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Sioux Valley Assessments in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science

Each spring Sioux Valley students perform formative assessments, specifically the Smarter Balanced or “SBAC” and South Dakota Science Assessment. The following information is intended to provide stakeholders with basic information regarding our academic testing, why we issue these assessments, and how the results are used to improve our school district.

Testing Window: March 6- May 3, 2019

During this window, Sioux Valley students in grades 3-8 and 11 will take the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC) in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math, along with the South Dakota Science Assessment in grades 8 and 11.

Why do we give these assessments? The SBAC (ELA and Math) and South Dakota Science Assessment (Science) provides educators with evidence of growth and measures student achievement in relation to our state standards. Data obtained from the scores of these assessments provides school officials with evidence which aids in school improvement, intervention programs, and targeted professional growth.

Which subjects are being assessed? In addition to providing overall scores in ELA, Math, and Science, score reports reveal information on student performance in the following areas:

* Reading, writing, listening, and research

* Math concepts/procedures; problem solving/modeling/data analysis; and communicating reasoning

* Science reasoning, chemical reactions, energy transfer, ecosystems, and natural sciences such as impact of natural hazards, weather, & plate tectonics

The South Dakota Science Assessment measures students’ mastery of our state science standards. The design and specifics of the science assessment are online at https://doe.sd.gov/Assessment/science.aspx.

Purpose for the design & use of the assessment: These tests, the SBAC & South Dakota Science Assessment, are designed to correlate directly with the State Standards and provide feedback to students, parents, school officials, and other stakeholders on the growth & mastery of each standard. Use of the data obtained from the tests is used for school improvement, but individual results are never shared and kept confidential.

Source of the requirement for assessment: As well as being considered best practice, the SBAC & South Dakota Science Assessment are mandated by the South Dakota Department of Education whose goal is, “…that all high school students graduate college, career, and life ready. To this aim, the South Dakota assessment system is designed to provide districts, schools, and parents with the information they need to ensure that their students remain on track to reach this goal (source: DOE.SD.GOV).”

The data collected is used by the DOE for school accountability and state-level school improvement initiatives. At Sioux Valley, we believe the data from these assessments is essential for targeting school improvement and setting district goals.

More information can be found online: Information about the SBAC & South Dakota Science Assessment can be found at: http://commoncore.sd.gov/assessment.aspx and http://www.doe.sd.gov/oats/dakSTEP.aspx

Parents can access Practice Tests in ELA and math for grades 3-8 and 11 at: http://www.smarterbalanced.org/practice-test/

What can I do to prepare? There is no need to formally study in preparation as the tests are made up of material learned in the classroom. However, students should to do their best, get plenty of rest the night before, and have a healthy breakfast prior to the assessments.

How much time does it take? Students receive unlimited time to complete the assessments, but typically, students are finished in 2-3 hours. The tests are generally taken on different days but a more detailed schedule of specific testing days/times is distributed to parents and students a month prior to the testing window.

Time and format for disseminating results: Results of the assessments are available approximately 3 weeks after the conclusion of the testing window. Paper copies of these results are sent to each students’ home via USPS, and electronically via email upon request