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Assessment Overview

In Huntley 158, assessments are essential to a student’s learning experience as they help us design instruction by targeting students’ individual needs. It’s important to remember that any one assessment alone does not tell a student’s full learning story. Instead, Huntley 158 educators utilize information obtained from a variety of local and state assessments to monitor student progress, measure effectiveness of strategies and curriculum, and set goals for the future. This is all achieved through a partnership with students, parents, and educators, with the sole goal of meeting the needs of all students always. The information below summarizes the district and state assessments currently administered, as well as provides additional information regarding interpreting scores.

Local Assessments

AimsWeb Literacy & MathAn assessment administered to all K-5 students and select 6-12 students, in order to better identify specific strengths and areas of support for foundational math and literacy skills.  Fall
STAR Reading and MathAn assessment administered to all K-11 students in order to better identify specific strengths and areas of support in student learning of reading and math standards.  Note, this assessment replaced NWEA MAP in 2020.Fall
BESSAn assessment administered to all PreK-12 students that helps provide additional insight into our students’ social-emotional and behavioral needs and identify those who may be at risk of future difficulty in school.Fall
CogATAn assessment administered to all 2nd grade and select 3rd-5th grade students in order to measure a student’s verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal reasoning and problem-solving skills.  This assessment is one assessment utilized to help determine a student’s gifted identification.Winter
myIGDIsAn assessment administered to all Pre-School students in order to better understand student strengths and areas of support for early math, literacy, and fine motor needs.Fall

State Assessments

Federal law requires the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to administer assessments to all students who attend public schools in the state.

Assessment Purpose Dates
ACCESSThe ACCESS test is the annual assessment for all K-12 English Learners (ELs) in the State of Illinois.  ACCESS scores are used to assess student progress and proficiency in English as well as to help determine placement in the EL program the following school year.Jan – March
DLMThe DLM is the annual assessment for all 3rd-12th grade students eligible for the alternative assessment in the areas of reading/language arts, mathematics, and science.  Mar 16 – May 4
IARThe IAR is the annual achievement assessment for all 3rd-8th grade students for reading/language arts and mathematics.Apr 11-22
ISAThe ISA is the annual achievement assessment for all students in 5th, 8th, and 11th grade for science.  Mar 14-18
KIDSThe KIDS assessment is an annual assessment of all Kindergarten students in order to better understand students’ abilities when they begin their first year of school. Fall
Students must take an achievement exam in reading/language arts and mathematics in high school. In Illinois, high school students in grades nine through eleven take either the PSAT 8/9, PSAT 10, or the SAT (11th Grade).Apr 13

AimsWeb Literacy & Math

AIMSWeb is a web-based solution for universal screening, progress monitoring, and data management for Grades K-12. At the foundation of AIMSWeb is general outcome measurement, a form of curriculum-based measurement (CBM), used for universal screening and progress monitoring. This form of brief assessment measures overall performance of key foundational skills at each grade level and draws upon over thirty years of scientific research that demonstrates both its versatility to provide accurate prediction of reading and math achievement as well as its sensitivity to growth.

The aimswebPlus reading and math assessments are used for two main purposes:
1. Universal Screening, to identify students likely to struggle so that these students can receive extra instruction in a timely manner
2. Progress Monitoring, to track the progress of students receiving extra instruction and ensure that they are on schedule to meet their year-end reading and math goals.

AimsWeb test results are usually provided in a single score which can be compared to a national average or to the average performance for the local school or district. These results are utilized to help determine the specific supports your child may need.

STAR Reading & Math

The STAR assessment is a computer adaptive assessments which provides teachers with learning data. Computer-adaptive tests continually adjust the difficulty of each child’s test by choosing each test question based on the child’s previous response. If the child answers a question correctly, the difficulty level of the next item is increased. If the child misses a question, the difficulty level is decreased. CATs save testing time and spare your child the frustration of items that are too difficult and the boredom of items that are too easy.

On average, students will complete the STAR Math test in about 20 minutes, the STAR Reading test in about 15 minutes, the STAR Early Literacy test in 15–20 minutes, and the STAR Reading Spanish test in about 10 minutes. However, some students may require more time.

The following scores are available to parents:
Scaled Score (SS): Scaled scores are useful for comparing student performance over time and across grades. A scaled score is calculated based on the difficulty of questions and the number of correct responses. Because the same range is used for
all students, scaled scores can be used to compare student performance across grade levels. STAR Reading and STAR Math scaled scores range from 0-1400. STAR Early Literacy scaled scores range from 300-900. For the Spanish versions of the programs, STAR Reading Spanish and STAR Reading Math Spanish scaled scores range from 600-1400, STAR Early Literacy Spanish scaled scores range from 200-1100.
Grade Equivalent (GE): Grade Equivalent scores range from 0.0 to 12.9+. A GE score shows how your child’s test performance compares with that of other students nationally.
Percentile Rank (PR): The Percentile Rank is a norm-referenced score that provides a measure of a student’s reading ability compared to other students in the same grade nationally. The percentile rank score, which ranges from 1 to 99, indicates the percentage of other students nationally who obtained scores equal to or lower than the score of a particular student. For example, a student with a percentile rank score of 85 performed as well as or better than 85 percent of other students in the same grade.
Instructional Reading Level (IRL): The IRL is calculated after a student completes a STAR Reading test; it is a criterion-referenced score that is the highest reading level at which a student is 80% proficient (or higher) at comprehending material with assistance. Research has found that this level of comprehension corresponds to being at least 90-98% proficient at recognizing words. STAR reading does not directly assess word recognition. IRL scores are Pre-Primer (PP), Primer (P), grades 1.0 through 12.9 and Post-High School (PHS).
Lexile Measure: The Lexile Measure represents a student’s reading ability. The Lexile® Measure is shown as a number with an “L” after it: 750L is 750 Lexile®. Higher Lexile® measures indicate higher levels of reading ability. A Lexile® measure can range from below 200L for emergent readers to above 1600L for advanced readers. Readers who score below 0L receive a BR for Beginning Reader.


