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POSTED: June 5, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Assessment of student achievement is important because today’s students face a world that demands new knowledge and abilities. Students need to understand the basics, but also need to think critically, to analyze, and to make inferences.

Assessment results have important implications for instruction. The primary purpose of assessment is to foster learning of academic content for all students. Richmond Hill Elementary utilizes school-wide universal assessments in reading fluency, comprehension, and basic math facts three times yearly. The objective of these assessments is to determine how well teachers are meeting the instructional goals set for their students and how curriculum and instruction may be altered so that all students experience success.

In addition, universal screenings allow administrators and teachers to make data driven decisions in an effort to monitor student progress and differentiate lessons by creating individual plans of instruction not only for low-achieving students, but for those who exceed expectations as well. As a result of these mass screenings, teachers are able to provide instruction for small groups of students based on identified needs.

Richmond Hill Elementary has a variety of interventions in place to support the needs of students. Teachers and paraprofessionals provide instruction for small groups of students based on identified needs. Certified staff and paraprofessionals mentor students individually by providing help with organizational skills, homework, and additional instruction in targeted areas. An Early Intervention Program (EIP) provides interventions for small groups of students based on needs as identified through CRCT scores and universal screening data. Early Intervening Services (EIS) provides small group instruction in phonics, reading fluency, reading comprehension, and math. Last but not least, parent volunteers provide one-on-one interventions for students in need of extra support in reading fluency and basic math facts.

The overall aim of data driven instruction is to foster learning of worthwhile academic content for all students. The most direct way that assessment serves this purpose is through its role in making decisions about curriculum and teaching. RHES will continue to use data to help shape instruction in an effort to ensure that all students experience success.

 

Written by Chris Flake and Karen Smith

 

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