The Merrimack School District endeavors to be a responsive school community that develops learners that are curious, connected, prepared, dedicated, and resilient. Academic achievement through high quality instruction and ongoing progress monitoring is a district priority. To that end, we regularly assess students in mathematics and literacy as captured in the assessment schedules that follow.
Important Terms for Families (adapted from The Glossary of Education Reform at edglossary.org)
A Universal Screening is an assessment given to all students in a group or grade level. The purpose of this assessment is to identify any students who are significantly below the benchmark and may need intervention, as well as to identify students significantly above the benchmark who may need enrichment.
A Diagnostic Screening is a pre-test to collect data about what a student knows and does not know yet.
Formative Assessment refers to a wide variety of methods that teachers use to conduct in-process evaluations of student comprehension, learning needs, and academic progress during a lesson, unit, or course.
Though both diagnostic and formative assessments aim to inform teachers to instruct more responsively, they emphasize different aspects of teaching and learning. Both tools are very helpful for the teacher, and the results are used to identify areas that need more attention in future instruction.
- Formative assessments are taken during a unit to assess how students are learning the material that the teacher has been teaching.
- Diagnostic assessments come before instruction, analyzing the prior knowledge of students from previous learning experiences.
Summative Assessments are used to evaluate student learning, skill acquisition, and academic achievement at the conclusion of a defined instructional period.
The Merrimack School District uses a variety of tools and assessments to monitor student progress. Below are informational links to the formal assessments we utilize.
- STAR 360
- New Hampshire Statewide Assessment System (NHSAS)
- Advanced Placement Test
- Heggerty Phonics
- Fountas & Pinnell
- Words Their Way
- Group Reading Assessment & Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE)