2017-2018_Assessment_Descriptions Card Icon2017-2018 Assessment DescriptionsTop of Page


In kindergarten through fifth grade, teachers use Aimsweb assessments as a benchmark assessment in reading to monitor progress and make instructional decisions regarding student performance and/or possible interventions. In sixth through twelfth grade, Aimsweb is used for brief, valid, and reliable assessments of reading, writing, and math performance. These 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 Success (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. CMAS encompasses the Colorado-developed science and social studies assessments, as well as the English language arts and math assessments developed with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). Colorado is no longer a member of the PARCC consortia, but the items from the PARCC assessment will still be used while Colorado works to develop test items to use just for the state’s own CMAS English language arts and math assessments. Other than some adjustments for test time and getting results back faster, the 2018 assessments will be largely unchanged.


For Colorado, the CMAS assessments for the 2017-2018 school year 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


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.


PSAT 9/10+

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. This spring ninth graders will also take the PSAT, which replaces the CMAS English language arts and math tests for that grade, providing students a stronger connection to the SAT.



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 2017 is the qualification for entry to the competition for scholarships to be awarded in 2019. 



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 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

RMSEL_Assessment_Calendars Card IconRMSEL Assessment CalendarsTop of Page

School_Policy_IKA_Grading_System_and_Assessments Card IconSchool Policy IKA Grading System and AssessmentsTop of Page

School policy IKA Grading System and Assessments outlines parameters for standardized assessment at each level of implementation. The process for seeking exemption from state assessments is also outlined in this policy. 

Additionally, you can read Chad’s full parent communication about this policy from February 26, 2016, in the “News” section of this website.

Information_About_Length_of_Assessments Card IconInformation About Length of AssessmentsTop of Page

Detailed information from the Colorado Department of Education about the length of required state assessments is available below.