District and State Assessments
STEP Reading and Interim Math Assessments
Students in PreK through grade 6 will take STEP Reading Assessments and Interim Math Assessments. These assessments occur four times throughout the year and are designed to measure student growth and achievement in reading and math. STEP Reading tests take approximately 30 minutes each. The first two Interim Math Assessments take 30-45 minutes each, and the 3rd and 4th Interim Math Assessments take 60-90 minute each. Teachers use immediate data from these assessments to inform individualized math and reading instruction and intervention. Participation in STEP Reading and Interim Math Assessments is a CPA district decision.
MAP Reading and Math Testing
Students in grades 3-11 will take MAP Reading and Math tests in the fall and in the spring. MAP tests measure growth over time and help teachers and students see how much learning has taken place throughout the school year and from one school year to the next. CPA is required to participate in MAP testing by its authorizer, the University of St. Thomas. MAP tests are untimed, but usually take 60-90 minutes per subject area. Students and staff receive immediate results upon completion of the test.
Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments: Reading, Math, and Science Testing
Students in grades 3-8 and 10 will take the Reading MCA. Students in grades 3-8 and 11 will take the Math MCA. Students in grades 5, 8, and 10 will take the Science MCA. MCAs measure whether students have met, partially met, or exceeded Minnesota’s academic standards. MCA testing occurs in the spring and is required for all public schools in Minnesota. Official results will be available the following fall. MCAs are untimed, but estimated durations are:
ACCESS for English Learners
All students identified as English Learners participate in ACCESS testing. ACCESS measures academic language skills in the domains of Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing. ACCESS testing takes place in February-March and is required for all public schools in Minnesota. Official results are available the following fall. The estimated test times for each domain are:
Listening: 40 minutes
Reading: 35 minutes
Speaking: 30 minutes
Writing: 65 minutes
CPA students in grades 10 and 11 participate in the ACT line of tests. 10th graders take the Pre-ACT. This is usually done in the fall. 11th graders take the ACT+Writing in the spring. The ACT line of tests is designed to measure whether students are on track for college readiness. The tests assess Reading, Math, English, and Science. The ACT+Writing also includes a writing component. 11th grade students are able to participate in the ACT+Writing during the school day for no cost and are able to use the score they receive for college applications. Participation in the ACT line of tests is a CPA district decision. All public schools in Minnesota are required to offer a college entrance exam. Students receive results from the ACT organization 6-8 weeks after testing. The ACT tests are timed. The total testing times for each test are:
Pre-ACT: 1 hour and 55 minutes
ACT+Writing: 3 hours and 35 minutes
Participation in Assessments
Participation in standardized testing helps CPA staff better understand how to help each child reach his or her full potential. The data gathered from standardized testing also helps outside agencies, such as Minnesota Department of Education, the University of St. Thomas (our authorizer), and other interested members of the broader community evaluate student learning.
Under federal law, parents and guardians have the right to opt their child out of standardized testing. If a parent or guardian wishes to speak with a school representative about their child’s participation in standardized testing, they may contact their child’s classroom teacher, an administrator, or the District Assessment Coordinator.
If a parent or guardian wishes to opt their child our of standardized testing, this form must be completed and submitted to the District Assessment Coordinator.
The contact information for the District Assessment Coordinator is as follows: