USNS Performance Bands

The Universal Screeners for Number Sense are written and visualized in Forefront to make deliberate attempt to emphasize the importance of the parts over the whole. In the detailed rubric for each of the items you will find suggestions for the analysis of each of the questions.  Instructional next steps are provided question by question in Forefront, knowing that targeted instruction is necessary for students in need of additional support.

However, we know that some schools use overall performance also as an indicator of overall success.  Forefront aligns the overall performance for this purpose.  Here are the overall performance levels established in Forefront for each of the assessments:

    • Green = proficient. This student performed well and should be ready for the work of the grade level.
    • Yellow = approaching proficiency/basic. This student performed well on most tasks, but might need some supports in targeted areas.
    • Orange = needs support/below basic. This student struggled with many of the tasks and further assessment to identify areas where targeted instruction would be beneficial should be conducted.
    • Red = needs support/well below basic. This student struggled on most of the assessment. A plan for supporting this student should be in place.


The overall performance bands as defined above are criterion referenced.  The overall performance level for each student is found using the mean of the performance levels for each of the tasks. Overall scores that round to 3 (≥2.5) indicate Level 3 – Proficient. If the results average to a 2 (1.5 – 2.49), then the overall performance level is Level 2 (yellow). The lowest set of results, those that average to a 1 (≤1.49), are broken into two performance levels: the lower half of the set indicates Level 0 – Well Below Basic; and the upper half of the set indicates Level 1 – Below Basic.

The purposes of the overall proficiency band are to:

    • Help teachers quickly identify students who lack a variety of the skills and concepts necessary for engaging productively with the grade level content.
    • Flag students for whom additional assessments might be necessary to identify starting points for instruction.
    • The overall performance is also helpful for visualizing growth over time for individual and cohorts of students.

The percentile bands that align with each of the performance levels vary grade by grade and assessment. These can be viewed directly through Forefront using the Performance Histogram report for each of the assessments.  Forefront users can also view norm references for each of the score possibilities using the Score Histogram report in Forefront.  These percentile bands can be seen for the Forefront Global Cohort, which provides a national norm for schools and districts to compare to. Performance bands can also be seen for local norms (school and district) through these same reports.

Fall USNS Overall Performance Levels

Note: Overall proficiency levels are calculated by item-by-item proficiency levels rather than point values. Here are the recommended proficiency bands to be used: 

Midyear USNS Overall Performance Levels

Spring USNS Overall Performance Levels

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