• testing Pottsgrove School District uses a variety of diagnostic and formative assessments before, during, and after classroom instruction to determine students’ academic needs, monitor student progress, and assess learning.  Ongoing formative assessment is a necessary part of effective instructional routines that provide teachers with the information they need to differentiate and make adjustments to instructional practice in order to meet the needs of individual students.




    The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) includes assessments in English Language Arts and Mathematics which are taken by students in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. Students in grades 4 and 8 are administered the Science PSSA.  The English Language Arts and Mathematics PSSAs include items that are consistent with the Assessment Anchors/Eligible Content aligned to the Pennsylvania Common Core Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics.  The Science PSSA include items that are aligned to the Assessment Anchors/Eligible Content aligned to the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Science, Technology, Environment and Ecology.

    Individual student scores, provided only to their respective schools, can be used to assist teachers in identifying students who may be in need of additional educational opportunities, and school scores provide information to schools and districts for curriculum and instruction improvement discussions and planning.


    How is it used?

    Where scores are high over several years, they validate the good work of students and their teachers, and they serve as a measure of accountability. Where scores are low, they help teachers and principals identify areas of curriculum and instruction which may need improvement. When scores increase, they demonstrate Pottsgrove’s commitment to continuous improvement of high-quality teaching and learning. Click here for more information.

    What can parents do?

    • Create an awareness about the test. Talk about it, but don’t create anxiety

    • Encourage your child to relax before the test

    • Provide a healthy breakfast each day

    • Remind your child to take the test seriously, listen carefully to instructions and answer every question

    • Encourage your child to remain focused and do his or her best on the test

    • Review information in this newsletter with your child prior to the test

    • Read together regularly

    • Be positive about the testing                            



    Keystone Exams are end–of-course assessments in designated content areas.  The Keystone Exams serve two purposes: (1) high school accountability assessments for federal and state purposes, and (2) high school graduation requirements for students beginning with the class of 2017.  The Algebra I and Literature Keystone Exams include items written to the Assessment Anchors/Eligible Content aligned to the Pennsylvania Common Core Standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts.  The Biology Keystone Exam includes items written to the Assessment Anchor/Eligible Content aligned to the enhanced Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Science. Click here for more information.


    What it is?        

    The Pennsylvania Value-Added Assessment System (PVAAS) is a statistical analysis of Pennsylvania (PA) state assessment data, and provides Pennsylvania districts and schools with growth data to add to achievement data. This lens of measuring student learning provides educators with valuable information to ensure they are meeting the academic needs of groups of students, as well as individual students.  PVAAS is one of the tools in the cadre of tools provided to districts from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Districts and schools are using PVAAS (growth data), in conjunction with achievement data, to make sure students are on the path to proficiency and beyond.  To view Pottsgrove Middle School's Learning Series on PVAAS click here.


    What is it?

    AIMSWEB is a collection of reading assessments and a data-management system.  The assessments are brief measures of basic skills to determine student performance and progress in reading fluency and comprehension.  This data helps teachers differentiate their instruction to better meet student needs. 


    How is it used?

    The results are used to evaluate individual student development, as well as provide grade-level feedback toward instructional objectives.  All students are assessed three times during the school year.  Students who do not meet established benchmarks will be monitored more frequently to establish the effectiveness of selected interventions.


    What is it?

    The Fountas and Pinnell Reading Assessment is an individual performance assessment used to determine a student’s instructional reading level. 


    The assessment process involves the following steps for each text read:

    • Student reads orally while teacher records oral reading accuracy,

    • Student finishes the text silently while teacher counts errors and evaluates fluency,

    • Teacher guides student in a comprehension conversation about the text and scores responses.

    How is it used?

    The Fountas & Pinnell leveling system provides information to help teachers in Grades 1 through 5:

    • determine instructional reading levels for each student 

    • group students for reading instruction

    • select texts that will be productive for student’s instruction

    • plan efficient and effective instruction for target time instruction (RTII). 


    Common Formative Assessments are periodic assessments, collaboratively designed by grade level, or course teams of teachers, and administered to all students in a grade level or course several times during the quarter, semester, trimester, or entire school year. Designed as matching pre- and post-assessments to ensure same-assessment to same-assessment comparisons, they are similar in design and format to district and state assessments. Common formative assessment items are intentionally aligned to essential (Priority) standards only and reflect a blend of item types, including selected-response (multiple choice, true/false, matching) and open-ended responses. Participating teachers analyze student assessment results in Data Teams to plan and differentiate instruction. Such results provide information as to how students are likely to do on each succeeding assessment in time for teachers to make instructional modifications.