2019-2020 Assessment Descriptions
AIMSWeb Plus assessments are benchmark assessments in reading and math to monitor progress and make instructional decisions regarding student performance and possible interventions. Reading assessments focus on early literacy, vocabulary, comprehension, and silent reading fluency. Math assessments focus on the skills of early numeracy, math computation, and math concepts and applications. These online assessments provide teachers with comparative data about student performance.
Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State to State for English Language Learners (ACCESS for ELLs)+
Colorado is a member of the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Consortium. ACCESS for ELLs is the state required large-scale language proficiency test for K-12 English language learners (ELLs). The purpose of ACCESS for ELLs is to monitor student progress in English language proficiency on an annual basis and to serve as a criterion to aid in determining when ELLs have attained language proficiency comparable to that of their English-proficient peers. This assessment is given to all students identified as English language learners in grades K-12.
Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS): English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science Assessments+
The Colorado Measures of Academic Succsss (CMAS) are the state's common measurement of students' progress at the end of the school year in English language arts, math, science, and social studies. Colorado is no longer a member of the PARCC consortia, but some of the items from the PARCC assessment are still used while Colorado works to develop test items to use just for the state’s own CMAS English language arts and math assessments.
For Colorado, the CMAS assessments for the 2019-2020 school year at RMSEL include the following tests:
- English language arts in third through eighth grade
- Math in third through eighth grade
- Science in grades five, eight, and eleven
The iReady diagnostic assessment is administered three times a year (fall, winter, and spring) to K-6th grade students in math and to K-5th grade students in reading. iReady is a computer-adaptive test, which means that it continually adjusts the difficulty of each test by determining each question based on the previous response. If a student answers correctly, the difficulty level of the next item increases. If a student misses a question, the difficulty level of the next item decreases. The assessments are used to monitor student growth throughout the year, to estimate understanding of state standards, and to determine appropriate instructional areas and skills that a student is ready to learn. These assessments may also be used to identify students who need support or follow up diagnostic testing.
Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test 2 (NNAT2)*
The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test 2 (NNAT2) is a brief, non-verbal measure of general intellectual ability as well as a predictor of scholastic achievement. At RMSEL, we assess students in third and sixth grade. The NNAT2 is one of the suggested assessments by the Colorado Department of Education used as part of a body of evidence for the identification of gifted and talented students.
In the spring of 2016, Colorado tenth grade students first took the PSAT test that replaced the CMAS tests in English language arts and math for that grade. The PSAT reflects state standards and is a precursor to the SAT, which is the state’s college entrance exam. The PSAT comes with many benefits, including content review for the SAT and scholarship opportunities.
The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is given by RMSEL to tenth and eleventh graders in mid-October. Much like the SAT, the PSAT/NMSQT measures students’ abilities in three areas: reading, writing, and mathematical reasoning. Additionally, eleventh grade students (only) are entered into the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking this test. Taking the PSAT/NMSQT in 2019 is the qualification for entry to the competition for scholarships to be awarded in 2021.
In the spring of 2016, Colorado eleventh graders first took the SAT that replaced the ACT as the college entrance exam for students in that grade. SAT (or ACT) scores are often required for admission into colleges and universities in Colorado and in other states. The SAT is a standardized assessment designed to measure students’ abilities in three areas: reading, writing, and mathematical reasoning. There is also an SAT essay section that students will have the option to take during the school day with the rest of the exam.
Teaching Strategies GOLD*
Teaching Strategies GOLD is an ongoing, observation-based assessment system for preschool and kindergarten students. It meets the state requirements of an early readiness assessment in accordance with Colorado’s Achievement Plan for Kids, passed in 2008. At RMSEL, Teaching Strategies GOLD is used in the kindergarten classroom to assess students in both academic and developmental domains. It is the primary source of information used in the development of kindergarten readiness plans.
+ State Mandated Assessment
* RMSEL (local) Assessment