Assessment is an integral part of the learning process in the Hamilton School District. It determines whether or not the goals of education are being met and informs decisions about curriculum, instruction, placement, advancement and grades. It helps educators know if students are learning district curriculum and if there is a better way to teach the subject matter.
A balanced assessment program provides multiple measures of a student’s learning. The Hamilton School District Assessment Program includes three levels of assessment:
- classroom assessments that monitor student progress and tailor instruction to meet student needs;
- district assessments that provide a common measure of achievement in reading, language arts, mathematics and writing; and
- standardized tests that are most useful to evaluate district curriculum and programming and analyze achievement of disaggregated groups of students by gender, special education, minorities, English language learners and economically disadvantaged.
2017-18 assessment schedule
Following is the 2017-18 schedule of district and standardized assessments that will be administered in the Hamilton School District.
- Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) – early literacy screener for students in grades 4K- 2 (fall and spring)
- Wisconsin Forward exam – An online assessment for Wisconsin student administered in English language arts and mathematics in grades 3 through 8, in science in grades 4 and 8, and in social studies in grades 4, 8 and 10. (March 19-May 4)
- ACT Aspire – An online summative assessment that measures what ninth- and 10th-graders have learned in English, reading, mathematics, science and writing and predicts how a student will perform on the ACT when they are juniors. (April 9-May 11)
- ACT Plus Writing – tests all juniors in reading, mathematics, English, science and writing to help students understand what they need to learn next so they can build rigorous high school course plans and identify career areas that align with their interests. It can also be used for college admission, scholarships, course placement and NCAA eligibility. (Feb. 27)
- ACT Work Keys – taken by all juniors and includes applied mathematics, locating information, and reading for information. It is used to help students understand how they can improve their career readiness skills and helps employers determine whether individuals are qualified for positions (Feb. 28)
- Dynamic Learning Maps – an alternate assessment for the Forward exam (March 19 – May 4)
- ACCESS – for English Language Learners (Dec. 4)
- District reading benchmark assessments – Grades K5 – 5 (September, January, May)
- District Everyday Math benchmark assessments – Grades K5 – 5 (September, January, May)
- District writing assessment and portfolios – Writing is an important communication skill and tool for learning. The district formally assesses student writing in grades 3-5, 7 and 11. Papers are holistically scored by a team of teachers from the respective grade levels. Students also complete a District Writing Portfolio which documents their writing progress over time.
- District writing portfolio – Grades K5-8 (September, May) Grades 9-10 (September/January or February/May) Grade 11 (January or May)
- District writing assessment – Grades 3-5 and 7 (February) Grade 11 (September, February)
- Measure of Academic Performance (MAP) assessment – The Northwest Evaluation Association MAP assessments are adaptive, computerized achievement tests that provide teachers, students and parents with feedback concerning a student’s progress in meeting reading, language arts and mathematics standards. The test results give teachers valid and reliable information about individual student progress as well as progress of the class as a whole. Grades 1-7 (fall, winter, spring). Grades 9-12 – used as needed for students in selected mathematics courses, those who are new to Hamilton High School and others whose MAP scores in grade 8 were below the 40th percentile in reading.
- College entrance exams – Students may choose to take additional college entrance examinations including PSAT, SAT and ACT.