Assessment for Learning
The School District uses many forms of assessment to measure learning progress. Some assessments are required by the Department of Public Instruction, some are required by the State of Wisconsin, and some are locally developed.
Like all districts across the state of Wisconsin, Bloomer Schools are required to track more and more student data on achievement. Bloomer Schools adopted achievement screeners, participated in the state-wide assessment systems, and developed their own formative and summative evaluations of achievement.
The District administers the STAR-Enterprise screener. This “screener” provides a very basic grade level snapshot of student progress. Each child in grades 1-12 participates in the screener three times during the year: in September, January, and May. Results show specific areas where students may need mini-lessons or where support might be needed to understand key concepts. Progress is monitored throughout the year. The screener includes a test in math and reading with results being instantly available for staff to review. Through the use of data, teachers then plan lessons to help students meet learning targets.
In addition to the STAR-Enterprise Screener, students in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10 take the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (WKCE) in October and November, although this exam will be replaced with the Badger Exam once designed. The planned tests measure achievement in multiple areas one time during the year. The data from the WKCE takes a long time to be returned to the districts and for this reason the Wisconsin DPI proposed a new assessment which will be based on new rigorous new academic standards. Students across the state will take the “Badger State smarter-balanced” assessments which arrive soon.
The District continues to up-date curriculums to address increased testing score benchmarks that will be measured on the new assessments. Cut scores on the assessments require increased academic rigor in order for the district to receive strong ranking scores on the state level report card.
For many years districts across the nation have been randomly selected to take the NAEP. The NAEP scores are reported as a state and national average. The NAEP test scores are used in measuring achievement of the students across the nation. The School District of Bloomer students have taken the NAEP many times in the past.
During spring of 2012 schools were notified of the requirements for our youngest learners. All pre-school, kindergarten, first, second grade students now take the Phonological Assessment of Literacy Skills (PALS) assessment required by the state. The PALS assessment tests younger students on recognition of letters, sounds, vocabulary development and early literacy. PALS assessments are administered three times a year. The data from these assessment are recorded by classroom teachers and student achievement tracked over the course of the year with early literacy as the goal.
Finally, the State Superintendent of Schools requires high school students to take a variety of assessments from the ACT, ACT ASPIRE and COMPASS, to the ACT WorkKeys which also are part of the overall school report card. Bloomer Students have the opportunity to take many varied assessments that meet their individual needs including the ASVAB, ACT, ACT WorkKeys, SAT, and COMPASS tests on site.
Assessments provide opportunities for our staff to teach to specific learning targets. But assessments are only one piece of the bigger academic picture. The staff in the School District of Bloomer know that it is important to provide a balanced and thoughtful curricula. Therefore, we strive to continue to provide our students with a strong curriculum, a broad range of co-curricular programs to build student knowledge and provide opportunities for character and leadership development. If you are interested in learning more about the many district events we plan for our students please feel free to log onto the website and check out the activities calendar at http://www.bloomer.k12.wi.us or check out more about assessments on the new report card webpage at