District Assessments serve as data points from which instructional intervention courses of action are taken to improve students’ achievement on the Pennsylvania School System of Assessments.

1. Pre-K:

a. Teaching Strategies GOLD
b. Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS-3)


2. Diagnostics (In-Depth View)

a. Dynamic Indicator of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS Next): K–Grade 3

b. Diagnostic Reading Assessment: K–6
c. Dynamic Indicator of Basic Early Literacy Skills (Math): K- Grade 3

3.Common Assessments – administered quarterly:  K-6

4. Formative/Progress Monitoring: K-6

5. Summative (Reaching our Goals)

PSSA (English Language Arts: Grades 3-6; Math: Grades 3-6; Science: Grades 4

PASA (Reading, Math and Science)

6. Other (Individualized)

ACCESS for ELLs: Annual Assessment given to ESL students to determine their eligibility for ESL/ELL services Assessments to determine Eligibility for Gifted Services

Teaching Strategies GOLD

Teaching Strategies’ (formally The Creative Curriculum) Teaching Strategies GOLD® is a comprehensive, research-based assessment system that supports effective teaching and children’s development and learning. The assessment system helps teachers focus on what matters most for children’s success.


DIBELS Next includes a series of research-based enhancements that increase the ease of use as well as the reliability and validity of the assessment.

DIBELS is a set of procedures and measures for assessing the acquisition of early literacy skills designed to be short (one minute) fluency measures used to regularly monitor the development of early literacy and early reading skills. They are comprised of seven measures to indicate phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, accuracy and fluency with connected text, reading comprehension and vocabulary. DIBELS identifies children experiencing difficulty in acquisition of basic early literacy skills in order to provide support early and prevent the occurrence of later reading difficulties.


The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) is a summative, standards-based, content-specific battery of assessments administered in English Language Arts (ELA), Math and Science that measures the degree to which students have learned and can apply their knowledge and skills of the scope of standards they were taught and mastered for their grade level over a period of one year.

However, assessment scores just represent a snapshot in time of student performance and should not be considered the sole indicator of student achievement. Standardized assessments, like the PSSA, help Pennsylvania meet federal and state requirements, as well as provide educators, stakeholders, and policymakers with important information about the commonwealth’s students and schools, and inform instructional practices.

The 2019 test schedule is as follows:

ELA: (Grades 3-6)

Mathematics: (Grades 3-6)

Science: May  (Grades 4)

Make-up Days: May 8-12, 2017


The Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA) is a statewide alternate assessment designed for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities for students who are unable to participate meaningfully in the PSSAs, even with accommodations. (PASA administration is in achieve compliance with federal laws and the Pennsylvania School Code that require that all students participate in the statewide accountability system.


Developed by the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessments (WIDA) Consortium and the Center for Applied Linguistics, the annual Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners (ACCESS for ELLs) test is the state-approved English language proficiency (ELP) assessment.

ACCESS for ELLs measures the WIDA English language proficiency (ELP) standards at the core of the WIDA Consortium’s approach to instructing and evaluating the progress of English language learners. It is administered annually to LEP students in kindergarten through grade 12 to monitor their progress in acquiring academic English. WIDA is a consortium of 27 states that provides cohesive research-based standards and assessment systems supporting state academic standards in the language domains of Listening, Speaking, Writing, and Reading. All test items are aligned to the WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards.

ACCESS for ELLs assesses students’ abilities in all four language domains. It evaluates Social and Instructional English as well as academic language corresponding to the subject areas of Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. It may be used as a screening assessment to determine a student’s English language proficiency level and a need for English language instructional services.

  1. EdInsight
  2. PVAAS (Pennsylvania Value Added Assessment)
  3. PDE’s Diagnostic Tools

Summer Pendro
Summer Pendro, M. Ed. 
Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment
Wilkinsburg School District
Office: 412-871-2120
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