The Mount Vernon Community School District utilizes a variety of assessments to gauge student learning and guide instructional decisions in order to increase student achievement and foster growth in our learners. Here are several types of assessments that aid us in this process:

Formative Assessments


Formative assessments, or assessments FOR learning, help teachers check student learning progress during a unit or course. They show what students know and can do and what they are ready to learn next, helping teachers determine next steps for instruction.


  • homework
  • exit tickets
  • non-graded quizzes
  • class discussions

Summative Assessments


Summative assessments, or assessments OF learning, are used to measure student learning at the end of a unit or term. These assessments show how well students have mastered the course standards or learning objectives.


  • projects
  • essays
  • tests
  • presentations
  • final exams

Universal Screening


Universal screening is used to determine where students are in relation to a benchmark and helps teachers identify which students may need additional support to be academically successful. The term “universal” indicates that all students participate in the screening process. Mount Vernon Community School District utilizes the FastBridge Learning system to screen for reading, math, and social/emotional/academic behavior three times each year: fall, winter, and spring.


  • earlyReading (K-1): early literacy skills
  • CBMreading (1-6): oral reading skills with word recognition and rate
  • aReading test (3-12): broad reading abilities
  • aMath (2-12): broad math abilities
  • SAEBRS (K-12): social, academic, and emotional behavior

Diagnostic Assessments


Diagnostic assessments are used to identify instructional needs for individual students. While the universal screener may indicate that a student needs additional support, it does not identify what specific areas the student needs support with—that’s where the diagnostic assessment comes into play. Results of these assessments help teachers identify student needs and plan interventions when appropriate.


For Reading: 

  • Phonological Awareness Screening Test
  • Quick Phonics Screener
  • Benchmark Assessment System

For Math: 

  • Howard County Readiness Assessment
  • Delaware Screener

Progress Monitoring


Progress monitoring is used to track ongoing progress for students receiving intervention. Over time, these data points reveal a trend line that represents a student’s progress. This information helps teachers determine whether the current intervention is working for a student and whether each student is making adequate growth toward a benchmark or goal.


  • Weekly or biweekly probes related to a goal or target


Standardized Assessments


Standardized assessments are used to evaluate the instructional system and learning occurring across that system. They also give information about each individual student’s skills.



Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP)

  • Reading (3-11)
  • Language Arts/Writing (3-11)
  • Math (3-11)
  • Science (5, 8, and 10)

Key Contacts

Michelle Boyden

District Teacher Leadership Instructional Specialist