District 49 uses a variety of assessments that allows teachers to tailor and customize instruction for each student. Different types of assessment serve different goals in the educational process. With these differing assessments, it might seem like an abundance of testing. In reality, students are assessed less than 2% of the time they are in school in District 49.
State and federal law require district students to take standardized assessments in the instructional areas of English language arts, math and science. State law requires students to also take standardized assessment in the instructional area of social studies. The district administers standardized assessments in accordance to these state and federal requirements.
District 49’s mission is to be the best choice to learn, work and lead and to prepare students to be successful. District 49 uses these assessments and others to determine the level of achievement and growth of our students, ensure appropriate instruction and resources for students, evaluate the effectiveness of curriculum, instruction and leadership, and determine the performance level of students, schools, and the district.
Procedure for State Assessments
Schools use state assessment to guide instruction, to place students in classes for the following school year, to determine programming effectiveness and other purposes as well. A parent/guardian who wishes to exempt his or her child from a particular state assessment or assessments shall make this request in accordance with district policy.
How We Assess Student Performance
Schools have a menu of assessments 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 but are not limited to: Acadience Reading, Acadience Math, Star 360, and Aimsweb Plus.
More frequent and informal assessments for District 49 include: progress monitoring, class assignments and teacher made assessments. Assessment happens all day, every day in instruction through things like questioning, checks for understanding, exit tickets and quizzes.
State assessments are an example of summative assessments. Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) is the state assessment system required of students in public schools. Students take state assessments based on grade level and need. As testing approaches, schools communicate testing schedules with families.
CMAS: English Language Arts, Math, Science & Social Studies and CoAlt: Science & Social Studies
The CMAS test measures the Colorado Academic Standards in the content areas of reading and writing, 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, CoAlt. 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.
CMAS assessments measure students' acquisition of the standards. Colorado educators set cut scores for each test based on the specific content that students should be able to engage with at the four performance levels. Students scoring in the met and exceeded levels are on track for career and college readiness.
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 art 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.
HIGH SCHOOL EXAMS
Eleventh-graders take the SAT exam. Ninth-graders and tenth-graders take the PSAT 9 and PSAT 10 exams which, along with the 11th grade SAT exam, are aligned to the Colorado Academic Standards. These assessments are used as part of college entrance criteria and indicate career readiness.