Senita Valley’s Assessment Process:
We ask teachers to rely on FACTS: Facts or data are what we use to drive our instruction. We use data to help us see what strengths and weaknesses are being exhibited by a student and modify instruction accordingly. We share data with parents to give them a clear picture of how well their child is mastering the standards.
Our assessment program includes daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly assessments, which we feel prepares teachers and students for year-end state assessments. As indicated in previous sections, we use the following to assess our students:
Daily: Daily Math Skills (DMS) is a math fluency probe given to assess students on specific grade level math skills. This assessment is given to Kindergarten – 5th grade. The Kindergarten DMS is unique to our school. We instituted DMS in Kindergarten when we saw a need for increased rigor in math.
Weekly: Formative Assessments are given in Reading and Math. These are five question assessments on the standard taught that week. Our formative assessments are written with three multiple-choice questions and two extended responses. The extended response questions require students to explain their thinking and show mastery of the standard.
Monthly: Letter Sound Fluency (LSF) is a timed assessment for Kindergarten. Students are given a list of letters and asked to say the sound of each letter. The data is recorded for progress monitoring.
Word Identification Fluency (WIF) is a timed assessment for first grade. Students are given a list of DOLCH sight words and asked to say the words. The data is recorded for progress monitoring. Cut scores are checked to ensure the student is progressing at the pace expected.
Data Team Meetings provide time for analysis of the LSF and WIF reports. Students may be given support through Headsprout – an online reading intervention, or attend small group instruction classes with our Reading Specialist who utilizes the Spalding Phonics program.
Quarterly: Benchmark Assessments are given to Kindergarten – 5th grade. We treat Benchmark assessments like AIMS assessments, adhering to procedures and rules regarding confidentiality, integrity, and deadlines.
Intervention Reports, lists of each objective in reading and math, and the percentage of students who met, approached, or fell far below are provided to each teacher. At data team meetings, teachers are able to reflect on their teaching and share strategies with their colleagues. Using these reports, teachers identify students that need extra support, where re-teaching may occur in small group instruction, after-school targeted tutoring, or intersession. Intersession is held twice a year where an experienced teacher instructs the student on specific standards, gives a post-test, and reports results to the classroom teacher.
Realizing the importance of Benchmark results, each quarter motivational pep rallies are presented by Benchmark Man. A fifth grade teacher dressed as a superhero reminds students about their test taking strategies and the importance of doing their very best. This is accomplished through assemblies and broadcasts.
An important part of the culture of our school is our yearly AIMS assembly. Students are given recognition for their accomplishments on the previous year’s AIMS test results. Students receive ribbons, plaques, and trophies for meeting and exceeding the standards on AIMS.
System To Enhance Educational Performance (STEEP) assessments are also given quarterly. STEEP is a research-based assessment that the District has adopted for all schools. STEEP Screening occurs in the fall, winter, and spring. Students are given short, timed assessments on reading, math, and writing. Data is recorded, collected by the Student Achievement Teacher, and reviewed by teachers and the Special Education Department. The bottom 16% of students are given an intervention called “Can’t Do/Won’t Do” where further screening will indicate if there is a learning or motivation issue. Based on the results, the student will receive one of two things: A student who improves his/her score on the “Can’t Do/Won’t Do” assessment indicates there is a motivation issue. The teacher of that student will be given strategies for motivating that student to increase learning outcomes. If the student does not perform well on the “Can’t Do/Won’t Do” assessment, a Response to Intervention will occur. Our School Psychologist completes the RTI – four weeks of reading intervention, occurring daily with the assistance of trained paraprofessionals. If, after this time, a student’s score still does not rise above the expected outcome, the student will be referred for Special Education screening.
Our comprehensive assessment program ensures students are ready for statewide assessments and can demonstrate their learning of individual concepts that need to be mastered.