Curriculum » Assessments


District Assessments


District Assessments serve as data points from which instructional intervention courses of action are taken to improve students’ achievement on the Pennsylvania School System of Assessments.

  1. Pre-K:
  2. Teaching Strategies GOLD
    b. Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS-3)
  3. Diagnostics (In-Depth View)
  4. Acadience Reading and Math: K–Grade 6
  5. Diagnostic Reading Assessment: K–6
  6. PDE Classroom Diagnostic Tools (CDT)
  7. Common Assessments – administered quarterly:  K-6
  8. Formative/Progress Monitoring: K-6
  9. Summative (Reaching our Goals)

PSSA (English Language Arts: Grades 3-6; Math: Grades 3-6; Science: Grades 4)

PASA (Reading, Math and Science)

  1. Other (Individualized)

ACCESS for ELLs: Annual Assessment given to ESL students to determine their eligibility for ESL/ELL services Assessments to determine Eligibility for Gifted Services




Teaching Strategies GOLD

Teaching Strategies’ (formally The Creative Curriculum) Teaching Strategies GOLD® is a comprehensive, research-based assessment system that supports effective teaching and children’s development and learning. The assessment system helps teachers focus on what matters most for children’s success.


Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS-3) An easy-to-use evaluation instrument for rating early childhood settings. The 37 items are divided into seven subscales: personal care routines, furnishings and display for children, language - reasoning experiences, fine and gross motor activities, creative activities, social development, adult needs.


ACADIENCE Reading and Math

Acadience Reading includes a series of research-based enhancements that increase the ease of use as well as the reliability and validity of the assessment.

Acadience Reading is a set of procedures and measures for assessing the acquisition of early literacy skills designed to be short (one minute) fluency measures used to regularly monitor the development of early literacy and early reading skills. They are comprised of seven measures to indicate phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, accuracy, and fluency with connected text, reading comprehension and vocabulary. Acadience Reading identifies children experiencing difficulty in acquisition of basic early literacy skills in order to provide support early and prevent the occurrence of later reading difficulties.


Acadience Math is comprised of measures of early numeracy, computation, and problem solving that function as indicators of essential skills that every child must master to become proficient in mathematics. Acadience Math assessments are aligned to the Common Core State Standards in mathematics.

The Diagnostic Reading Assessment: K–6 (DRA) is an individually administered assessment of a child's reading capabilities. It is a tool to be used by instructors to identify a student’s reading level, accuracy, fluency, and comprehension.


The Pennsylvania Classroom Diagnostic Tools (CDT) is a set of online assessments, divided by content areas (Literacy, Mathematics, and Science), and is designed to provide diagnostic information to guide instruction to support intervention and enrichment.  The CDT reporting system is fully integrated in the Standards Aligned System (SAS).  It assists educators in identifying student academic strengths and areas in need of improvement and provides links to classroom resources.  The CDT is a computer adaptive test (CAT) and depending upon how the student responds to the first few items; the next set of items will adjust to the student’s instructional level.  The diagnostic reports feature easy-to-follow links to targeted curricular resources and materials, including units and lesson plans found within the SAS system.  Students receive approximately 48-60 items per test

depending upon their response pattern.  The CDT is an un-timed test, and it can be scheduled over multiple days. The CDT is available to districts at no cost.



The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) is a summative, standards-based, content-specific battery of assessments administered in English Language Arts (ELA), Math and Science that measures the degree to which students have learned and can apply their knowledge and skills of the scope of standards they were taught and mastered for their grade level over a period of one year.


However, assessment scores just represent a snapshot in time of student performance and should not be considered the sole indicator of student achievement. Standardized assessments, like the PSSA, help Pennsylvania meet federal and state requirements, as well as provide educators, stakeholders, and policymakers with important information about the commonwealth’s students and schools, and inform instructional practices.



The Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA) is a statewide alternate assessment designed for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities for students who are unable to participate meaningfully in the PSSAs, even with accommodations. (PASA administration is in achieve compliance with federal laws and the Pennsylvania School Code that require that all students participate in the statewide accountability system.



Developed by the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessments (WIDA) Consortium and the Center for Applied Linguistics, the annual Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners (ACCESS for ELLs) test is the state-approved English language proficiency (ELP) assessment.


ACCESS for ELLs measures the WIDA English language proficiency (ELP) standards at the core of the WIDA Consortium’s approach to instructing and evaluating the progress of English language learners. It is administered annually to LEP students in kindergarten through grade 12 to monitor their progress in acquiring academic English. WIDA is a consortium of 27 states that provides cohesive research-based standards and assessment systems supporting state academic standards in the language domains of Listening, Speaking, Writing, and Reading. All test items are aligned to the WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards.


ACCESS for ELLs assesses students’ abilities in all four language domains. It evaluates Social and Instructional English as well as academic language corresponding to the subject areas of Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. It may be used as a screening assessment to determine a student’s English language proficiency level and a need for English language instructional services.