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Data & Assessment

The Joseph Sears School is committed to continuous growth and learning for all students through a comprehensive liberal arts curriculum. Standardized and adaptive measures allow us to monitor each child’s progress toward grade-level benchmarks and individual achievement and growth goals.

The assessments outlined in this guide represent part of a multi-layered assessment program which includes classroom assessments, observations, and individual inventories of skills and competencies relating to all academic areas. This process of gathering evidence of growth and achievement supports the work of educators at the Joseph Sears School to make our educational environment appropriately challenging for each of our scholars every day.

Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) Test

  • Grade: 2-8
  • Administered: Fall, Winter, Spring
  • Results: Mailed home
  • Time: Approximately 120-180 minutes (untimed)

The MAP test is a nationally normed test, which means student growth over time can be determined and student achievement compared to peers across the country.

This adaptive assessment is taken on the iPad and begins with questions addressing grade-level content for each student. The difficulty of each subsequent question is based on the student responses. If students are answering grade-level questions incorrectly, the questions become easier, and if they are answering questions correctly, they get more difficult.

As an instructional tool, MAP provides educators with many resources designed to support differentiated instruction in the classroom. Teachers can access the MAP data system to look up student scores and determine areas of strength or weakness based on those scores. This information can be used for a period of time to design instruction that is appropriately challenging for all students. It is also part of the matrix utilized for placement in math courses for 6th grade.

The MAP reports also provide students with a Lexile level, similar to the reading level provided through the Benchmark Assessment System. This level can support the appropriate selection of texts for student instruction, however, it should not be a limiting factor for student book selection.

The MAP assessment, just like other assessments, provides a “snapshot” of student growth and achievement on a given day and does not define in total the achievement and growth profile for a student.

MAP Family Toolkit: https://www.nwea.org/the-map-suite/family-toolkit/

aimswebPlus

  • Grade: K-2
  • Administered: Fall, Winter, Spring
  • Results: Mailed home
  • Time: Approximately 20 minutes per year

The aimswebPlus assessments of early literacy and numeracy are measures of foundational reading and math skills. Some measures are individually administered, and some are given to a whole group of students at once. Some of the skills assessed through these measures are:

  • Letter Naming Fluency
  • Letter Word Sounds
  • Oral Reading Fluency
  • Word Reading Fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Number Naming Fluency
  • Quantity Total Fluency
  • Quantity Difference Fluency
  • Number Comparison
  • Mental Computation Fluency

 

These assessments help us to identify students who may need additional support or enrichment. Giving these assessments multiple times over the year allows educators to monitor students’ progress in reading and math in the core curriculum and interventions.

These are nationally normed assessments, which also support an understanding of how students in Kenilworth are performing compared to students across the country.

Benchmark Assessment System

  • Grade: K-2
  • Administered: Fall, Winter, Spring
  • Results: Shared at Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • Time: Dependent on the reader

These assessments help us to identify students who may need additional support or enrichment. Giving these assessments multiple times over the year allows educators to monitor students’ progress in reading and math in the core curriculum and interventions.

These are nationally normed assessments, which also support an understanding of how students in Kenilworth are performing compared to students across the country.Throughout the year, teachers in these grades will be assessing all students using this system of running records. A running record is a tool that assesses students’ reading behaviors. Running records provide information to teachers on reading comprehension, accuracy, and errors that children make while reading aloud. Students must demonstrate a certain level of fluency, accuracy, and comprehension at their current reading level before being assessed at the next level.

When conducting a running record, students read a selected book or passage aloud. As the child reads, the teacher listens for errors and corrections the child makes. The teacher will then ask several comprehension questions, including both “right there” and inferential questions. After the child is finished reading, the teacher calculates the student’s fluency, accuracy, and comprehension to determine the child’s reading level.

The reading level provided to the teacher through the use of running records does not define a child as a reader, nor should it limit the types of books a child chooses to read. Instead, the level indicated provides the teacher with information on the child’s reading behaviors at that moment in time. These behaviors may be present every time a child reads or only when reading certain types of texts. This quick assessment supports a teacher in designing differentiated instruction for each student to support their growth as a reader throughout the year.

Please read with your child at home when you can to become familiar with their reading behaviors as we partner with you to ensure that students love reading for life.

Illinois Assessment of Readiness and the Illinois Science Assessment

  • Grade: 3-8
  • Administered: Spring only
  • Results: Sent home in October
  • Time: Approximately 8.5-14 hours depending on grade level

Students in grades 3-8 take the Illinois Assessment of Readiness in reading and math every spring. The Illinois Science Assessment is given to all students in grades 5 and 8 each spring.

These tests are standardized assessments given to all students across the state to measure student achievement on the Illinois Standards for Learning. Illinois belongs to a consortium of states which designed this assessment to measure the standards, which are the basis of our curriculum.

The assessments are administered over three weeks and are taken on iPads. Students are given opportunities to practice using the test’s digital tools and question formats before the assessment window.

The results of this assessment are used primarily for accountability across the state. The results are disaggregated by student subgroups that the state of Illinois has identified. Schools and districts with an achievement gap between the majority group and any subgroup are identified by the state as having a priority area of focus.

The data from these assessments can also be used to evaluate a district’s core curriculum with regard to the standards and adjust programs to ensure that all standards are being addressed for all students.

For more information on the Illinois Assessment of Readiness or the Illinois Science Assessment, please visit the Illinois State Board of Education website:

https://www.isbe.net
 

CogAT Cognitive Abilities Test

  • Grade: 3 and 5
  • Administered: Fall
  • Results: Kept on file
  • Time: Approximately 90 minutes

The CogAT Abilities Test assesses the cognitive domains of Verbal, Quantitative, and Nonverbal reasoning, which have traditionally been associated with school success.

This assessment is taken with paper and pencil and has different forms to enhance test security. It is the most widely used test of cognitive ability in the nation.

Educators can use the results of these assessments to inform differentiated instruction. They are also used as a part of the math matrix utilized for placement in math courses in 6th grade.


One last note on assessment…

The Joseph Sears School strives to gather evidence from various sources to make the best educational decisions for our students. As your child’s first and most influential teacher, we are committed to seeking out and valuing your thoughts and observations regarding your child’s learning style, preferences, strengths, and challenges. We believe that the best academic results for students start with a strong partnership between home and school and will do all we can to ensure that this partnership stays strong throughout your child’s years at the Joseph Sears School.

Specific dates and times for the assessments listed in this guide and information on those assessments, which are unique to your child’s classroom, will come home in communication from your child’s teacher. Please support your child by providing them with a great start to any day of assessment: a good night’s sleep, a healthy breakfast, and a word of encouragement from you! Thank you for all you do to support our students and our school.