The Behavioral and Emotional Screening System (BESS) is a school-wide, universal screener. The term “screener” means that this is a preliminary step for identifying, from all students, those who may be at risk of future difficulty in school. The BESS screens a wide array of behaviors that help to identify strengths and areas of concern including internalizing, externalizing, and school behaviors as well as adaptive skills and can assist in identifying any areas that may be interfering with a student’s academic or social success. The BESS is meant to provide a snapshot; it is not meant to serve as the only reference for a student’s social-emotional and behavioral functioning or needs.

The BESS is not considered a comprehensive diagnostic assessment. Rather, it is a tool that can be used to determine a child’s risk level for developing emotional and/or behavioral problems that require intervention. For students in grades PreK-5, classroom teachers complete the form documenting observations for the student. In Grades 6-12, students self-report based on the BESS self-reporting tool.

A Students’ Behavioral and Emotional Risk Index (BERI) T-score is reported, which serves as the overall score, similar to a composite. This is generated based on the responses provided by the teacher(s) or student who completed the screener. A student’s BERI T-score can be categorized into one of three different classification/risk levels. These risk levels are identified as:
– Normal (60 or below)
– Elevated (61 to 70)
– Extremely Elevated (71 or higher)

You can opt your student out of BESS screening by contacting your school’s adminstration.


Purpose: To provide a description of the student’s own cognitive resources for learning. CogAT measures general thinking and problem-solving skills and indicates how well the student uses these skills to solve verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal problems. It provides a picture of the student’s strength and weakness.

Verbal Battery: The Verbal battery is comprised of three subtests (Verbal Analogies, Verbal Classification, and Sentence Completion) that appraise deductive and inductive reasoning skills as well as flexibility, fluency and adaptability in working with verbal materials and solving verbal problems. Successful performance on these tests requires that students have a variety of verbal strategies that they can use effectively. This cluster of verbal reasoning ability plays an important role in developing skills in reading comprehension, critical thinking, writing, and other types of verbal learning tasks.

Nonverbal Battery: The Nonverbal battery presents the most novel problems to students. The items on these subtests (Figure Matrices, Paper Folding, and Figure Classification ) use only geometric shapes and figures that have little direct relationship to formal school instruction. The subtests require no reading and no outside fund of knowledge. To perform successfully, students must have well-developed strategies for dealing with novel materials. Students must be flexible in using these strategies and be accurate in implementing them. All three subtests appraise general inductive reasoning skills as well as flexibility and fluency in using and adapting cognitive strategies.

Quantitative Battery: The Quantitative battery is comprised of three subtests (Number Analogies, Number Puzzles, and Number Series) that appraise deductive and inductive reasoning skills as well as flexibility and fluency in working with quantitative symbols and concepts. The equation building test also appraises the ability to organize, structure, and give meaning to an unordered set of numerals and mathematical symbols. Successful performance on these subtests requires that students have a variety of strategies for working with quantitative materials. The reasoning skills appraised by this battery are significantly related to high-level problem solving, not only in mathematics but also in other disciplines.

CogAT Results: The CogAT provides the following score results: Raw scores, Standard Age and/or Grade scores, Percentile
Rank scores, and Stanine scores.
Raw Scores: The raw scores are simply the number of questions asked in a particular section, the number of questions the student answered, and the number of questions the student answered correctly
Standard Age Score: The standard age score is a number that allows the teacher to compare the rate and level of a student’s cognitive development with other students the same age. It has a mean of 100, so if a student has a SAS of 100 s/he is typical of students for her/his age. If a student has a SAS of 125, that student has a higher and faster rate of learning than most students her/his age. The highest SAS a child can receive on the CogAT is 150.
Percentile Rank Score: A percentile rank indicates the percentage of students in the same age or grade group whose scores fall below the score obtained by a particular student. For example, if a 5th grade student receives a Grade Percentile Rank of 90 on the Quantitative Battery, it means that 90% of the 5th grade students in the norming sample received scores lower than the one received by the student.
Stanine Score: The stanine score is a normalized standard score ranging from 1-9 and are closely correlated to percentile rankings. Stanines are grouped as follows:
– Stanine 9: Very High
– Stanines 7-8: Above Average
– Stanines 4-6: Average
– Stanines 2-3: Below Average
– Stanine 1: Very Low


myIGDIs is an observational tool to measure early literacy, early numeracy, and social emotional related development. The scores from myIGDIs provide us information so that we are then able to focus on specific strategies and skills that your child needs in order to continue to make progress. Based on the results, your child’s teacher can identify areas of strength or concern and plan individual, group, or class activities based on performance and progress.