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Superintendent's Message                   February 8, 2019


Dear FHUSD Families and Friends,

The Seasons of Assessment
As a public school district, FHUSD administers a variety of academic assessments to district students. The data gathered from these tools may then be used to assist instruction or for evaluation purposes at the student or school level. While many are familiar with AzMERIT, there are a variety of other assessments given to students in certain grade levels and subjects each with different purposes. Some assessments determine class placements, some for state academic accountability, and others contribute to national data. The following highlights some of the various assessments administered to students along with the purpose of the resulting data.

National Assessment of Educational Progress-NAEP
This national test is only given to a sample of students in grades 4, 8, and 12 in either Math, Reading or Science. It is randomly determined from the state if students from our district participate and this year a sample of our 4th grade students took a math or reading assessment. Individual and district results are not reported but data contributes to a national report card on achievement.

Arizona English Language Learner Assessment-AZELLA
This assessment is required by law to be administered to any student identified as an English Language Learner. It is given in the beginning of the school year to determine English proficiency levels and the education services and support needed. A reassessment is given annually in the spring until that student reaches English proficiency.

Arizona's Measurement of Educational Readiness to Inform Teaching- AzMERIT
The statewide achievement test for English Language Arts (ELA) and Math is administered primarily in the spring of each year to grades 3-11 in a computer based format. For grades 3-8 the ELA test includes a writing component and two reading and math sessions. For high school, AzMERIT Math is an end of course test in Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry and is aligned to the student's specific math class. The high school AzMERIT ELA test is also aligned to the student's specific grade level English course. The test content in all grade levels is aligned with the Arizona Academic Standards. Individual results are provided to each student and the composite test results of each school are the principal factor in determining the school's letter grade.

Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards Science- AIMS Science
AIMS Science is another state assessment given to students in grades 4, 8 and high school in a computer-based format. The test is aligned to the state science standards with the high school test given to students in grade 9 or 10 when they are enrolled in Biology. The school results from this test also contribute to the school letter grades.

Alternative Assessments for Special Education Students:
Multi-State Alternative Assessment-MSAA
AIMS A Science
These two state assessments are given to students who meet a specific criteria, which is stated in a student's Individual Education Plan (IEP). They are administered in place of the AzMERIT or AIMS Science.

Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills-DIBELS
DIBELS are administered to grades K-3 and are used to assess reading proficiency and determines if additional reading support or enrichment is needed. The assessments are administered three times per year and the assessed skills vary by grade level.

Honors Testing
The district offers three rounds of gifted and talented testing during the school year and testing is administered by parent or teacher request. Students that are identified as eligible may then be placed in an honors class. Honors classes start in 3rd grade and continue through high school. Kindergarten through second grade gifted students are put into enrichment classes during the McDowell Mountain Response-to-Intervention time. An application for your child to be tested is available on the district website under Departments-Student Services-Honors Student.

Benchmark Assessments
These are assessments given by the district to determine the mastery level of skills and standards. The frequency varies by grade level but are typically given each quarter and can be done in a pre/post-test format to demonstrate growth.

Assessments play an important role in the learning process. Our goal is teaching and learning to achieve academic excellence and we strive to use assessments in a prudent manner to achieve that goal.


Rob Allen, Ed.D.
Looking Ahead
View Upcoming  Events
Feb. 13
  Governing Board Meeting, 6:30 p.m. @ FHUSD Learning Center
Feb. 14
Feb. 18
President's Day/No School
Feb. 21 &22
Kindergarten Round Up
Feb. 27
Governing Board Meeting, 6:30 p.m. @ FHUSD Learning Center
Feb. 23
PTO Gala, 6:00 - 11:00 p.m. @ Desert Canyon Grill
Feb. 26
Combined Band Concert (FHMS, FHHS, Community), 6:30 p.m. @ FHMS Gym

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16000 E. Palisades Blvd., Fountain Hills, AZ 85268 480.664.5000