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The current Sioux Falls School District assessment program includes both district-developed and state-mandated achievement testing. The Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment and the Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA) are state-mandated tests that take place in grades 3-8 and 11 for Math and English Language Arts. The South Dakota Science and Science Alternate Assessment are state-mandated tests that take place in grades 5, 8, and 11 for Science. The WIDA ACCESS for ELLs test is administered to all qualifying ELL students at Grades K-12. The District conducts writing assessments at grades grades 4 and 6. MAP Growth Assessments are administered in grades K-8 in Math, Reading, and Language Usage. Semester tests are developed at the district level for selected courses in English, Mathematics, Personal Finance, Science, Social Studies, and World Language. Assessment data is reported to parents/guardians and is available online for district staff.

High School students may elect to take college entrance tests such as the American College Test (ACT) or the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) is available to students who wish to be considered for a National Merit Scholarship.

All students will improve Reading/Language Arts, Mathematics, and content skills to achieve high standards. In order to meet the above goals, the Sioux Falls School District Comprehensive Student Assessment and Evaluation Program is designed to meet four ongoing objectives:

Objective One: To assess academic achievement through a balanced assessment program which monitors student achievement in the following areas:

  • Read and comprehend complex information
  • Write and communicate effectively
  • Solve problems by applying mathematics
  • Understand and apply scientific concepts
  • Understand social science systems, people and cultures

The balanced assessment program utilizes norm-referenced assessments, criterion-referenced assessments, and performance assessments. State and District assessments include:

A. Read and comprehend complex information

Required by: State District Grade Timeframe
Smarter Balanced Assessment (required by State) X   3 through 8, and 11 Existing
ACCESS for ELLs (required by State) X   K through 12 Existing
SD Science Assessment (required by State) X   5, 8 and 11 Existing
MAP Growth Assessments   X Kindergarten to 8 Existing
District Semester Tests   X 8 through 12 Existing

B. Write effectively

Required by: State District Grade Timeframe
Elementary District Writing Assessment (January)   X 4 Existing
Middle School District Writing Assessment (October)   X 6 Existing
English, Social Studies and World Language semester tests   X 8 through 12 Existing

C. Solve problems by applying mathematics

Required by: State District Grade Timeframe
Smarter Balanced Assessment (required by State) X   3 through 8, and 11 Existing
SD Science Assessment (required by State) X   5, 8 and 11 Existing
MAP Growth Assessments   X Kindergarten to 8 Existing
District Math Semester Test   X 8 through 12 Existing

D. Understand and apply scientific concepts

Required by: State District Grade Timeframe
SD Science Assessment (required by State) X   5, 8, and 11 Existing
SD Science Alt Assessment (required by State) X   5, 8, and 11 Existing
District Science Semester Tests   X 8 through 12 Existing

E. Understand social science systems, people, and cultures

Required by: State District Grade Timeframe
MAP Growth Assessments   X Kindergarten to 8 Existing
District Social Studies Semester Tests   X 9 through 12 Existing

Objective Two: To improve instruction and monitor curriculum development.

  • Integrate the information from norm-referenced, criterion-referenced and performance assessments.
  • Provide information regarding various subgroups’ academic progress within the district’s student population.
  • Analyze results by standard to improve instruction and monitor curriculum development.

Objective Three: To measure educational accountability.

  • Maintain assessment database to determine student academic progress over a period of time.
  • Analyze results to determine progress on building school improvement plans and District Strategic Goals.

Objective Four: To report student academic achievements and accomplishments.

  • Include four levels of reporting and using assessment results: individual student, classroom, building, and District level.
  • Report to students, staff, parents, and the community in a timely manner.

 

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