PRSD releases Provincial Achievement Test marks

PRSD releases Provincial Achievement Test marks


During the regular board meeting held on October 4, 2016, PRSD’s 2015-2016 Provincial Achievement Test and Diploma Exam results were presented to the board of trustees.

Achievement Tests, written in January, May and June, and Diploma Exams, written in January and June, are used as a tool for schools, teachers and parents to monitor and improve student learning. The Achievement Test results provide one measure of student achievement while the Diploma exams certify student achievement.

Achievement Test results
PRSD is pleased to report an increase in the number of grade six students achieving a standard of excellence in Mathematics and, in grade six English Language Arts, PRSD exceeded provincial averages in the number of students who achieved the acceptable standard. PRSD notes that in grade six Mathematics, Science and Social Studies, PRSD’s results are slightly below provincial averages.  For grade nine Science and Social Studies, slight increases are noted in the number of students who achieved a standard of excellence. PRSD notes decreases in the number of grade nine students who achieved an acceptable standard in all subject areas.

Diploma Exam Results
PRSD is pleased to report increases in students achieving an acceptable standard in Biology 30, English 30-2, Mathematics 30-2 and Social Studies 30-1. Increases in achievement in the standard of excellence measure are noted in Biology 30, Social Studies 30-2, Mathematics 30-2 and English 30-2. Decreases are noted in the number of students achieving the acceptable standard in Mathematics 30-1, Chemistry 30, Social Studies 30-2 and Physics 30.

“The results show progress in several areas and we commend our students, staff and families for their dedication and hard work” says Board Chair Darren Kuester. “While we have many reasons to celebrate, we are continually focused on students reaching their full potential. The results provide valuable information in order to put strategies in place to support student success in all subject areas.” 

Strategies currently in place include PRSD’s Learning Coaches who work one-on-one with educators and in group sessions, a focus on early intervention and frequent assessment practices under the Response to Intervention model, as well as having educators take part in provincial test review and marking sessions throughout the year. Last week, PRSD high school educators met for a special session with Tim Coates, former Director of the Diploma Examination Program Branch at Alberta Education and current University of Alberta Professor in educational assessment, to review standards based assessments.   Another session is planned for December where teachers will collaborate on the development of assessments.

Student Learning Assessments
As per the Alberta Government’s introduction of a new form of assessments, the Provincial Achievement Tests for grade three students were phased out in the 2014-2015 school year and replaced with a new form of testing that is more closely aligned with informing instructional practice (Student Learning Assessments).

SLA testing for grade three students takes place in the fall of each school year and allows for a proactive means of student assessment. PRSD implemented grade three SLAs division-wide in the 2013-2014 school year.  While currently in a pilot phase, SLA test results are shared with individual schools and are not reported by Alberta Education.