IR School District Implements New DCAS Testing System

by Dave on October 7, 2010

In October, Indian River School District students in Grades 3-10 will begin testing as part of the new online Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS).

DCAS replaces the Delaware Student Testing Program (DSTP), which was discontinued at the end of the 2009-2010 school year.

Initial assessments in reading and mathematics will begin on October 11 and continue through November 19. Each school will establish its own testing schedule within that window. This baseline assessment will help guide classroom instruction for the remainder of the school year.

A second, mid-year baseline assessment in reading and math will take place between January 5 and April 11.

Final summative assessments in reading and math for Grades 2-10 will begin on April 18 and continue through June 3. In addition, final summative assessments in science for Grades 5, 8 and 10 will be held from April 18 until June 3. Final assessments in social studies for Grades 4 and 7 will run from May 23 through June 3.

Each school will set its own testing schedule within the assessment windows and communicate those dates to parents.

The district will also conduct the field tests for end-of-course assessments in Algebra I, Integrated Math I, English II, Biology and U.S. History from May 2 through June 3.

DCAS was piloted in the Indian River School District and statewide last spring. The new online tests are administered on computers and adjust to each student’s knowledge and skills.

The main advantage of DCAS is that it provides immediate feedback on student performance. Teachers can use assessment results to identify each child’s areas of strength and weakness, and adjust instruction accordingly. Each year, students will have the opportunity to take two rounds of formative assessments in reading and math before the final summative assessments in the spring.

Training tests and other DCAS information are available on the state DCAS web portal: http://de.portal.airast.org. Users will need to install a free Mozilla Firefox browser on their computer before taking the practice test. A link to download this browser is available on the site.

For information about DCAS testing dates, please contact your child’s school. Testing schedules and additional information are also available on the Indian River School District web site: www.irsd.net.

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