Meaningful and relevant tests work hand in hand with rigorous academic standards.  They measure students’ mastery of the standards and the complex thinking and other critical skills students need to be successful in school and in life.  There are several tests that help us do this for different reasons and types of students.   

District Interim and Benchmark Tests

APS Gifted and Talented (Naglieri)-The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT) is a nonverbal test of general ability commonly used to identify gifted children. The questions on the NNAT are composed of shapes and/or symbols and require few instructions. All students are tested in 2nd grade, and this test helps us identify if the students need some extra instruction to help them excel at academics at their level.

Elementary Literacy Assessments-The Literacy program utilizes an assessment battery for pre-testing and post-testing of students. It provides insight into starting points of instruction and determines if the instruction has resulted in targeted outcomes for students.

  • The Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS)- PALS provides a comprehensive assessment of young children’s knowledge of the important literacy fundamentals that are predictive of future reading success.
  • Benchmark Assessment System(BAS)-The BAS is a reading inventory that allows teachers to gather immediate data on students. This data can then be analyzed to guide instruction in a way that is more beneficial than many other assessments students take.

iReady Diagnostic and Standards Mastery(Interim) Assessments-Together, i‑Ready Diagnostic and i‑Ready Standards Mastery provide a complete view of each student’s growth and performance in a single assessment system:

  • i‑Ready Diagnostic provides a powerful adaptive diagnostic, growth measure, and predictive tool.
  • i‑Ready Standards Mastery provides user-controlled assessments that evaluate proficiency against specific standards.

State Tests

CMAS-English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA/L) and Mathematics Assessments and DLM-Dynamic Learning Maps as the alternative assessment-Meaningful and relevant tests work hand-in-hand with rigorous academic standards. The state’s new tests, called the Colorado Measures of Academic Success, measure students’ mastery of the standards and the complex thinking and other critical skills students need to be successful in school and in life.  A very small number of students with significant cognitive disabilities may take the Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) as an alternate ELA/Math assessment based on the student's need in an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) Science and Social Studies and Alternative test (COALT)-The Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS): Science and Social Studies is Colorado’s standards-based assessment designed to measure the Colorado Academic Standards (CAS) in the content areas of science and social studies.  This test will be administered to grades 4 and 7 for social studies and grades 5 and 8 for science.  All 11th graders will take science and social studies this year.  A very small number of students with significant cognitive disabilities may take the Colorado Alternate Assessment (CoAlt) based on the student's need in an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

Here are some resources on the score reports from last Spring's testing.

Parent Guides for understanding ELA and Math Score Reports

CMAS Understanding Score Reports for Parents-English    CMAS Understanding Score Reports for Parents-Spanish

How to use the test results to support your student

Using score reports to support students 2018-19 English    Using score reports to support students 2018-19 Spanish

Sample school reports:  Sample CMAS ELA Score Report     Sample CMAS Math Score Report   (Updated soon)


PSAT 10/SAT-The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) confirmed a transition plan for sophomores to take the PSAT 10 in preparation for Colorado’s transition to the SAT in 11th grade.  CDE selected the SAT as the college entrance exam for high school juniors and the PSAT 10 for high school sophomores. The selection committee cited the strong alignment of the PSAT 10 and the SAT to the Colorado Academic Standards (CAS) and the variety of free test preparation resources offered by the College Board as key factors in its determination.  For free SAT practice, please set up an account at the Khan Academy website.

WIDA Access (World Class Instructional Design and Assessment)-This is an English Language Proficiency Assessment.  In May 2012, the Colorado legislature provided the funding needed to proceed with the adoption of new English language proficiency exams to determine placement and instruction for our English Language Learners. 

*For more information on any of these tests, you can visit each test's page on this website under Assessment Resources.

More resources:

2018-19 Assessment dates-see Calendar tab

2018-19 District Assessment Plan (in process)

Colorado Dept of Education parent information site

Fact sheets and FAQ's on state assessments (CDE)

Opt-out info (Parent Exemption for State tests)

During the 2015 legislative session, lawmakers passed SB 15-223, which gives parents the right to refuse to have their children take the state standardized tests CMAS, PSAT, and SAT without any negative consequences to the student, teacher or school. This law only applies to the state-mandated tests CMAS and the PSAT/SAT and does not apply to other tests given in the classroom as part of the course work or to district interim and benchmark assessments.  You must submit a written, signed request each school year to your school's principal to opt out your child from state tests only.  Please remember, the tests results are important for the school, the district, and the state, as well as your students when examining how they are doing with state standards compared to other students.  Please contact the principal at your child's school if you have any questions.

Click here for the links to specific board policies on “opting out” of state assessments as well as frequently asked questions about the assessments.

Opt-Out Law

Parent test refusal board policy

Assessment Opt-Out Form-18-19 - Please print, fill out, and take to your child's school
Assessment Opt-Out Form-18-19 SPANISH

Spring State Assessment Letters and FAQ to Parents

State Testing Letter-English-2018

State Testing Letter Spanish-2018