The primary purpose of assessment is to improve students’ learning and teachers’ teaching. Assessment for learning is an ongoing process that serves to inform instruction in the classroom. Assessments also serve as a lens through which we can evaluate instruction, curriculum resources and services. West Shore utilizes a variety of assessments, both local and standardized, to monitor student growth and achievement.
National and State Assessments
Students in grade 11 have the option to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test. This exam is a multiple-aptitude battery that measures developed abilities and helps predict future academic and occupational success specifically to the military, but generally to one’s career path. This opportunity is also free for our students, and the ASVAB may assist students in qualifying for one of the Pennsylvania Graduation Pathways required for graduation. Student scores will not be released to the military unless your child is interested in future enlistment. You may visit the ASVAB website for more information: https://www.officialasvab.com/
Our 11th grade students will have the opportunity to take the PSATs in October as part of the College & Career Education day. The WSSD has committed to providing this exam for free, as we recognize the PSAT will help students identify their academic strengths and weaknesses early in high school when there is ample time to improve before college. Juniors will also use this assessment as practice for the SAT and can possibly earn scholarship money based on their performance through the National Merit Scholarship and other organizations.
The approximately three-hour exam will include four timed sections: evidence-based reading, writing and language, a math section without calculators allowed, and another math section with calculators allowed. In addition to these benefits, students who score 970 or above on the PSATs (1010 is the approximate average score) could qualify for one of the Pennsylvania Graduation Pathways given they earned a passing grade for the high school courses associated with each Keystone Exam (Algebra I, Biology, Literature) in which the student is less than Proficient.
Keystone Exams - The Keystone Exams are end-of-course assessments designed to assess proficiency in three subjects: Algebra I, Literature and Biology. In future years, pending funding, additional Keystone Exams will be administered. The Keystone Exams are one component of Pennsylvania’s system of high school graduation requirements. Keystone Exams will help school districts guide students toward meeting state standards.
Pennsylvania System of School Assessments - The annual Pennsylvania System School Assessment is a standards-based, criterion referenced assessment which provides students, parents, educators and citizens with an understanding of student and school performance related to the attainment of proficiency of the academic standards. These standards in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science and Technology identify what a student should know and be able to do at varying grade levels. Every Pennsylvania student in grades 3 through 8 is assessed in English Language Arts and Math. Every Pennsylvania student in grades 4 and 8 is assessed in science. Individual student scores, provided only to their respective schools, can be used to assist teachers in identifying students who may be in need of additional educational opportunities, and school scores provide information to schools and districts for curriculum and instruction improvement discussions and planning.
District Progress Monitoring ACCESS Testing
- ACCESS for ELLs (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners) is a secure large-scale English language proficiency assessment given to Kindergarten through 12th graders who have been identified as English language learners (ELLs). It is given annually in WIDA Consortium member states to monitor students' progress in acquiring academic English. ACCESS for ELLs is only available to Consortium member states.Classroom Diagnostic Tools
- CDTs are used in Literature, Mathematics, and Science at the high school level. CDTs provide a snapshot on why and how students may still be struggling or exceeding grade and/or course competencies. The CDT data, along with other data, informs instruction in a timely and efficient manner.
- Available for use in the classroom throughout the school year.
- Provide real-time results, ensuring valid and reliable measures, of students’ skills with links to Materials and Resources in SAS.
- Highlight student strengths and areas of need thus becoming part of the discussions between teachers, parents/ guardians, and students to set individual learning goals.
- InView is an assessment of cognitive abilities that includes verbal reasoning, sequences, analogies, and quantitative reasoning. WSSD uses InView results to reliably measure skills and abilities important for academic success, help plan effective programs for our students, diagnose possible learning disabilities, and screen students for placement into special programs.
- Study Island is an on-line tool used in grades 3-8 to support reading and math instruction at WSSD. It incorporates research-based principles in order to help our students and schools meet their goals in major content areas. The program is aligned to state standards and provides results to guide instruction. Students have access to this resource at home as well as at school.