• Assessments in Southern York County School District


    A color graphic of types of assessments 


    Southern York County School District realizes the importance of using assessments to determine student progress.  In order to provide students with the necessary instruction, we utilize different types of assessments to determine their needs and progress.  In the graphic above, you see the types of assessments we use in SYCSD.  The assessments given to students allow teachers to make necessary decisions on daily instruction, provide intervention and enrichment opportunities and understand the needs of each student in the classroom both academically and social emotionally.  

    This document shares the types of assessments we use in Southern York County School District to ensure our students achieve success!  While we feel that data gained from assessments is a valuable part to our instruction and curriculum, we also realize there has to be a balance between time taken on assessments and daily classroom instruction. 

     

    Elementary Assessments

    Acadience: 

    Acadience Reading is a K-6th grade universal screener that determines students' reading needs. It provides insight into reading areas that need identified support and intervention in order to prevent future reading deficits in students.  The  assessment allows for teachers to monitor progress if interventions are working and provides ongoing data to determine if students are making necessary gains in reading instruction.

    For additional information, please visit the Acadience learning site at https://acadiencelearning.org/acadience-reading/k-grade6/

    Acadience Math is a K-6th grade universal screener that determines students understanding of math skills.  The assessment determines student success with early numeracy, computation, and problem solving skills that are essential for students to become proficient at mathematics. 

    For additional information, please visit the Acadience learning site at https://acadiencelearning.org/acadience-math/k-grade6/

    iReady Math:

    iReady Math is an online program that provides individualized, differentiated instruction for students based upon their own individual path to success in mathematics.  Students, through a diagnostic assessment, are given a pathway of learning that includes instruction, activities and learning games.  The program is monitored by teachers and supplemented with small group instruction to ensure students are gaining deeper understanding of mathematical concepts.  

    Please visit the Curriculum Associates website for additional information and a video overview of the program.  https://www.curriculumassociates.com/programs/i-ready-learning/personalized-instruction/mathematics

    PAST: 

    Phonological Awareness Screening Test (PAST) is an assessment used to identify students' development of phonological awareness.  The PAST assessment is individually given to students with results on basic syllables, onset rimes, basic phonemes, and advanced phonemes.  Teachers use this information to help determine instruction in the classroom and implement necessary interventions when needed.

    For more information on the PAST reading assessments, please visit https://www.thepasttest.com/

    CORE: Assessing Reading, Multiple Measures

    The CORE provides a collection of tests for the comprehensive assessment of skills related to reading.  The assessments provide teachers with help to determine where the student is struggling, determine next steps in instruction, and determine if remediation efforts are working through progress monitoring.  The multiple measure assessments look at phonological awareness (phonemes, phonological segmentation), decoding and word attack (phonics, high frequency words), spelling, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. 

    For more information on CORE, please visit https://www.corelearn.com/store/cores-assessing-reading-multiple-measures-revised-2nd-ed/

    Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System

    The Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment Systems provide teachers with precise tools and texts to observe and quantify specific reading behaviors, and then interpret and use that data to plan meaningful instruction. Identify each student's reading level during this one-on-one, student-teacher assessment conference. 

    For more information on the BAS, please visit https://www.fountasandpinnell.com/bas/#:~:text=The%20Fountas%20%26%20Pinnell%20Benchmark%20Assessment%20Systems%20provide%20teachers%20with%20precise,%2C%20student%2Dteacher%20assessment%20conference.

     

    District Writing Benchmark Assessments

    Writing benchmarks are periodic writing assessments given to students to assess their writing skills.  These assessments often look like classroom writing assignments, but are specifically generated to demonstrate student growth in writing skills.  These assessments are both teacher created and use resources provided by PDE to demonstrate student understanding and growth.

