GIPS Assessment Information


Grand Island Public Schools uses assessments, or tests, to improve student learning. GIPS incorporates many types of assessments into the day-to-day functions of our schools. 

Assessments serve different purposes depending on the type. Each can provide information about student understanding as well as program effectiveness, areas of curricular strengths and weaknesses, resource usage and staff development needs.

ASSESSMENT VOCABULARY

There are different terms we use when discussing assessments to cover before we dive in.

  • Assessment: Process of collecting information about student learning, understanding and performance.
  • Formative: Formal and informal assessments done by teachers during the learning process so adjustments to instruction can be made to help ensure students master the content.
  • Summative: Assessments used to measure student growth after instruction, typically at the end of a project, unit, semester, course or school year.
  • Adaptive: test that adapts to a student's response; the difficulty of each question is based on how well the student answers the previous questions
  • Standardized: tests that are constructed by experts, contain the same or very similar questions, instructions and timelines are the same for all test takers, and are scored with the same criteria

CATEGORIES

There are many types of assessments targeted to different groups of students. To make this easier, we are breaking these groups out.

General Education | Preschool | English Language Learners | Special Education

Under each category we explain each of the main assessments GIPS uses, what they are, who takes them, when they are administrated and what the results are used for.


 

General Education

These assessments are given to students in typical general education settings. 

Common unit assessments

What is it: End of unit assessments created at district level to be consistent for all students in same grade level or subject/course across all schools.

Who takes it:

When are they taken:

What are the results used for: Given to determine extent individual students have mastered recently taught standards, skills and concepts. These play a large part in determining a student's grade in a particular class.

 

CPAA: Children's Progress Academic Assessment

What is it: Online, adaptive assessments to measure progress in early literacy and math.

Who takes it:

When is it taken:

What are the results used for: 

  • Provides teacher with information to guide classroom instruction.
  • Allows teachers, students and parents to monitor progress.
  • Used to identify individual student needs for targeted instruction.
  • District-wide, school-wide and classroom-wide data can be analyzed to find trends to assist in curriculum and instruction decisions/changes.

 

MAP: Measure of Academic Progress

What is it: Online, adaptive assessments.

Who takes it:

When is it taken:

August/September; January/February

What are the results used for: 

  • Provides teacher with information to guide classroom instruction.
  • Allows teachers, students and parents to monitor progress.
  • District-wide, school-wide and classroom-wide data can be analyzed to find trends to assist in curriculum and instruction decisions/changes.

NeSA: Nebraska State Accountability

What is it: Summative assessments developed by the state in core subject areas. The tests are designed to provide a picture of how students are progressing toward meeting academic standards.

Who takes it: 

ELA: 3-8; Math: 3-8; Science: 5,8

When is it taken:

ELA, Math, Science: March, April, May

What are the results used for: The results allow us to look at longitudinal data and group progress over time and are used for state and federal accountability reports. They are posted each year on the State of Schools Report.

 


 

PRESCHOOL

These assessments are for preschool students only.

ECERS: Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale

What is it: Conducted by NDE staff, categories assessed include Space and Furnishings, Personal Care Routines, Language-Reasoning, Activities, Interaction, and Program Structure.

Who takes it:

When is it taken:

What are the results used for: Assesses quality in an early childhood program as required by Rule 11. Results used to help improve program.

 

TPOT: Teaching Pyramid Observation Tool

What is it: Assessment that focuses on the implementation of positive behavior intervention and supports. Trained PBIS coaches conduct assessments in three areas: Classroom Environment, Anchors (strategies such as routines, problem solving, engagement, following directions) and Red Flags.

Who takes it:

When is it taken:

What are the results used for: Results help determine teacher strengths, skills and needs for professional development.

 

GOLD

What is it: Assesses the ongoing development and learning of children. The six categories include Social-Emotional, Physical, Language, Cognitive, Literacy, and Mathematics. There are sixty-five objectives within the six categories that teachers assess for all students.

Who takes it:

When is it taken:

What are the results used for: Used to guide instruction and determine needs of the children.


 

ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS

These assessments are taken by English Language Learners (ELL students).

PreLAS

What is it:
Developmentally and linguistically appropriate proficiency assessment given to 4- to 6-year-old potential second-language learner students, coordinated by the GIPS Welcome Center.

Who takes it: Preschool and incoming Kindergarten students who are potential English Language Learners if the Home Language Survey (HLS) indicates a language other than English.

When is it taken: Given to students when they enroll at GIPS.

What are the results used for: Used specifically to measure the English or Spanish oral language proficiency and pre-literacy skills of learners in early childhood and kindergarten. Results are used in making preliminary approximations of a student's level of English proficiency and a placement recommendation in appropriate classroom settings.

 

LAS Links

What is it: Evaluates students in speaking, listening, reading and writing to make preliminary approximations of a student's level of English and a placement recommendation within classrooms and programs that best meets their needs.

Who takes it: Students age 7-21 who are potential English Language Learners if the Home Language Survey (HLS) indicates a language other than English, coordinated by the GIPS Welcome Center.

When is it taken: Given to students when they enroll at GIPS.

What are the results used for: The LAS Links language proficiency assessment is NCLB compliant and meets Title III requirements to measure second-language student competencies necessary for successful academic and social language usage in mainstream classrooms in grades K-12.

 

ELPA21: English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century

What is it: State language proficiency assessment required under NCLB and NDE Rule 15 to measure progress toward and attainment of English proficiency. The ELPA21 assessment system is based on the English Language Proficiency Standards and measures all four language domains: reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

Who takes it: All K-12 ELL students

When is it taken: This assessment is administered annually to currently identified English Language Learners in grades K-12.

What are the results used for: ELPA21 results are also used for placement within classrooms and programs that best meet student needs and for recommendations for exiting ELL services.


 

SPECIAL EDUCATION

This assessment is taken by students in special education.

AIMSWeb

What is it: Progress monitoring tool used to assess ongoing student growth in the areas of reading and math.

Who takes it: 

When is it taken: Given bi-weekly throughout the year

What are the results used for: Results used for goal setting on Individualized Education Plans and Progress Reports.