District Data & Assessment
Testing changes for 2020-2021
Parent Opt Out forms for Testing will continue to be offered in the Student Handbook. Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) also has other languages available for Testing Opt Out. They include Arabic, Chinese, Hmong, Karen, Khmer, Laotian, Oromo, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese. MDE also has Test Preparation Tips in these languages, FAQ Why Test Results Matter in these languages, ACCESS/MCA/MTAS Parent Fact Sheets in these languages, and other information regarding testing.
Why statewide testing?
Minnesota values its educational system and the professionalism of its educators. Minnesota educators created the academic
standards which are rigorous and prepare our students for career and college.
The statewide assessments are how we as a state measure that curriculum and daily instruction in our schools are being aligned to
the academics standards, ensuring all students are being provided an equitable education. Statewide assessment results are just one
tool to monitor that we are providing our students with the education that will ensure a strong workforce and knowledgeable
If you feel Opting Out of testing is the best choice for your child/children, please specify the reason on the form. MDE does hold school districts accountable for all students, and we do have to let them know why a student does not test. Accountability and Testing are important to give educators information about how to best support each student, to give educators longitudinal data to see if the most appropriate curriculum is being used, and to give families information about how their child/children are doing.
Why does participation matter?
A statewide assessment is just one measure of your student’s achievement, but your student’s participation is important to
understand how effectively the education at your student’s school is aligned to the academic standards.
• In Minnesota’s implementation of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, a student not participating in the statewide
assessments will not receive an individual score and for the purpose of school and district accountability calculations,
including opportunities for support and recognition, will not be considered “proficient.”
• Students who receive a college-ready score on the high school MCA are not required to take a remedial, noncredit course
at a Minnesota State college or university in the corresponding subject area, potentially saving the student time and
• Educators and policy makers use information from assessments to make decisions about resources and support provided.
• Parents and the general public use assessment information to compare schools and make decisions about where to
purchase a home or to enroll their children.
• School performance results that are publicly released and used by families and communities, are negatively impacted if
students do not participate in assessments.
• English learners not taking ACCESS or Alternate ACCESS for ELLs will not receive a score to meet English learner program
Testing Windows All of MN MCA and MTAS testing will be administered through Pearson Access Next as it was this past school year. All ACCESS and Alternate ACCESS testing runs through WIDA-AMS and the DRC Insight platform.
- MCA and MTAS testing window is March 8th – May 7th for reading and math
- MCA testing window is March 8th – May 14th for science
- ACCESS for ELL’s grade K-12 window is January 25th through
March 19thApril 16th
- ACT plus Writing (for seniors only – rescheduled from this Spring) is October 6th
- ACT plus Writing (for juniors and any senior who has not already taken it) is March 30th
The Benchmark Reports are not available this fall, but next year they will have a new look to them. Staff can contact the District Assessment Coordinator in the fall of 2021 to get a copy of their grade level and content area. They will be available for Reading, Math, and Science.
Department of Teaching and Learning
“Excellence for All”
Educational excellence for all learners to be successful global citizens in the future.
Through leadership, provide growth and support opportunities for all staff to positively impact student achievement.
Data and Assessment
Staff will be able to find and use updated data and reports in our student information systems in order to help guide instruction for all students.
- ISD 518 District Testing Calendar
- 2020-2021 State Testing Windows
- Parent Testing Opt Out Form
- Testing Opt Out in Other Languages from MDE
- Testing Tip Line
- Health and Safety Guidelines
- COVID -19 Decision Tree
- Home Screening Tool for COVID-19 Symptoms
- ACCESS Assessment Best Practices for Covid-19
- ISD 518 Preparedness Plan for Safe Testing
- NAEP for Parents
- Parent Fact Sheet – NAEP
- Pearson Access Next
- Pearson Perspective
- Pearson Perspective Quick Guide
- Test Anxiety Tips
- Test Taking Tips