Each year, our students receive a variety of assessments in order to determine where they are functioning academically, and to measure their progress as the year progresses. The assessments may include performance assessments (formative and summative), standardized tests, normed referenced tests, and teacher made skills tests.

In addition, we want our students to understand why assessments are given and help them become an active participant in their progress and growth over time. During each grading period, we want our parent conferences to be student-led. This allows our students to understand what their skill-level is and what areas they need to work on in order to make progress towards their goals. At AKCS, we want students to become responsible for their learning. We view them as essential partners in their education!

PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers):

“The PARCC assessments serve as an “educational GPS system,” assessing students’ current performance, and pointing the way to what students need to learn to be ready for the next grade level and, by high school graduation, for college and/or a career.  The PARCC assessments are designed to give schools and teachers more information to improve instruction. Moreover, PARCC is designed to let parents know how their child is progressing academically. This more detailed information can lead to strong engagement between parents and teachers”

PARCC has a parent resource page.  If you are interested in learning more


The Developmental Reading Assessment  (DRA) is a standardized reading test used to determine a student’s instructional level in reading. The DRA is administered individually to students by teachers and/or reading specialists. Students read a selection (or selections) and then retell what they have read to the examiner. As the levels increase, so does the difficulty level for each selection.

Emergent Readers: DRA Levels A-2

Grade Level Benchmark: Middle to End of Kindergarten

  • Demonstrate left to right progression with one to three lines of text
  • Match spoken word to printed word (one-to-one correspondence)
  • Differentiate words and letters
  • Know the sounds and names of most letters
  • Read patterned text using picture and oral language clues
  • Read familiar text with some support
  • Read new text with support
  • Locate and use known words to self-monitor
  • Can retell story including elements such as characters or events with adult support

Early Readers: DRA Levels 3-10

Grade Level Benchmark: Beginning to Middle Gr. 1

  • Select new texts with support
  • Read familiar texts independently
  • Read new texts with some support
  • Gather some information about the story from the teacher’s introductions and the pictures
  • Begin to connect events when previewing pictures
  • Generally read word by word with a few short phrases
  • Know names and sounds of all letters
  • Recognize a growing number of high frequency words
  • Use word attack strategies with difficult words
  • Detect and self-correct some miscues
  • Retell including some story organization, story events (can be out of sequence), and some details about characters and events
  • Link the story to personal experience

Transitional Readers: DRA Levels 12-24

Grade Level Benchmark: Middle Gr. 1 to End of Gr. 2

  • Select appropriately leveled reading materials most of the time
  • Read familiar and some new texts independently
  • Read longer text
  • Read silently more often
  • Self-initiate previewing new text and making predictions
  • Read somewhat smoothly with slight pauses at difficult parts of the text
  • Usually read with expression and attention to punctuation
  • Use efficient strategies to problem solve unknown words
  • Self-correct miscues
  • Retell demonstrating an understanding of the text organization, including main ideas, details about characters, setting, and events, and a literal interpretation.
  • Link the story to personal experience and other media or events

Extending Readers: DRA Levels 28 and above

Grade Level Benchmark: Beginning Gr. 3 to End of Gr. 5

  • Select books for a variety of purposes
  • Read texts independently
  • Read longer text over several sessions without losing track of story and meaning
  • Read silently with good understanding
  • Read new genres with some support
  • Self-initiate previewing text making multiple predictions
  • Read smoothly, with effective expression and attention to punctuation
  • Use strategies automatically
  • Retell demonstrating a very good understanding of text that is organized and sequential; includes main ideas, important details about characters, setting, and events, and vocabulary and specialized phrases from the text
  • Use background knowledge and experience to interpret the story
  • Link the story to other literature


Istation Early Reading Assessment is an adaptive assessment used to assess skills predictive of future reading success.  The assessment provides reliable data with age-appropriate measurement for students in Kindergarten through Third grade. Istation’s computer-adaptive assessment is research-based and aligned with Common Core state standards and adjusts to each student’s ability while keeping readers engaged while they work through the fun activities.

Istation measures growth in:

·      Phonemic awareness

·      Letter Knowledge

·      Alphabetic Decoding

·      Vocabulary

·      Spelling

·      Comprehension

·      Fluency

Istation provides immediate online access to accurate results that our teachers use to prioritize data–driven instruction.  Progress monitoring is used monthly to monitor success of instruction and student progress.