The purpose of the Coeur d'Alene School District's assessment and system program is to measure student achievement and inform future instruction. The information gathered helps our district and schools to refine instructional practices and focus curriculum. It gives parents, students, and educators feedback about how a student is progressing and allows all who work with students valuable data for designing future lessons. A full review of our district's Comprehensive Assessment Framework was approved by the Board of Trustees on June 29th.
District Assessment Plan Overview
Assessments are tools we use to see what a student knows so that we can plan the next level of learning, as well as report what progress has been made over the course of each school year. Assessments come in a variety of forms, from formative to summative, beginning to end-of-year performance, to standardized state assessments. Educators want to maximize instructional time in their classrooms; therefore, this assessment framework will guide our decisions and practices across our K-12 program. An overview of how assessment informs curriculum and instruction and vice-versa is included in the Assessment Program Overview.
Since the fall of 2002, the District has given the Idaho Standards Achievement Tests in grades 03-08 and high school. The ISAT is a series of achievement tests that systematically increase in difficulty from one grade to the next. However, beginning in the 2013-2014 school year, all students in Idaho began taking the Smarter-Balanced Assessment in English language arts and mathematics, which is the same exam to be taken by students in 27 states. The name "ISAT" is still be used to identify these tests. The ISAT is also provided in science to students in grades 05, 07, and as an end-of-course assessment for students enrolled in high school biology and/or chemistry.
Grade level testing makes is possible to give each student a test appropriate to his or her achievement level, and to measure growth from year to year. It also helps to gauge the effectiveness of instructional programs and adherence to state curriculum standards.For younger, grades, students in Kindergarten through grade 3 are tested twice annually on the Idaho Reading Indicator, an early literacy screener.
The District also participates in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in random samples in grades 4, 6 and 8 and Idaho Reading Indicator (IRI) in grades K-3. Additionally, all high school students in grades 09-11 will take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) and students in grade 11 will take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and/or American College Testing (ACT) as part of our district's efforts to promote a culture of college and career preparedness.
As another component of a comprehensive assessment plan, District end-of-course assessments are in place in the five core areas of Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science, and Health, based on the District's adopted curricula. Ongoing development and revision of these tests continue to provide important "benchmarking" information that will enable students, parents, and teachers to accurately monitor student growth toward the state exiting standards.
Coeur d'Alene Public Schools also employs benchmark and progress monitoring assessments three times a year in defined windows to identify growth toward meeting state standards by grade level. Reports from these assessments are provided regularly to parents and guardians as partners in these efforts.
Additionally, teachers employ a variety of informal classroom assessment techniques to provide an ongoing picture of student growth in knowledge, skills, and reasoning. Quizzes and end-of-unit tests ensure progress is being monitored and instruction can be adjusted as needed. Other assessment methods may include student portfolios, projects, and presentations.
For specific information on an assessment or for our list of assessment vocabulary, please use the navigation on the left side of this page.