The purpose of the Coeur d'Alene School District's assessment program is to measure student achievement. The information gathered helps our district and schools to refine instructional practices and focus curriculum. It gives parents, students and educators information about how a student is progressing.
Since the fall of 2002, the District has given the Idaho Standards Achievement Tests in grades 3-10. 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 continues to provide important "benchmarking" information that will enable students, parents, and teachers to accurately monitor student growth toward the state exiting standards.
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.