    For more information on writing benchmarks, please visit https://www.education.pa.gov/K-12/Assessment%20and%20Accountability/PSSA/Pages/ELAs.aspx

    Pennsylvania System of School Assessments (PSSA):

    PSSA is a standards-based criterion reference assessment which provides students, parents, educators and citizens with an understanding of student and school performance related to attainment of proficiency of the academic standards in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science & Technology.  Students are assessed through the PSSA's in grades 3-8th grade for English and Mathematics and grades 4 & 8 for Science.  Students are scored using the criteria of advanced, proficient, basic and below basic on each of the exams.

    For more information on PSSA's, please visit https://www.education.pa.gov/K-12/Assessment%20and%20Accountability/PSSA/Pages/default.aspx

     

    Future Ready PA Index:

    The Future Ready PA Index is a collection of school progress measures related to school and student success.  The Index includes a range of assessment, on-track, and readiness indicators, to more accurately report student learning, growth, and success in the classroom and beyond. 

    For more information on Future Ready PA Index, please visit https://futurereadypa.org/Search/District

    Middle School Assessments:

    CDT Science:  

    Classroom Diagnostic Tools- Science  The Pennsylvania Classroom Diagnostic Tools are a set of online assessments for Science.  It is designed to provide diagnostic information to guide instruction and support teachers with providing intervention and enrichment for students.  The CDT is a computer adaptive test that provides questions to students based upon how students respond to testing items.  The questions will adjust based upon the student's instructional level.  The test is comprised of approximately 48-60 items and is an untimed test.  

    For more information on Classroom Diagnostic Tools, please visit https://www.education.pa.gov/K-12/Assessment%20and%20Accountability/CDT/Pages/default.aspx

    iReady Math:

    iReady Math is an online program that provides individualized, differentiated instruction for students based upon their own individual path to success in mathematics.  Students, through a diagnostic assessment, are given a pathway of learning that includes instruction, activities and learning games.  The program is monitored by teachers and supplemented with small group instruction to ensure students are gaining deeper understanding of mathematical concepts.  

    Please visit the Curriculum Associates website for additional information and a video overview of the program.  https://www.curriculumassociates.com/programs/i-ready-learning/personalized-instruction/mathematics

    iReady ELA:

    iReady ELA is an online program that provides individualized, differentiated instruction for students based upon their own individual path to success in language arts.  Students, through a diagnostic assessment, are given a pathway of learning that includes instruction, activities and learning games.  The program is monitored by teachers and supplemented with small group instruction to ensure students are gaining deeper understanding of language arts skills and concepts.  Lessons include foundational skills such as phonological awareness, high frequency words, phonics, vocabulary, word learning strategies, and reading comprehension.

    Please visit the Curriculum Associates website for additional information and a video overview of the program. https://www.curriculumassociates.com/programs/i-ready-learning/personalized-instruction/reading

    Aimsweb: 

    Aimsweb Reading Assessment is an online assessment that provides national and local performance and growth norms for the screening and progress monitoring of math and reading skills for students in grades 7 & 8.  The ELA test is comprised of four sections:  Vocabulary, Reading Comprehension, Silent Reading Fluency, and Oral Reading Fluency. Teachers use Aimsweb reading data to drive instruction and form necessary interventions to support students' reading needs.  The program provides progress monitoring to determine if instruction and interventions are increasing student performance.

    Aimsweb Mathematics Concepts and Applications is a test of short assessments that assess general mathematics problem solving skills.  MCAP examines for 7th grade areas of Number Sense, Operations, Patterns and Relationships, Measurement, Geometry, Algebra, Probability, Data & Statistics.  Teachers use Aimsweb math data to drive instruction and form necessary interventions to support students' math needs.  The program provides progress monitoring to determine if instruction and interventions are increasing student performance.

    For more information on Aimsweb Plus please visit https://www.pearsonassessments.com/store/usassessments/en/Store/Professional-Assessments/Academic-Learning/Brief/aimswebPlus/p/100000519.html 

    Pennsylvania System of School Assessments (PSSA):

    PSSA is a standards-based criterion reference assessment which provides students, parents, educators and citizens with an understanding of student and school performance related to attainment of proficiency of the academic standards in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science & Technology.  Students are assessed through the PSSA's in grades 3-8th grade for English and Mathematics and grades 4 & 8 for Science.  Students are scored using the criteria of advanced, proficient, basic and below basic on each of the exams.

