Testing & Achievement
The primary purpose of testing in School District 197 is to provide information to help improve instruction. The data received from testing helps the district analyze student progress and district curriculum. It also helps identify which programs will be most helpful for each student and holds the district accountable for offering the best possible education.
As part of a culture of academic integrity, we would like to remind families and students about the importance of test security and the expectation that families and students keep test content secure and act with honesty and integrity during test administration. Testing and Assessment is overseen by School District 197’s Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Department. For questions, please contact Malika Sadi-Goodman, District Curriculum, Data and Assessment Coordinator at 651-403-7015 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Testing & Assessment Calendars
- Student Participation in Statewide Testing Resources
- District Assessments
- State Assessments
- College and Career Readiness
- MDE Test Security Tip Line
- ACT Information
2020-21 State Testing Schedule by School
(Each school will set their own specific testing dates. Those dates will be added to the school's calendar once they are determined.)
In addition to statewide assessment data, District 197 also uses data from a variety of national tests
FAST™The Formative Assessment System for Teachers
This assessment combines Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM) and Computer-Adaptive Testing (CAT) to transform the way teachers measure and monitor student progress in reading, math and social-emotional behavior.
earlyReading is an evidence-based assessment used to screen and monitor student progress. It is administered to students in Fall, Winter and Spring. Students are tested in Kindergarten and grade 1. Administration time is 5 to 7 minutes per student by screening team. The earlyReading assessments are comprised of 12 sub-tests. Of those sub-tests, FastBridge recommends a composite of four specific sub-tests to be given per benchmark period. The composite varies from fall, winter, or spring, per grade level to best match reading skill development and reliably assess risk. Benchmark standards (i.e., “cut scores” or “targets”) are built into the system to assist in determining which students are at risk for academic failure, on target for success, or may need enrichment instruction. Reports for earlyReading will be shared with families during fall and winter conferences.
aReading (Adaptive Reading) is a computer-administered adaptive measure of broad reading that is individualized for each student, but may be individually or group administered. Items tap a variety of skills including concepts of print, phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, and vocabulary. It measures decoding and word identification skills, and comprehension. It is administered to students in Winter and Spring from 15 to 30 minutes. Students are tested in Kindergarten and grades 1-8 and used for both screening and monitoring student progress. Grades K-4: Reports for aReading will be shared with families during fall and winter conferences. Grades 5-8: Parents can view results through Parent Portal in Infinite Campus. Reports will be shared during fall conferences.
CBMreading (Curriculum-Based Measurement for Reading) is uniquely designed to accommodate quick and easy assessments which provide useful data to monitor student progress and evaluate response to instruction. Administered to students in grade 1 in Winter and Spring for 5 to 7 minutes. It is administered to students in grades 2 to 4 in Fall, Winter and Spring for 5 to 7 minutes. FAST provides benchmark targets for performance to help identify students at-risk for academic failure. For grades K-4, reports for aReading will be shared with families during fall and winter conferences. Spring reports will be sent home with report cards.
aMath Adaptive Math (aMath) is used by teachers to screen all students and to estimate annual growth. aMath data also helps educators quickly identify and inform instructional decisions for on-track and high-performers. It is administered to students in Fall and Winter in grades K-8. For grades K-4, reports for aReading will be shared with families during fall and winter conferences. For grades 5-8, parents can view results through Parent Portal in Infinite Campus. Reports will be shared during fall conferences.
Measures Of Academic Progress (MAP)
- Nationally normed assessment by NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association) located in Portland, Oregon.
- MAP assessments are computer-adaptive achievement tests in Mathematics and Reading.
- The computer adjusts the difficulty of the questions so that each student takes a unique test.
- Administered to students in the fall to measure individual academic growth in a year.
- Students tested in Reading and Math in grades 9-12.
- Aligned to the MN Academic Standards in Reading and Math.
- Used as a predictor of performance on the MCA, to differentiate and inform instruction and to set individual student growth targets.
- Fall results are shared with parents by individual teachers no later than fall conferences.
- Winter and Spring results are shared with parents by individual teachers, as needed.
- More information
Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAt)
- Locally administered normative test used to measure students’ learned reasoning. abilities in the three areas most linked to academic success in school: Verbal, Quantitative and Nonverbal.
- Administered to students in grade 2 in December.
- Administered to students in grade 3, 4 & 5 in December who meet the criteria of 90% or above on both Reading and Math MAP assessment in the Fall.
- Results are shared with parents during Spring conferences.
- Assessment used as one leg of our identification process for Gifted and Talented services.
- CogAT FAQ
- More information
Kindergarten Math Assessment
- Each kindergarten assessment includes an individual interview and a written assessment of skills.
- The first is a baseline assessment designed to help teachers ascertain incoming kindergartners' math skills.
- The subsequent assessments are administered at two- or three-month intervals. These periodic assessments check for conceptual understanding, procedural fluency and application of coherent and rigorous standards; and are intended to provide a snapshot of each student's skills near the end of each quarter of the school year.
- Results are published on report cards.
MINNESOTA COMPREHENSIVE ASSESSMENTS (MCA)
- Tests level of proficiency of the MN Academic Standards for the student’s grade level
- Levels of proficiency are Exceeds Academic Standards, Meets Academic Standards, Partially Meets Academic Standards and Does Not Meet Academic Standards
- State test used to assess school performance as required under federal No Child Left Behind legislation and used in identifying if schools are making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)
- Tests are administered in Reading, Math and Science (reading in March, math in April, science in May)
- Reading given to students in grades 3-8, 10
- Math given to students in grades 3-8, 11
- Science given to students in grades 5, 8 and high school biology
- Results are mailed to families no later than conferences
- Minnesota Department of Education information
ACCESS FOR ELL’S (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners)
- English language proficiency assessment given to Kindergarten through 12th graders who have been identified as English language learners (ELLs)
- Administered annually in February and March
- Results are mailed to families no later than conferences
- More information
- ACT administered to grade 11 students annually
Results are mailed from ACT, directly to students, 3-8 weeks after testing
NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress)
This assessment will ONLY be administered at the Garlough Environmental Magnet School: Up to 55 students in 4th grade will participate in the Long Term Trend (LTT) assessments in mathematics and reading. Please note that the students will only take one subject. For more information, please click here.
