About » Academics - Assessments

Academics - Assessments

McPherson USD 418 uses identified assessments to inform instruction and enhance learning. Assessment focuses on the collective impact of curriculum on student learning. 
Purpose Behind Assessment
Purpose 1:  Supporting student success through core instruction. Assessment tools are needed to inform instruction, support student reflection, engage parent/family support, and guide school-based planning for all students.  
Purpose 2:  Supporting student success through screening, intervention, and progress monitoring. Assessment tools are needed to support the critical elements of (MTSS) Multi-tiered System of Supports. These tools include universal screeners, progress monitoring tools, and diagnostic tools in reading, behavior/student well-being, and math. 
Purpose 3:  Supporting student success through educator growth within Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). Common Assessment data inform educator effectiveness and support collaboration among educators. 
Purpose 4:  Supporting student learning through continuous improvement at the system level. Assessment tools inform district-level decisions about programs, resources, and initiatives. 
Comprehensive, reliable screening tool measures development in 5 domains: communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving, personal-social. More information is available HERE.
Grades: PreK, K
Teaching Strategies GOLD® is an authentic observation-based assessment system for children from birth through kindergarten. 
Grades: PreK
The Phonological Awareness Screening Test (PAST) is here presented as a valid and reliable assessment of phonological awareness that takes 5-8 minutes to administer. ... It is offered to educational professionals and researchers as a free, public domain test.
Grades: K-2
FastBridge is the only system to offer both Curriculum-Based Measures (CBM) and Computer Adaptive Tests (CAT) for reading, math, and social-emotional behavioral (SEB). Our combined universal screening approach improves the reliability and validity of decisions by giving teachers more accurate data about student learning faster than any other system.
    • Math: Our universal screeners for math are based on the recommendations of the National Math Panel and the National Common Core Standards.
    • Reading: FastBridge offers universal screeners for reading that are grounded in the science of reading research. Our CBM and CAT reading assessments identify the specific literacy skills a student is struggling with and offer evidence-based recommendations on how to close skill gaps.

Grades: K-12; Fall, Winter, Spring

The SAEBRS is a teacher-based rating scale of student risk for social-emotional and behavioral problems for K–12 students. The SAEBRS is designed for universal screening to identify school-, class-, and individual-level social-emotional learning needs.
SAEBRS has a student-rater companion assessment, mySAEBRS, which allows students in grades 2-12 to self-assess their social, academic, and emotional behavior.

Grades: K-12
PreACT™ empowers 10th-grade students with a unique ACT® test practice experience. PreACT reporting includes both academic and career indicators, which are designed to identify strengths and areas for improvement, providing a complete view of students' college and career readiness.
Grades: 8-10


Because the ACT is a curriculum-based assessment, test results are used to improve school and district curriculum, improve instructional practices, make educational interventions, and assist in educational and career planning. 
Why the ACT for all Juniors? 
The ACT is accepted by all four-year colleges and universities in the United States. The ACT is paid by the state Junior year. 
School-wide testing raised college awareness and exposure among all students, rather than just self-selected, college-bound students.
ACT Test results indicate the number of students who are ready for college-level coursework. The Benchmarks are the minimum scores on the ACT English, Reading, Mathematics, and Science tests to indicate at least 50 percent chance of obtaining a B or higher or a 75 percent chance of obtaining a C or higher in a corresponding, credit-bearing college course.
The ACT also offers education and career planning sections.


 Grade: 11

The PSAT/NMSQT is a standardized test that 11th graders (and some 10th graders) take in October. Like the SAT, it measures the knowledge and skills in reading, writing, and math students learn in the classroom—the same knowledge and skills your child needs to succeed in college and career.

Grades: 10-11

English Language Proficiency Assessment Placement (Screener)


An English language proficiency assessment placement (KELPA-P) determines that the student is limited in any domain of English proficiency (listening, speaking, reading, writing, or a composite of the four domains), then the student must receive English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) services. Students who score proficient/fluent on the KELPA-P do not qualify for ESOL services.

Grades: K-12
ACT WorkKeys® assessments are the cornerstone of ACT workforce solutions. The assessments measure foundational skills required for success in the workplace, and help measure the workplace skills that can affect job performance. WorkKeys assessments are:
  • Relevant—WorkKeys® assessments are developed to solve actual workplace problems. Unlike other assessments, they don’t simply give an indication of reading and writing competency. Instead, they measure a range of hard and soft skills relevant to any occupation, at any level, and across industries.
  • Recognized—Successful completion of WorkKeys core assessments can lead to earning an ACT WorkKeys® National Career Readiness Certificate™ (ACT WorkKeys NCRC®)—a credential that verifies the skills found to be most essential across industries and occupations. Tens of thousands of employers recognize the value of the NCRC, and many recommend the credential to candidates.
  • Each assessment offers varying levels of difficulty. The levels build on each other, incorporating the skills assessed at the previous levels. For example, at Level 5, individuals need the skills from Levels 3, 4, and 5. The complexity increases as the quantity and/or density of the information increases. Assessments are web-based and most take one hour. They are offered in both English and Spanish.
Grades: 11
Stands for the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, which is a multiple-choice test that helps you identify which Army jobs (Military Occupational Specialties) would be best for you.

Grades: 10-12; Ages 16+
Quick Phonics Screener (QPS) is a phonics assessment that teachers have successfully used for more than 10 years to diagnose a student’s strengths and instructional needs in phonics and decoding skills. Quick Spelling Survey (QSS) is a spelling assessment that a teacher can administer to a group or a whole class. The words used in QSS follow the same phonics continuum of skills used in QPS.  
Grades: PreK-8
The Kansas Assessment Program (KAP), a program of the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), fulfills a mandate from the Kansas Legislature. KAP provides general education assessments, alternate assessments, career and technical education assessments, and an English language proficiency assessment. KITE Parent Information/Assessment Info.
The English language arts (ELA), mathematics, and science assessments are part of the federal elementary and secondary education legislation. The general assessment:
  • Measures specific claims related to the Kansas Standards in grades 3-8 and high school,
  • Reports individual student scores along with each student’s performance level, and
  • Provides subscale and total scores that can be used with local assessment scores to assist in improving a building’s or district’s programs in ELA, mathematics, and science.
Grades: 3-11
A language proficiency test. The Seal of Biliteracy is an award given by a school, school district, or state in recognition of students who have studied and attained proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation.
All AP exams are open to everyone enrolled in the course. Courses typically available at MHS include: