Comprehensive Assessment in the Owatonna Public Schools
The Owatonna Public Schools has a strong comprehensive assessment program. This program has a balance of diagnostic, summative, and formative assessments. These assessments are used to inform instruction and help gauge the effectiveness of our district curriculum and programs.
Teachers use a variety of assessments to monitor progress and adjust their instruction to meet the needs of each and every student. These assessments come in three forms: diagnostic, formative, and summative.
Summative assessments, often referred to as “of learning”, are used to summarize achievement at a particular point in time. This type of assessment occurs after the learning has happened and is used to measure achievement status at a point in time for the purpose of reporting and accountability. Some examples of summative assessments are the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA’s), Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), and end of unit tests.
Diagnostic assessments, often referred to as “to begin learning”, are used to help identify your students’ current knowledge of a subject/content, their skill sets and capabilities, and to diagnose and clarify misunderstandings before the teaching takes place.
Formative assessments, often referred to as “for learning”, are used to diagnose student needs, plan instruction, and provide students with feedback to improve their learning. This type of assessment is on-going and checking for understanding happens while the learning is occurring.
- takes place during the learning process
- informs both teachers and students
- allows teachers to adjust instruction
- involves students
- cannot be separated from the instructional process
- is classroom assessment for Learning
- provides feedback that moves the learner forward
Owatonna Public Schools follows a comprehensive program for student assessment which includes a variety of assessments that serve different purposes, to ultimately improve student learning. Assessment data is an essential component of the student achievement planning process for all levels of the district as well as a key aspect of long range planning. Assessment results are used for many reasons which include: to comply with external agencies; to provide accountability to parents, community, and taxpayers; to measure district achievement over time and to compare this achievement to state and national ps; for program evaluation; to assist with student placement and special programming; and to guide curriculum and instruction at all levels. In order to measure student learning and growth, multiple types of assessments are used to guide instruction and determine students’ progress within the Owatonna Public Schools Curriculum Frameworks.
For more information on the Owatonna Public Schools Comprehensive Assessment Program, contact Kenneth Griswold, Data & Assessment Coordinator.