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Administering Below and Above Grade-Level USNS Assessments

The fall interviews are aligned to the previous grade-level’s expectations. They intend to show if students have mastered the major work of the previous grade level. This will help identify those students that will be successful at the beginning of the year in their current grade-level or could benefit from additional instructional supports. For example, first grade students are assessed in the fall for the critical skills of kindergarten in the first six weeks of the year. Learn more about the USNS assessment windows here.

Midyear and spring assessments are assessing students for the major work of their current grade level. Whether for the fall, midyear, or spring assessments, when students score very poorly on an assessment, a common next step is to go down a grade-level. This will provide formative information and give teachers and interventionists starting places for instruction with the student.

If a student is determined to be proficient on a USNS assessment, this evidence along is not intended to help identify students that would benefit from accelerated course work or gifted and talented programming. The primary purpose of the USNS assessment series is to inform instruction for grade-level content. For this reason, for students who are being considered for acceleration, a grade level Screener can be added to a body of evidence, but should be only an additional piece, not core to the process.

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