Montclair families were notified today that the school district would begin using  AIMSweb, a new assessment tool,  to monitor students progress in math and language arts.

In a letter from the Department of Instruction, Dr. Weller explains:

Dear Families,

As a district, we are consistently striving to fine tune our monitoring of student progress across the school year. In order to give us a consistent means of monitoring, we examined a number of standardized assessments with national norms that can do two things: benchmark student progress and provide intervention strategies and monitoring for students who are at risk of not meeting grade level expectations. We already have the DRA2 reading assessment and Writing on Demand in place. Now we are adding a national assessment, AIMSweb, to monitor student progress in math and language arts across the year.

In our vetting of products, we found AIMSweb to be widely used, to give reliable information that was useful in planning instruction, and to cause minimal disruption to student learning time. All of these are important to us. Some parts of the assessments are taken in class, a few are administered individually at certain grades; all are short in duration.

AIMSweb has a wide variety of assessments available. As we begin to implement it, we are utilizing two math components, which provide baseline data for grade level computation skills, knowledge of math concepts and problem solving. As the year moves forward we will add a reading comprehension and vocabulary assessment. Each is such a short and low-key assessment that your child may not even mention it. We want you to know about the assessments and how we will use them.

After scoring each part of the assessment, scores are entered into a secure website. The website software allow us to analyze results, to compare our students to national norms, and to design academic interventions to support student growth as needed. This is not the kind of assessment where scores are sent home. Information we gain from the AIMSweb assessment will help us to plan instruction and to tailor instruction to accelerate all students’ learning. You are, as with all assessments, welcome to discuss results with your child’s teacher(s).

Barbara Elder Weller, Ed.D.
C: Penny MacCormack, Ed.D., Superintendent

According to AIMSweb’s website:

AIMSweb is a complete web-based solution for universal screening, progress monitoring, and data management for Grades K-12. AIMSweb provides guidance to administrators and teachers based on accurate, continuous, and direct student assessment.

It helps school administrators demonstrate tangible improvements. It helps teachers become more effective and more efficient in the classroom. Most important of all, AIMSweb helps to create better outcomes for students—proven by the thousand of schools that use the system across the United States and Canada today.