The Director of Assessment works collaboratively with teachers, administrators, and staff within the district to support student learning and meet the goals of the district strategic plan. This is accomplished by providing information and data to assist district personnel and the public in monitoring the effectiveness of our schools and programs.
State assessments are those which are required for federal accountability standards and include the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA), Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS), English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA). These assessments also have alternative versions for students with disabilities that make accessing the regular assessment incredibly difficult. The WAKids assessment is not an accountability assessment but is administered to kindergarteners in the fall to get a sense of readiness for kindergarten. Yelm Community Schools uses data from these assessments to analyze the effectiveness of our programs as much of the results data is not available until the end of the school year.
District assessments, commonly referred to as benchmark assessments, are given more frequently than state assessments, generally three times per year. Several of these also have progress monitoring options that allow for more frequent assessment on identified standards/skills to get a sense of how students are progressing between the typical benchmark testing windows. The data from these assessments are used to inform instructional planning and measure growth at the grade and classroom levels compared to grade level peers across the nation.
Teachers also utilize assessments that are curriculum based such as mid unit/module or end of unit/module. These assessments are tied directly to the curriculum and are incredibly useful for informing instructional practice as it is moving forward. Teachers can use these smaller scale assessments to make adjustments within a unit/module if they see students are struggling with content or skills.