Assessment Purposes and District Policies

Overview of Assessments
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Assessments provide valuable information for students, parents and educators on whether or not students have mastered grade level content and are on track to graduate prepared for the 21st century. Assessments provide valuable information to improve curriculum, instruction and leadership in order to better serve your child. Each student gains from assessment data because teachers know what students need. Teachers gain from assessment data because they grow as educators and can meet those particular needs. Assessment data helps students grow, regardless of their academic level, contributing to the DPS vision, Every Child Succeeds.

There are multiple types of student assessments available to schools. Below you will find information on how assessments are used, which assessments your child will take and when, and district policies for assessments.

What types of assessments do DPS students take?

DPS students will participate in both summative and formative assessments.

  • Summative assessments are generally given one time at the end of some unit of time such as the semester or school year to evaluate students’ performance against a defined set of content standards.
  • Formative assessment is a process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning to improve students’ achievement of intended instructional outcomes. Thus, it is done by the teacher in the classroom for the explicit purpose of diagnosing where students are in their learning, where gaps in knowledge and understanding exist, and how to help teachers and students improve student learning.

Which assessments will DPS students take?

DPS publishes a summary level assessment table that details:

  • 1) Which tests are required by the state (“state mandated”) and which schools may choose to opt out of (“state administered”);
  • 2) The purpose of each assessment; and
  • 3) When assessments are given and how long they should take.

DPS has also prepared an Assessment Window Calendar and details regarding state mandated tests are also available. There are also state assessments one-pagers for parents in all 10 of the district’s languages.


Please reach out to your school or the Family and Community helpline: 720.423.3054