District Coordinator of Technology & Assessments
In general, parents should …
• Remind students that these tests are important and should be taken seriously
• Encourage students to answer all test questions
• Encourage students to participate in practice sessions at school and home
• Have students get a good night’s sleep and a nutritious breakfast before taking a test
• Provide students with a study area
• Encourage students to practice good study habits. Students should set aside time every day for homework
State Testing Windows 20-21
While the Minnesota Department of Education strives to ensure this testing schedule remains unaltered, it is subject to change based on assessment decisions made by the Minnesota Legislature or U.S. Congress.
Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs)
Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS)
ACCESS for ELLs
Alternate ACCESS for ELLs
- ACCESS and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs begins
- Reading, Mathematics, and Science MCA and MTAS begins
- ACCESS and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs ends
- Reading and Mathematics MCA and Reading, Mathematics, and Science MTAS ends
- Science MCA ends
Information About Assessments
Park Rapids Area Schools participates in all of the required Minnesota State Assessments: Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA), Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS), ACCESS for ELL’s. FASTBRIDGE assessments are given in Grades K-8. We also offer a college entrance exam (ACT, ASFAB and Accuplacer) to 11th and 12th graders.
The Minnesota Assessments System has three purposes:
- To measure achievement towards meeting the Minnesota Academic Standards
- To measure the academic progress of students over time.
- To provide Minnesota graduates information related to career and college readiness.
The primary purpose of the Standards-Based Accountability Assessments is to measure achievement on the Minnesota Academic Standards. Districts and schools use the results to inform curricular decisions. Parents use the results to monitor the academic progress of their children over the years. Minnesota public districts and schools, including charter schools, are required to assess all students in the required grades who are enrolled in the district during the state’s accountability window. Students take one test in each subject. Most students take the MCA, but students who receive special education services and meet the MTAS eligibility criteria may take the MTAS. View the MDE website for further information (MDE>Students and Families>Statewide testing)
The ACCESS is an English language proficiency assessment based on the Minnesota Standards for English Language Development, developed by the WIDA Consortium. There are four language domains assessed by the ACCESS: reading, writing, listening and speaking. The test is available in six grade-level clusters: grades K, 1, 2–3, 4–5, 6–8, and 9–12. While the Kindergarten ACCESS remains paper-based, the ACCESS is administered online. View the WIDA website for further information, including resources technology requirements (WIDA > Assessment > ACCESS for ELLs 2.0).
FASTBRIDGE ASSESSMENTS. All 50 states require annual assessments of students enrolled in public schools. Each state has the right to establish its own learning expectations (e.g., standards) and to require a state-specific test that measures attainment of those standards. In order to know which students might score low on the state assessments, many school districts use routine screening measures to identify those students who need additional instruction in order to meet grade-level learning goals. The FAST™ assessments, published by FastBridge Learning®, are designed to help teachers know whether a student is at risk of not meeting grade-level learning goals. FASTBRIDGE ASSESSMENTS will be used in Century Grades K-8. This assessment will be administered 3 times a year, Fall, Winter and Spring.
Results for MCA, MTAS and ACCESS assessments are shipped to the district in August and include the paper copy of the Individual Student Reports. This report documents the student’s overall achievement level as well as performance on each strand or sub-strand. ISRs will be distributed to parents by fall conferences.
Pearson Perspective site for Minnesota : Help your child prepare for the spring MCA tests. Perspective for Families provide thousands of learning resources aligned to the Minnesota Academic Standards. This site has thousands of learning resources to help students improve and achieve. Talk with your teacher for recommendations on areas you can focus or simply select a grade & subject to dive into a wealth of resources. Pearson Perspective site for Minnesota
Please note: if the Google Assessment Calendar is not visible above, please click this link: Google Assessment Calendar