    Future Ready PA Index:

    The Future Ready PA Index is a collection of school progress measures related to school and student success.  The Index includes a range of assessment, on-track, and readiness indicators, to more accurately report student learning, growth, and success in the classroom and beyond. 

    For more information on Future Ready PA Index, please visit https://futurereadypa.org/Search/District

    Keystone Exams: (Algebra ONLY)

    The Keystone Exams are an end of course assessment that serves as one of Pennsylvania's high school graduation requirements.  The Keystone exams measure students' understanding of Pennsylvania Standards in Algebra.

    For more information on Keystone exams, please visit https://www.education.pa.gov/K-12/Assessment%20and%20Accountability/Keystones/Pages/default.aspx.

    High School Assessments:
    CDT:  Literature, Algebra and Biology

    The Pennsylvania Classroom Diagnostic Tools are a set of online assessments for Literacy, Mathematics and Science.  It is designed to provide diagnostic information to guide instruction and support teachers when providing intervention and enrichment for students.  The CDT is a computer adaptive test that provides questions to students based upon how students respond to testing items.  The questions will adjust based upon the student's instructional level.  The test is comprised of approximately 48-60 items and is an untimed test.  Students at Susquehannock High School take the CDT assessments in English Literature, Algebra 1 and Biology.

    For more information on Classroom Diagnostic Tools, please visit https://www.education.pa.gov/K-12/Assessment%20and%20Accountability/CDT/Pages/default.aspx

    Keystone Exams:

    The Keystone Exams are an end of course assessment that serves as one of Pennsylvania's high school graduation requirements.  The Keystone exams measure students' understanding of Pennsylvania Standards in Algebra, English Literature and Biology.  

    For more information on Keystone exams, please visit https://www.education.pa.gov/K-12/Assessment%20and%20Accountability/Keystones/Pages/default.aspx.

    Future Ready PA Index: 

    The Future Ready PA Index is a collection of school progress measures related to school and student success.  The Index includes a range of assessment, on-track, and readiness indicators, to more accurately report student learning, growth, and success in the classroom and beyond. 

    For more information on Future Ready PA Index, please visit https://futurereadypa.org/Search/District

    AP Exams:

    Students who are enrolled in Advanced Placement Courses are able to take the AP Exams during the first two weeks in May at  Susquehannnock High School.  Students in grades 9-12 are able to take Advanced Placement Courses and qualify for taking the corresponding AP exam.  Susquehannock High School will be offering 18 Advanced Placement courses for the 2022-2023 school year. 

    For more information on Advanced Placement Exams, please visit the college board website  https://www.collegeboard.org/ & https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/getting-credit-placement/search-policies

    SAT/PSAT Exams:

    The SAT is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to make admission decisions.  The SAT is a multiple choice, paper/pencil test created and administered by College board.  The exam covers two areas, mathematics and evidence-based reading and writing.

    The PSAT is a reading, writing/language and math test that prepares students for the SAT.  PSAT tests are administered to students in October at Suquehannock High School.  Please see your students' counselor for more information.

    For more information on PSAT & SAT please visit https://satsuite.collegeboard.org/sat or your students' guidance counselor.

    ACT/Pre ACT Exams:

    The ACT test is a US admissions test, measuring what students learn in high school to determine academic readiness for college.  The ACT is comprised of English, Math, Reading, Science and Writing (optional).  

    The Pre ACT (much like the PSAT) is a practice test to prepare students for the ACT Exam. 

    For additional information on the ACT, please visit https://www.act.org/content/act/en/students-and-parents/college-planning-resources/testing-advice-for-the-act/act-vs-sat.html or contact your students guidance counselor.

    Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)

    The ASVAB is an aptitude test developed by the Department of Defense to measure a young adult's strengths and potential for success in military training.  At the high school level, the ASVAB Career Exploration Program (CEP) is used for career exploration.  The ASVAB CEP provides interest assessments and planning tools to help young adults explore career field entry requirements and career paths both military and civilian.  High School students in grades 10-12 can participate in ASVAB CEP testing and receive three composite scores in verbal, math and science/technical skills.  

    For more information on the ASVAB test, please visit  https://www.todaysmilitary.com/joining-eligibility/asvab-test or see your guidance counselor.

    Surveys Used to Collect Data:

    Southern York County School District realizes the importance of collecting data in multiple areas to help us make important decisions about curriculum and instruction.  In addition to summative, interim and formative assessments, we use surveys to help us gather information in our decision-making process.  Here are some of the surveys that we utilize to help improve academics, social emotional learning, and the climate of our buildings.  

    Panorama: FOR GRADES 3-5

    Panorama is a survey designed to help educators have a better understanding of a students' social and emotional skills.  In the Southern York County School District, we give the Panorama Social Emotional Learning survey (Competencies & Well Being Measures) in grades 3-8.  The survey is made up of 41 questions around the following topics:

    Skills and Competencies:  growth mindset, self-management, social awareness, self-efficacy, emotional regulation (3-8).  In grades 6-8 social perspective taking is added.

    In addition, we utilize the SEL Adult Measures Survey to gain teacher perception of student SEL competencies.

    Please be aware that we do not use all the surveys or all of the survey questions from the Panorama Site.  Our survey is aligned to the CASEL SEL components.

    A color image of the Casel Wheel

    If you would like to see the questions on the survey please click the link below.

    Panorama 3-5 Questions

    Panorama: FOR GRADES 6-8

    Panorama is a survey designed to help educators have a better understanding of a students' social emotional learning.  In the Southern York County School District, we give the Panorama Social Emotional Learning:  Competencies & Well Being Measures survey.  The survey is made up of 41 questions around the following topics:

    Skills and Competencies:  growth mindset, self management, social awareness, self efficacy, emotional regulation (3-8).  In grades 6-8 social perspective taking is added.

    In addition, we utilize the SEL:  Adult Measures Survey to gain teacher perception of student SEL competencies.

    Please be aware that we do not use all the surveys or all of the survey questions from the Panorama Site.  Our survey is aligned to the CASEL SEL components.  If you would like to see the questions on the survey please click the link below.

    Panorama 6-12 Questions

    PA School Climate Survey 

     The Pennsylvania Department of Education provides schools with The Pennsylvania School Climate surveys,  to help the districts analyze their climate through feedback measures in three main domains: Social/Emotional Learning, Student Support, and Safe and Respectful School Climate. These surveys are intended to provide schools with formative and summative climate data to use with needs assessments, program development and short and long term improvement planning.  The survey reflects the perceptions of our stakeholders and allows the School District to make changes to enhance the educational environment. 

    For more information on the PA School Climate Survey, please visit https://www.education.pa.gov/Schools/safeschools/SchoolClimate/Pages/default.aspx

    Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS)

    Since 1989, the Commonwealth has conducted a survey of school students in the 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th grades to learn about their behavior, attitudes and knowledge concerning alcohol, tobacco, other drugs and violence. The ‘Pennsylvania Youth Survey,’ or PAYS, is sponsored and conducted every two years by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.


    The data gathered in PAYS serve two primary needs. First, the results provide school administrators, state agency directors, legislators and others with critical information concerning the changes in patterns of the use and abuse of these harmful substances and behaviors. Second, the survey assesses risk factors that are related to these behaviors and the protective factors that help guard against them. This information allows community leaders to direct prevention resources to areas where they are likely to have the greatest impact.

    For additional information about the PAYS survey, please visit https://www.pccd.pa.gov/Juvenile-Justice/Pages/Pennsylvania-Youth-Survey-(PAYS)-2021.aspx

     

    For additional questions about assessments or surveys used in Southern York County School District, please reach out to Dr. Kimberly Hughes, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Robert Bryson, Assistant Superintendent, or your students' Principal.  717-235-4811 x7230.