District Assessment Program
Our school district offers a comprehensive assessment program that allows us to examine student achievement and evaluate programming that impacts student achievement.
Formative Assessment System for Teachers™ (FAST)
The Formative Assessment System for Teachers™ (FAST) is a series of tests designed to assess critical skills associated with reading and math achievement. The FAST are administered to all K - 5 students three times during the school year and one time to grade 6 students to help teachers monitor student performance and provide intervention strategies, if necessary. For more information on the FAST, please click here.
The ACT® is a curriculum- and standards-based educational and career planning tool that assesses students' academic readiness for college. The ACT® is administered by the district one time to students in either grade 11 or 12.
In addition to the formal state and standardized assessments, the Elk River Area School District uses a combination of district-wide and teacher-created assessments to evaluate student progress and achievement. These assessments provide teachers with both formative and summative data to make informed decisions about student programming.
District Assessment Committee
The district reviews its testing program bi-annually and recommends changes to improve the quality of the assessment program.
Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments
The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) are administered to students in grades 3 through 8, 10, and 11. The MCAs are the state's accountability tests that meet the federal requirements and are used to determine if schools and districts are making adequate yearly progress. Students in grades 3 through 8 and 10 are assessed in reading and students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 are assessed in math. An additional MCA in science is administered in grades 5 and 8, as well as at the end of a student's biology course in high school. The MCA tests are based on the new standards adopted by the State of Minnesota and are rigorous tests that determine how well a student has mastered the standards developed by the State of Minnesota. For information on how the MCAs are used in college course placement, click here.
Most students take the MCAs, but students who receive special education services and meet alternate assessment eligibility criteria may take the Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS).
English Language Proficiency Assessments
The ACCESS for ELLs and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs are assessments administered to English learners in order to measure progress toward meeting Minnesota's standards for English language development. Most English learners will take the ACCESS for ELLs, but English learners who receive special education services and meet the participation guidelines may take the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs.
Maintaining the integrity of tests and test items is critical to the validity of test score interpretation. Please report suspected incidents of cheating or piracy of test items using the Minnesota Statewide Test Security Tip Line.
For more information on the MCAs, MTAS, and ACCESS for ELLs assessments please click here. Also available is the Parent/Guardian Guide to Statewide Testing and Refusal to Test Form.