016-2017 District 49 Assessments Calendar

(F) Federal Req. | (S) State Req. | (L) Local Req. | Last Updated Aug. 12 2016

SCHS 2016-2017 ACT Aspire Test Schedule

Sand Creek High School PSAT 10 & SAT

Sand Creek High School offered the PSAT 10 in spring of 2016, and will offer both the PSAT 10 and SAT in spring 2017. The Colorado Department of Education has directed high schools to transition 11th-graders to the The College Board's SAT college-entrance exam, and remove the ACT as mandated test. Schools are phasing out ACT schedules, as they start to administer the SAT and PSAT each spring. Sand Creek High School will administer the ACT in September 2016 (PDF).

The SAT is an admission test accepted by all U.S. colleges. The SAT is accepted at all Colorado universities, and many students are already familiar with it, prior to taking it. It measures the skills and knowledge that colleges are looking for today, and reflects what Colorado students are already learning in their classrooms.

The PSAT 10 tests the same skills and knowledge as the SAT in a way that makes sense for 10th-graders. It builds on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers tests in literacy and mathematics and the Colorado Measures of Academic Success tests in science and social studies. The PSAT 10 also aligns with Colorado Academic Standards and with the SAT that students will take in 11th grade.

Students take the PSAT 10 as sophomores so they can focus on specific areas of preparation during their junior year. The PSAT 10 focuses on the knowledge, skills and understandings that research has identified as most important for college and career readiness and success. In addition to helping sophomores practice for the SAT, it can identify student’s potential for success in advanced course work. It provides more data than ever before about academic strengths and weaknesses as well as access to millions of dollars in scholarships.

Student PSAT & SAT Score Reports

Sand Creek High School does not share PSAT scores with colleges or scholarship agencies. PSAT 10 student score reports are available in two formats. Paper reports are distributed to students. In addition, if students have created an online College Board account, they will be able to view their PSAT 10 score report online. Students will be able to use the same College Board account for all state and national College Board programs, including registering for a national PSAT or SAT exam, viewing PSAT, SAT, and AP exam scores, and other College Board assessment and college planning activities. Creating a College Board account is optional for students and CDE recommends that students discuss and review the College Board’s Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy with a parent or guardian prior to creating an account. Students get a paper copy of a parent tutorial to understanding PSAT results to take home, too. 

Free Student Practice for the SAT through Khan Academy

The College Board has partnered with online educational provider Khan Academy to provide free online SAT practice to all students. Creating College Board and Khan Academy accounts are optional for students. If a student allows Khan Academy to access his or her PSAT scores, the academy will set up a personalized study plan to prepare the student for success on the SAT. Students get the opportunity to set up that account during the school day.

Sand Creek High School uses the Khan Academy program periodically in classes throughout the school year, and students can access it from home at any time. By creating a free Khan Academy account, students are able to take four official full-length SAT practice tests, access thousands of practice questions, video lessons, and hints, and receive study and test-taking tips. In addition, students are able to personalize their SAT practice by taking eight diagnostic quizzes, or seeing personalized practice recommendations based on the student’s PSAT 10 results by linking their College Board and Khan Academy accounts.

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.