For districts and schools that are implementing MTSS, student assessments may be the linchpin of the entire system. Every team that is constructed and every plan that is developed is all for the purpose of producing positive student outcomes. The data from student assessments is the proof of the MTSS successes and gaps.
Looking at school-wide data from student assessments helps with program evaluation. Schools can see the overall impact of supports. The data can show what areas need to be addressed at the district, school, and classroom levels.
At an individual level, student assessments show the skills and needs of each student. This information is used to help match the right supports with the student.
Four Purposes of Student Assessments
Universal screening is the systematic assessment of all students. Universal screening identifies the students who are at-risk and require additional support.
After students are identified and matched with additional supports. The subsequent assessments for the student are used for progress monitoring. The data from progress monitoring helps determine if the student still needs supports or needs different supports.
Diagnostic assessments provide more in-depth information of an individual student’s specific skills, for the purpose of guiding future instructional supports.
Summative assessments gather information about student performance compared to grade level standards. Such assessments are typically required by the state and local districts.
View ten frequently asked questions about the practice of universal screening and the critical features of a screening tool.
The early warning indicators (EWIs) help identify students in grades 5-12 who are at risk for dropping out.
Social-Emotional Behavioral Screening helps identify students who may be at risk for externalizing and internalizing behaviors that impact learning.