Importance of Student Attendance

Regular attendance has a direct influence on student achievement. That’s why it is important that students be in school every day, and especially on test days. Attendance on test days gives students an opportunity to show what they know and provides teachers with important information about each student’s learning. Below is a list of dates when Thomaston-Upson County students will take national and state assessments during the 2016-17 school year. While these days have been set aside for test administration, it is important to remember that only a small amount of time — ranging from as little as one hour up to two hours — is actually spent testing on a given day. Please use this for reference when planning appointments or time away from school.

GKIDS

Students in kindergarten are assessed throughout the school year on GKIDS, the Georgia Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills. GKIDS is an ongoing, performance-based assessment, designed to assist teachers in planning instruction throughout the school year, and to serve as one measure of a student’s readiness for first grade. It provides ongoing, diagnostic information about kindergarten students’ developing skills in four academic areas: English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies, and in three non-Academic domains: Personal/Social Development, Approaches to Learning, and Motor Skills. Individual Student Reports will be provided at the end of the school year, and will include English Language Arts, Math, Approaches to Learning, and Personal/Social Development. 

GKIDS Readiness Check

The GKIDS Readiness Check is a new component of the Georgia Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (GKIDS). It is designed to be administered during the first six weeks of the kindergarten year. The GKIDS Readiness Check is aligned to the Georgia Early Learning and Development Standards (GELDS ) and correlated to the content standards for kindergarten. The goal of the assessment is to provide information about the skills of students entering kindergarten.  The primary purpose of the GKIDS Readiness Check is to highlight knowledge and skills critical for student success in learning – solely to guide instruction.

The GKIDS Readiness Check is designed to be developmentally appropriate, reflecting research-based best practices for young learners, and will provide information that allows kindergarten teachers to individualize student instruction.

Georgia Milestones

The Georgia Milestones Assessment System is a comprehensive assessment program spanning grades 3 through high school.  It is designed to provide information about how well students are mastering the state-adopted content standards in the core content areas of language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.

Students in grade 3 through 8 will take an end-of-grade (EOG) assessment in the content areas of languages arts, mathematics, science and social studies in April.

High school students will take an end-of-course (EOC) assessment for each of the eight courses designated by the State Board of Education:

  • Ninth Grade Literature and Composition
  • American Literature and Composition
  • Algebra I or Coordinate Algebra
  • Geometry or Analytic Geometry
  • Physical Science
  • Biology
  • United States History
  • Economics/Business/Free Enterprise

Middle school students who are enrolled in one or more of these courses will also take the end-of-course assessment.  If enrolled in a mathematics and/or science EOC course, these middle school students will not take the corresponding content area end-of-grade (EOG) measure. The end-of-course assessments are administered at the completion of the course, regardless of the grade level.  Beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, these assessments will serve as the final exam for the course and will count as 20% of the student's final grade.

Features of the Georgia Milestone Assessment System include:

  • open-ended (constructed-response) items in language arts and mathematics (all grades and courses)
  • a writing component (in response to passages read by students) at every grade level and course within the language arts assessment
  • norm-referenced items in all content areas and courses, to complement the criterion-referenced information and to provide a national comparison

Georgia Milestones End-of-Course (EOC) Testing Out

Beginning in school year 2013-2014, a student may demonstrate subject area competency by testing-out of any course that has an associated End of Course (EOC) assessment. A unit of course credit is awarded to students who reach the performance level of Distinguished Learner (grade conversion of 92 or higher) on an EOC prior to taking a specific EOC course.  Students have only one opportunity per course to test-out.  At this time, a student may only earn up to three credits by testing-out.  Please see the resources for additional information. 

Georgia Student Growth Model

Georgia Student Growth Model (GSGM) is an initiative designed to provide students, parents, educators, and the public with important information on student progress.  Academic achievement only tells part of the story.  The addition of student growth tells a more complete story about the academic performance of students.  A student growth percentile (SGP) describes a student's growth relative to other students statewide with similar prior achievement.  Each student obtains an SGP, which indicates how much he or she grew relative to his or her academic peers.  Now we not only know where students ended up, but we also know how much progress they made to get there.  

College Readiness Tests

PSAT
The Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test (PSAT) is published by The College Board as a tenth or eleventh grade practice instrument for students before taking the SAT in eleventh or twelfth grade.  All tenth grade students may take the PSAT in the fall.  

SAT & ACT
The Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) and the American College Testing (ACT) are offered by The College Board several times during the year. These tests are not required by the state or school system, and are not administered by Cobb schools; however, most colleges and universities use SAT and/or ACT scores in determining student admission. Most college-bound students take one or both of these tests during either their junior or senior year. Both the SAT and ACT can be taken as many times as the student wants to.

AP Tests
Advanced Placement (AP) courses are college-level courses offered by trained high school teachers in the regular high school setting.  AP courses guarantee rigor in our classrooms.  AP students take the AP exams in May of each year.  Successful scores on AP exams can result in credit for course work in colleges or universities. 

GAA

The GAA is a portfolio of student work that enables the demonstration of achievement and progress relative to selected skills that are aligned to the Georgia curriculum. The portfolio is used to capture student learning and achievement/progress in four content areas: English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. This assessment program promotes a vision of enhancing capacities and integrated life opportunities for students who experience significant cognitive disabilities. 

ACCESS for ELLs

ACCESS for ELLs is administered, annually, to all English learners in Georgia. ACCESS for ELLs is a standards-based, criterion-referenced English language proficiency test designed to measure English learners’ social and academic proficiency in English. It assesses social and instructional English as well as the language associated with language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies within the school context across the four language domains. ACCESS for ELLs meets the federal requirements that mandates require states to evaluate ELL students in grades K through 12 on their progress in learning to speak English.