Assessing student learning documents knowledge and skills that students gain over a specific period of time using measurable standards and benchmarks. The Allegheny Valley School District staff utilizes summative, formative, benchmark, and diagnostic tests to measure student growth.
Administrators and teachers consider results from Classroom Diagnostic Tools (CDT) tests, STAR Reading, Early Literacy and Math, G-MADE, Dibbles Next, PVAAS data, and locally created formative and summative assessments when considering the student program. District staff also considers information from two state-mandated assessments, the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment and the Keystone Exams, for student progress analysis and during curriculum review.
The Pennsylvania Keystone Exams are end-of-course assessments designed to evaluate proficiency in academic content. Beginning with the class of 2017, students must demonstrate proficiency on the Algebra 1, Biology, and Literature Keystone Exams as a Pennsylvania requirement for graduation.
Pennsylvania System of School Assessment
According to the Department of Education, the PSSA test “measures how well students have achieved in reading, mathematics, science and writing according to Pennsylvania’s world-class academic standards.” Reading and mathematics components of the PSSA are given to students in Grades 3 through 8, while the PSSA writing piece assesses students in Grades 5 and 8. In addition, the state assesses students (Grades 4 through 8) in science. All scores fall into four categories: Advanced, Proficient, Basic, and Below Basic.
|Assessment ||Grades ||Testing Window |
|Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA)|
|- English Language Arts (ELA)||3-8||TBA|
|- Literature||10 or currently enrolled in academic English 10/honors 10|
|- Algebra||10 or currently enrolled in algebra I|
|- Biology||10 or currently enrolled in biology|