january month

Mid-year testing Quick Guide

A review of progress monitoring tests in schools

Each year schools administer various progress monitoring tests in the beginning, middle, and end of the school year. As a result, schools must use progress monitoring to help students in the classroom. However, some parents wonder how this data helps and what they should know about it.

Progress monitoring

There are several mid-year tests that schools administer each year. For instance, such testing includes mathematics, reading, and writing evaluations. Additionally, immersion classrooms may also administer Spanish language arts assessment.

Above all, the purpose of mid-year progress monitoring testing is to measure student progress and inform instruction. Additionally, the results of the assessments provide teachers valuable information about student abilities. Schools can also use progress monitoring to compare the beginning of year tests to the middle of the year test results.

Assessment Tools

Below are the three most common assessment tools schools use to monitor progress. But note that some schools may use a different assessment, not on this list.

DIBELSThe DIBELS assessment for reading is a test that teachers give to students to assess their literacy skills. Additionally, DIBELS measures phonological awareness, alphabetic principle, and fluency with connected text.
NWEA MAP GrowthMAP Growth is a computer adaptive test that kids take two to three times per school year. MAP Growth measures what students know.
STAR TestStar Assessments are short tests that provide teachers with learning data. Star tests are computer-adaptive, which means they adjust to each answer your child provides. 
Progress Monitoring Assessments

Areas Tested

English Language Arts

The above progress monitoring tools facilitate test administration in multiple areas. Subsequently, the English language, assessment measures phonological awareness, alphabetic principle, and fluency. Reading comprehension is assessed based on the student grade level.


The math progress monitoring test measures a student’s ability to determine student needs. For example, these include numeracy, computation, and problem-solving. These function as indicators of the essential skills that every child must master to become proficient in math. As a result, small group interventions provide allow teachers to customize instruction depending on student needs.

Spanish Language Arts

Spanish language arts is another area that schools monitor. In dual-language classrooms, reading assessments measure the Spanish alphabet, letter sounds, blending, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. Similarly, classroom teachers assess to figure out areas of struggle using a Spanish language arts assessment.

Data Usage

Test results determine small group interventions. In other words, they determine the area (s) that students may need additional help in. Intervention groups provide students direct instruction in the areas they struggle with.

Such groups also focus on the naming of the alphabet, letter sounds, word blending, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. However, in mathematics, these may include number counting, multiplication, sequencing, and much more.

Furthermore, some schools use certain online learning programs as additional support to reinforce reading and mathematics. Ask for the login information to have your child use the account at home.

Overall, mid-year testing is part of your child’s academic development. Teachers use progress monitoring to guide their instruction and interventions. Meanwhile, as a parent, be sure to inquire about these interventions and results. This information helps you provide support from home.

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