A strong model for teaching and learning includes assessment
as an integral part of the whole educational program.
The Boyertown Area School District utilizes a combination of the Pennsylvania Statewide System of Assessment (PSSA), commercially produced standardized assessments, local made benchmark assessments and teacher made assessments to measure the progress of our students. Using the Performance Tracker data management system, longitudinal data will be stored, accessed, analyzed and interpreted in order to provide the best educational program for all students. In addition, data results from each of these assessments will be utilized to evaluate curriculum and instruction.
The following standardized and district-wide assessments are used to inform our instruction and provide for all students' curricular needs:
Pennsylvania State System of Assessment (PSSA):
Students in grades 3-8 and 11 take PSSAs in the spring of each school year in the areas of reading and math. Students in grades 5, 8 and 11 also take a PSSA in the area of writing while grade 4, 8 and 11 students take a Science PSSA. These assessments, which are part of the Federal No Child Left Behind legislation, are aligned to state standards and provide us with information on the progress of students across the state toward meeting these standards. For more information on PSSA, please link to www.pde.psu.edu
Dynamic Indicators of Basic Educational Literacy (DIBELS):
A great deal of research has been done on the skills that early readers need to develop into successful, fluent readers. These skills are measured using DIBELS, an evidence-based assessment tool. Kindergarten and grade one students are measured on how well they are fluent with initial sounds, nonsense word recognition, segmentation of sounds, letter recognition and overall fluency. Grade two and three students are assessed for their fluency. These assessments, given three times a year, are nationally benchmarked. For more information on DIBELS, please link to https://dibels.uoregon.edu/
Fountas and Pinnell's Benchmark Assessment System:
The benchmark assessment system is used in grades K-6 to assess the reading comprehension levels of students. Research shows that in order to grow as readers, students need to receive instruction at their instructional reading level. This benchmark system assists teachers in determining that level so they can plan students' reading instruction accordingly.
4Sight Predictive Benchmark Assessments:
The 4Sight benchmark reading and math assessments, created by the Success for All Foundation based at Johns Hopkins University, provides teachers with reading data on each student that is aligned to state standards. This tool also enables teachers to predict students' reading achievement multiple times throughout the year. These predictions allow teachers time to take action in the areas in which students need help. Students in grades 3-8 and 10 take the reading 4Sight while some grade levels also utilize the math 4Sight.
EXPLORE and PLAN:
Students in grades 9 and 10 take the EXPLORE and PLAN assessments. These assessments developed by ACT are designed to provide teachers, students and parents with information about students' knowledge, skills, interests and plans. Each assessment tests the areas of English, math, reading and science. Students also complete a career inventory. The data from this assessment helps students, parents and teachers plan high school coursework and prepare for the future. For more information on EXPLORE and PLAN, please link to http//www.act.org/explorestudent or http://www.actstudent.org/plan/
District-wide Benchmark Assessments:
As part of BASD's curriculum development process, teachers have created district-wide benchmark assessments in math. These benchmark assessments are aligned to the skills in each grade level that students must know and be able to do by the end of the school year. These skills are called proficient skills. It is important to measure the progress of these proficient skills quarterly so that we can assure all students will achieve proficiency at the conclusion of the year. Measuring these skills quarterly also gives us time to intervene and enrich students as their needs grow and change throughout the year. Teachers will share results of these quarterly benchmark assessments with you through conferences, report cards and/or parent portal. We will also be creating district-wide benchmark assessments in writing and science. For more information on math proficient skills, please link to the following page on our district website: Program-offerings/Math