Cristina Cunningham, Ed.D.
205 Civic Center Drive
Thomaston, Georgia 30286
Welcome to the Thomaston-Upson School System Assessment page. The Georgia Student Assessment Program measures student achievement of the state-mandated curriculum. Assessments identify those students failing to achieve mastery of curriculum content, provides teachers and administrators with diagnostic information to guide instructional practices, and assists school systems in identifying strengths and weaknesses in both teaching and learning. To view Thomaston-Upson Schools' Accountability information resulting from state-mandated assessments, click here.
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. 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 reference the testing calendar (found under Testing Resources) when planning appointments or time away from school.
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.
GKIDS Readiness Check Resources
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.
Georgia Milestones is a single assessment system that consists of end-of-grade measures in English language arts and mathematics in grades 3-8, end-of-grade measures in science in grades 5 and 8, end-of-grade measure in social studies in grade 8, and end-of-course measures for specified high school courses.
High school students will take an end-of-course (EOC) assessment for each of the four courses designated by the State Board of Education:
American Literature and Composition
Algebra I or Coordinate Algebra
United States History
The end-of-course measures are administered at the completion of the course, regardless of the grade level. Middle school students who are enrolled in one or more of these courses are required to take the associated end-of-course (EOC) measure. These measures serve as the final exam for the course and contribute 20% to the student's final course grade.
Features of the Georgia Milestone Assessment System include:
- Technology-enhanced items in all grades and courses,
- Open-ended (constructed response) items in English language arts in all grades and courses,
- A writing component (in response to passages read by students) at every grade level and course within the English language arts assessment,
- A reported Lexile score based on the English language arts assessment in all grades and courses, and
- Estimated norm-referenced performance ranges for all grades and courses.
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
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.
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.
College Readiness Resources
The GAA 2.0 is designed to ensure that students with significant cognitive disabilities are provided access to the state academic content standards and given the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the knowledge, concepts, and skills inherent in the standards.
This assessment will provide meaningful information about classroom instruction and help identify students’ areas of strength and improvement through standardized tests. Unlike the original GAA, GAA 2.0 is not a portfolio-based assessment. Thus, it will measure students’ achievement and not progress. The GAA 2.0 will be administered to all eligible students in the following areas:
- Grades K, 3-8, and 11 will be assessed in English language arts and mathematics.
- Grades 5, 8, and 11 will also be assessed in science and social studies.
The GAA 2.0 will include standardized items with multiple access points. The intent is to reduce the teacher’s burden related to selecting or developing tasks; bring greater standardization to the administration; improve scoring reliability; and introduce an online task submission system.
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.