Assessments

smiling student in computer lab filled with students

Students take various forms of assessments throughout the school year, each serving a different purpose and providing us with different kinds of information about student performance. Our goal is to provide our teaching staff with assessment data that enables them to guide their instruction to help students achieve their maximum potential.

Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR)

Our students take federally required assessments every spring. These assessments help us understand how our students are growing academically compared to their peers across the state. The state also uses this testing data to provide more support and resources to the schools in the greatest need. Beginning with the 2019-20 school year, the English language arts and math assessment for grades 3-8 is called the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR).

Students, families, and schools will experience essentially no difference in the assessment this year. The Illinois Assessment of Readiness measures the same standards and includes the same high-quality test questions used during the last four years. Using the same content and measuring the same standards ensures comparability from year to year – an essential commitment to including growth in our support and accountability system. The assessment may be slightly shorter this year to field test new questions needed for the transition to a computer adaptive test.

The improvements to come to the Illinois Assessment of Readiness administration in the next few years reflect active partnership with educators and practitioners to make the assessment even more useful for improving student outcomes. It will provide the option of bringing all accountability assessments onto a single administration/management platform and will maintain comparability throughout all changes.

To learn more about the new Illinois Assessment of Readiness test, please visit the Illinois State Board of Education website.

Illinois Science Assessment (ISA)

In compliance with federal testing requirements, D140 administers the Illinois Science Assessment (ISA) each year to students in fifth grade and eighth grade.

The ISA is based on the Illinois Learning Standards in Science, incorporating the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The NGSS are the most comprehensive science standards that Illinois has ever had. They are more rigorous and detailed as they integrate the content of science with the practices of science.

For more information, please visit the Illinois Science Assessment (ISA) section of the Illinois State Board of Education website.

Measures of Academic Progress (MAP)

Three times a year (fall, winter and spring), District 140 students take tests called Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). We use MAP assessments to determine students' instructional level and to measure academic growth throughout the school year and from year to year in the areas of Math and Reading.

If you have ever used a growth chart in your home to show how much your child has grown from one year to the next, this will help you understand the scale MAP uses to measure your child's academic progress. Called the RIT scale (Rasch unIT), it is an equal-interval scale much like feet and inches on a yardstick. It is used to chart your child's academic growth from year to year. RIT scores typically start at the 180 to 200 level in 3rd grade and progress to the 220 to 260 level by high school.

MAP tests are unique because they adapt appropriately for each student’s level of learning. The test becomes more difficult the more questions a student answers correctly. When a student incorrectly answers a question, the test become easier. Therefore, each student takes a test specifically tailored to his or her learning level. As a result, students have the same opportunity to succeed and maintain a positive attitude toward testing.

The NWEA Parent Toolkit was created as a resource and guide for parents. It includes Frequently Asked Questions, Tips for Parents, and a list of websites for parents and kids.

Multi-Tiered Support (RtI/MTSS)

Kirby School District 140 believes that increased student learning requires the consistent practice of providing high quality instruction matched to student needs. Response to Intervention (RtI), also know as a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS), is an approach to providing early academic and behavioral support to struggling students rather than waiting for a child to fall behind before offering help. It requires collaborative efforts from all district staff, general educators, special educators and bilingual/ELL staff.

We use the AIMSweb benchmark and progress monitoring system to provide direct, frequent and continuous student assessment. Our students are tested three times a year during fall, winter and spring. Results are reported to parents, teachers and administrators via a web-based data management and reporting system to determine response to instruction. Parents of students identified as in need of assistance in Reading or Math will be notified of an assignment to an RtI/MTSS tier. Regular monitoring will be conducted in order to determine the duration of the intervention period as well as documentation of student progress.

For more information, please click on the Illinois State Board of Education's "Understanding RtI/MTSS" link.