The ACT is a nationally administered standardized test that helps colleges evaluate candidates. The ACT consists of curriculum-based tests of educational development in English, Math, Reading and Science which are designed to measure the skills needed for success in first-year college coursework. Minnesota Statute 120B.30 requires all districts to provide a nationally normed college entrance exam for students.
School District 197 provides a sequence of assessments to measure college readiness beginning in 7th grade and culminating with the ACT in a student’s junior year. Generally, students take the ACT their junior year of high school. Many college- bound students will take the ACT two or more times since the student’s highest score is considered for admission.
In the fall of 2016, School District 197 began to administer the ACT Aspire assessment. The ACT Aspire assessment replaces the EXPLORE and PLAN suite of assessments that has been retired by ACT. Similarly to these assessment, the ACT Aspire provides information on a student’s college readiness in English, Reading, Math, and Science. Information from this assessment can help students in making course selections for 9th grade by showing academic areas of strength. In grade 9, students take the early high school ACT Aspire. The results from this assessment are used to predict ACT results in English, Reading, Math and Science. In grade 10, students take the pre-ACT. This assessment provides information to students on areas of strength and areas for growth prior to them taking the ACT in grade 11. In the spring of grade 11, all School District 197 students are required to take the ACT with writing per MN statute 120B.30. Students have access to practice ACT tests through Naviance. Students are encouraged to complete practice tests prior to taking the ACT. Community education also offers ACT prep classes which many students find helpful.
The ACT Aspire provides insight into student performance and will offer a picture of each child’s level of readiness for college academic rigor and will also assist teachers in charting a path for students to develop the knowledge and conceptual understanding required for their experiences beyond high school.
Your ACT Aspire student score report contains information, which can help you answer three important questions about your current and future performance:
1. Where do I stand right now?
ACT Aspire shows your strengths and opportunities for growth in the four core subject areas: English, reading, math, and science. You will also see a combined subject area score in ELA (English, reading, & writing) and STEM (science & math). You can also see your performance relative to other students in the nation.
2. How can I make goals for the future?
The scores you achieved on your ACT Aspire can provide guidance as you make decisions about what to do next. Reviewing your scores can help you determine where you might need help as well as where you could use some additional challenge. Using this information can assist you as you plan coursework and set your goals.
3. Am I on target for college and a career?
Whether you choose college, the military, the workplace, or something more personalized for you, the information in this report can provide insight to ensure that you have access to the coursework and instruction you need in order to be best prepared for your next steps.
Your score will fall into one of four levels: Exceeding, Ready, Close, or In Need of Support. The table below demonstrates the range of scores possible, in each achievement level, for each subject.
ACT Aspire Grade Level Scale Score Ranges
Educators, parents, students, and others can report suspected incidents of cheating or other improper or unethical behavior on statewide assessments to MDE using and online Test Security Line, sending an email or calling MDE.
Before contacting MDE, individuals are encouraged to first raise their concerns about test security to their building administration.
MDE Statewide Testing Website for Students & Families
All School District 197 students are required to take the ACT in order to graduate. Last March, due to the coronavirus pandemic, we were unable to provide the ACT on a school day. To ensure students in the Class of 2021 have the opportunity to take the exam, we are offering the ACT to all Henry Sibley seniors on Tuesday, October 6. The test is free of charge. Due to COVID-19, we recognize that some exemptions will be needed. No classes will be held on Tuesday October 6. Due to this change in the schedule, Wednesday October 7 will be a block day and periods 2, 4, 5 and 6 will meet.
In order to prepare for the test, we are asking ALL SENIORS to complete this form by FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25. The form requires students to be logged into their School District 197 email account.
In providing the test in-person, we want to assure you that we are following all Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. Students will take the assessment in a classroom with no more than 15 students, which is below the 50% occupancy requirement. Students will remain in the same classroom for the duration of the exam. All students will be spaced 6 feet apart. Students will be required to wear masks during the test. For more information on the health and safety protocols we have in place, please click here. Any student exhibiting COVID-like symptoms on the day of the test should stay home, please follow our screening tool linked here.
Bus transportation to and from testing will be provided for students who need it. Students will indicate if they need transportation in the form referenced above. We will also offer lunch for all seniors; meals are currently free of charge due to USDA guidelines.
Students arriving at school on their own are asked to arrive between 8:00 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. Students who will be picked up after the ACT must be picked up at 1:00 p.m. if they aren’t staying for lunch or 1:30 p.m. if they are.
The schedule for October 6 is as follows:
- 8:00 - 8:15 a.m.: Students arrive
- 8:15 - 8:30 a.m.: Students move to their assigned rooms
- 8:30 a.m.: ACT begins
- 1:00 pm.: ACT ends
- 1:10 p.m.: Lunch*
*Students with their own transportation can leave before or after lunch. Lunch is FREE for all students. After lunch, students can work on school work (socially distanced in the cafeteria). Buses depart at 3:15 p.m.
Preparing for the ACT
Students have access to a practice ACT in their Naviance account. Students likely completed a practice test during the fall of their Junior year. They can complete one again. If students have forgotten how to log in to Naviance, see this video. If students have forgotten how to access the practice test, see this video.