Assessing Student Achievement

There are a variety of assessments that are used to evaluate the academic growth and achievement of students as well as instructional programs at DaVinci Academy of Arts and Science.  Students are tested in order to determine instructional level, measure basic skills, monitor student progress toward achieving state academic standards and to evaluate program effectiveness.

Tests Administered at DaVinci Academy

NWEA Measures of Academic Progress Tests (MAP)
Computerized math and reading tests, administered in the fall and aligned with the Minnesota State Standards. They identify students’ instructional levels and are used to determine academic growth.

STEP Literacy Assessment
STEP enables educators to implement a developmental approach to teaching reading using evidence to inform instruction. STEP introduces targeted interventions for students who need extra reading support.

Data-Driven Assessments
Teacher-created assessments administered each trimester to determine student understanding of Minnesota state assessments and to inform reteaching strategies for teachers.

Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State to State for ELLs (ACCESS)
The ACCESS test is a federally-required language proficiency assessment given to students who have been identified as English Language Learners. ACCESS is designed to assess progress in acquiring academic English language.

This test from the American College Testing organization (ACT) is designed to help 8th graders explore a broad range of options for their future. It prepares students for their high school coursework and for post-high school choices as well.

Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)
A norm-referenced aptitude test, CogAT measures a student’s inductive and deductive reasoning abilities and capacities in verbal, nonverbal, and quantitative tasks. Scores on this assessment reflect a student’s ability to identify relationships and demonstrate flexible thinking. One of the measures of eligibility of participation in the gifted and talented program.

Optional Local Purpose Assessment (OLPA)
A “practice” test for the MCA Math and Reading assessments taken to determine student understanding of the Minnesota standards.

Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA)
Federal and state mandated tests that assess student progress toward achieving Minnesota standards in reading, math and science. Data are used for school accountability by the state. All MCA assessments will be the MCA-III series this year.

Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS)
Alternate assessments utilized by a small percentage of special education students that take the place of the MCA tests in reading, math and science.