Assessment of Learning
Throughout the school year, District 401 uses a suite of rigorous methods and tools to evaluate, measure and document the academic needs and educational growth of our students.
These assessments provide the District with reliable data so that our teachers and administrators may do the following:
- Identify student strengths and diagnose weaknesses.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of curricular offerings and instructional practices.
- Establish goals for individual student and school improvement.
- Communicate student achievement to District 401 stakeholders.
Some of these assessment tools are exams required by the state, such as the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (grades 3-8) and the SAT (grade 11). Others are more localized, such as student growth assessments given by District teachers at various times during the year.
Regardless of their differences, the fundamental purpose is the same: to generate data that District 401 can use for the benefit of all students.
Assessment Tools at a Glance
For brief descriptions of the District's main assessment tools, see below.
- ACCESS for ELLs
- Advanced Placement (AP)
- Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)
- Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM)
- Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR)
- Illinois Physical Fitness Assessment
- Illinois Science Assessment (ISA)
- Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS)
- SAT Suite of Assessments
- Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
- STAR Testing
- Student Growth Assessments (SGA)
District 401's Policy on Testing and Assessment
Our procedures and practices in this area are governed by District 401’s policy on testing and assessment, which can be found in Section 6:340 of the Board of Education’s District Policy Manual. The policy includes the following directives:
The Superintendent or designee shall manage the student assessment program that, at a minimum:
- Administers the State assessment system, known as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), to all students and/or any other appropriate assessment methods and instruments, including norm and criterion-referenced achievement tests, aptitude tests, proficiency tests, and teacher-developed tests.
- Informs students of the timelines and procedures applicable to their participation in every State assessment.
- Provides each student’s parents/guardians with the results or scores of each State assessment and an evaluation of the student’s progress. See Policy 6:280, Grading and Promotion.
- Utilizes professional testing practices.
Overall student assessment data on tests required by State law will be aggregated by the District and reported on the District's annual report card. Board Policy 7:340, "Student Records," and its implementing procedures govern record-keeping and access issues.