HSSD Students Take NWEA Tests Through 10/2

HSSD Students Take NWEA Tests Through 10/2
Posted on 09/01/2020
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HSSD students are taking NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association) Tests in K-10th grade classrooms through October 2. NWEA test data is directly used by our teachers, administrators, and HSSD leadership to make informed decisions about day-to-day classroom instructional content and offerings and individual student learning needs. Educators receive actionable data in real-time so that they can offer curriculum and activities that are appropriate for the learning levels and skill sets of our students. Educators also use the data to determine which students may need enrichment activities, and intervention and/or remediation services. 

NWEA tests are different from the ACT Aspire Interim Tests, ACT Aspire Tests, and ACT tests that are offered later in the winter and spring. The data derived through NWEA MAP Tests is used simply to help teachers know exactly where students are in their learning and skill level. MAP test data is not used to compare schools at the state level. HSSD students will take NWEA MAP tests in Reading and Mathematics in the fall semester. Tests take between 45 minutes - one hour to complete by each student. Our 3rd-6th grade classrooms are testing 8/31 - 9/11. Our 7th-12th grade classrooms are testing 9/8-9/18. Our K-2nd grade classrooms are testing 9/18 - 10/2. 

We are currently in a school year like no other! … How does NWEA Testing take place for students across our three Learning Options?

-Traditional/In-Classroom Students: Students will be assessed during the normal school day. Teachers thread in testing time with classroom instructional time, and work to space apart testing so that it does not cause added anxiety for students and/or interfere greatly with their daily routine.

-Blended Students: Students will be assessed on the days when they are at the school for in-classroom instruction.

-Virtual Students: High School and Junior Academy students (all students in 7th-12th grade) will receive an email asking them to make an appointment time to come to the school and take NWEA tests. Elementary students/families will receive a call from the school letting them know an appointment time to bring students to school to take the NWEA MAP tests. 


More Details about NWEA Testing and Data:

What is NWEA? NWEA is a non-profit organization that has worked with schools across the U.S. and the world for over 40 years. It is one of three testing platforms approved by the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) as the state required test for monitoring the progress of K-2nd grade students, and the choice of the HSSD. HSSD also utilizes NWEA for  monitoring the progress of 3rd-10th grade students.

What are MAP tests? MAP stands for Measures of Academic Progress. MAP is an online assessment that is aligned to the academic standards approved through the ADE and developed by the school district. MAP assessments are actually what your students are taking in class to help communicate to educators where their skill levels are.

MAP tests through NWEA are offered in Reading, Language Usage, Science, and Mathematics. During the fall semester, HSSD students are only taking the Reading and Mathematics MAP Tests. When taking a MAP test, the difficulty of each question is based on how well a student answers all the previous questions. As the student answers correctly, the questions become more difficult. If the student answers incorrectly, the questions become easier. The final score is an estimate of the student’s achievement level. Students are not expected to know all the answers. 

What do HSSD educators and administrators do with the results from MAP tests? In short, The HSSD uses MAP test data to offer a world class education to each of our students using curriculum and standards tailored as specifically as possible to the needs of our students and student groups. 

Results from MAP tests are typically available immediately to teachers and administrators. The results from MAP tests allow our teachers to develop curriculum that follows state standards, but to also develop day-to-day lessons and experiences tailored to the specific needs of each of our students. Data shows teachers exactly what a student knows about each skill or standard. If a student needs to improve on a standard, the data helps to determine what skills are needed to reach proficiency. If data shows that a student has mastered a standard, it suggests skills to help them to keep growing and improving. MAP data allows our teachers to monitor student growth at the classroom level, and allows our Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) of teacher groups to differentiate and adjust instruction for groups of students, or entire grades based on the results of the assessment. 

How long does it take to complete a test? Although the tests are not timed, it usually takes students from 45 minutes - one hour to complete each MAP test. Teachers receive training from building testing coordinators to make sure that tests are administered accurately and securely. 

How should students prepare for NWEA MAP tests? The MAP tests are not nearly as long or rigorous as the ACT Interim, ACT Aspire, or ACT tests that take place later in the year. Parents should prepare students for a normal school day, with plenty of rest, a hearty breakfast, and as always - lots of love and encouragement. Parents might remind students that MAP tests are simply tools used by teachers to figure out how to best teach the lessons that students need to learn and grow.

Look for communication from your teachers regarding when NWEA tests will take place in specific classrooms throughout the coming weeks. Learn more about NWEA assessments in Arkansas, here

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