Administrative Rules
and Procedures to
Implement Policy 610.01

District Assessment Program

1. State  and District Assessments.

The Elkhorn Public Schools has adopted an assessment plan and has aligned the curriculum with the state approved content standards.  The assessment plan includes a schedule and procedures for assessing success in achieving state standards.

Teachers are to clearly articulate the learning targets and align instruction to the learning targets within each of the content standards.  Teachers are to give students instruction on the content prior to students being assessed on each content standard in order to provide learning opportunities for all students.

The assessments are to be conducted in accordance with the assessment plan schedule.  Teachers are to conduct the assessments in a manner that assures it accurately assesses whether or not students are meeting the targets outlined by the content standards.

Assessment results are to be reported by the teachers in the manner and within the time directed by the administration or designee.  The assessment data is to be used to meet state standards, to provide students and parents with information about student progress, to enhance school improvement planning, and to improve instruction. The assessment data is to be evaluated by teachers to monitor student learning and to improve instruction or terminate ineffective teaching practices to ensure students are being given the opportunity to meet the standards.

  1. Achieving Valid Assessments.

Educators are responsible for maintaining the integrity of the assessments to ensure that assessments provide a valid measure of student progress and accomplishments. Educators are not to engage in any practice that may result in assessment results that do not reflect student learning, knowledge, skills or abilities in the area assessed.

For purposes of this policy, student assessments include both “standardized assessments” (including state assessments, district assessments, norm referenced tests, and evaluations conducted for special education eligibility) and “coursework assessments” (e.g., classroom tests, quizzes, and other evaluative tools used to assign grades).

The following specific assessment expectations and rules apply:

  1. Integrity of the Assessment Instrument. The integrity of the assessment instrument is to be maintained.
  1.                i.              Standardized Assessments. Standardized assessment instruments are not to be made available to students at any time before the student takes the assessment. The assessment instrument is to be maintained in a secure manner.
  1.                                    ii.              Coursework Assessments. Coursework assessment instruments are to be periodically modified to keep the assessments current and prevent students from effectively using “test banks.”  For coursework assessments that are given on a repeat basis to students at different times (e.g., a test that is given to students throughout the school day), the educator is to remind students to not share the content of the assessment with students who will be taking the assessment later.
  1. Teaching for Success on Assessments.

It is appropriate for educators to prepare students to do well on assessments. This is to be accomplished in a manner that assures the assessment accurately reflects the student’s knowledge, and not simply test preparation.

  1.                                      i.              Teach the Content.  Educators are to prepare students to do well on assessments by teaching the subject content. Educators are not to “teach to the test” by teaching based solely on the specific item content of the assessment.  The content is to be taught to the students over an appropriate amount of time prior to the assessment. “Cramming” assessment content just before the assessment is to be taken is not appropriate. Review of content previously taught is appropriate.
  1.                                    ii.              Practice Tests. Educators are to prepare students by teaching general test taking skills.  Educators are not to conduct reviews (drills), using actual items from the current form of a standardized test that will be administered to students. Educators are not to conduct reviews (drills) using items of identical format (for example, multiple choice) to the exclusion of other formats.
  1. Conditions for Successful Assessments.
  1.                                      i.              Communications.  Educators are to communicate to students and parents when assessments will be administered, the purpose of the assessment and how the assessment results will be used.  Educators are to motivate students to do their best on assessments.  Educators are to read and be familiar with assessment administration directions in advance and communicate the rules to students accurately and clearly.
  1.                                    ii.              Climate. Educators are to have sufficient assessment materials available (e.g., No. 2 pencils, if needed).  The classroom is to be arranged to allow comfortable seating.  Distractions are to be eliminated.  Educators in nearby classrooms are to be informed that the assessment is to be administered so noises from neighboring classrooms are kept at a minimum.  Activities or arrangements are to be made for students who finish early so such students do not cause a distraction to other students still taking the assessment.
  1.                                  iii.              Security. Educators are to monitor students while administering assessments to ensure students are complying with standards of academic integrity.  Students who violate standards of academic integrity are to be reported to the administration.
  1. Full Participation. Educators are to make efforts to have all eligible students take the assessments.  A student will be exempted from assessments only if specifically required on that student’s individual education plan (IEP).
  1. Assistance During Assessments.
  1.                                      i.              Standardized Assessments. Educators are not to provide accommodations or assistance to students while a standardized assessment is being administered except as provided for in a student’s IEP or ELL plan.  Educators will strictly adhere to administration directions for all standardized tests (including district level assessments).
  1.                                    ii.              Coursework Assessments. For coursework assessments, students may be allowed access to instructional materials or mechanical aids only when all students being given the assessment are given the aids and use of the aids does not hinder the students from learning the content of the lesson.
  1. Student Answers.  Assessments are to reflect the students’ work as submitted by the students. During the assessments, educators are to monitor students to make sure directions are being followed (e.g., students are using a No. 2 pencil on all “bubble” sheet assessments and completely erase mistaken answers and extra marks on “bubble” sheet assessments).  Educators are not to change answers on a student’s assessment sheet or otherwise participate in the submission of false or misleading assessment results.

All employees are to adhere to Nebraska’s NeSA Security Procedures and report breaches in security to Superintendent or the Superintendent’s assessment designee for report to the Nebraska Department of Education. Professionalism, common sense, and practical procedures provide the framework for testing ethics.

Violations of the rules and expectations set forth in this policy will be considered to be a breach of the District’s standard of ethics and may result in disciplinary consequences.  Educators are to report suspected violations of the expectation to the administration.  The administration is to investigate and appropriately respond to violations of the expectations.

Legal Reference:
NDE Rule 10.05; NDE Rule 27.004.02H and 004.03D

Adopted: August 14, 2006
Revised: November 14, 2011