District and State Assessments

District and State Assessments

Student assessment is a meaningful part of student learning and instructional planning. Assessments allow educators to monitor student progress and the effectiveness of instructional strategies. At certain times throughout the year, students are given required assessments that fulfill legislative requirements or district guidelines.

Each required assessment has an assessment window, a time-frame during which the assessment is to be administered. Within the window, the actual assessments vary in how much time students spend testing. The information on this page outlines required assessments, the assessment windows, the time students spend testing, and how the results of the assessments are used. Also indicated are whether an assessment meets a district, state, or federal requirement.

More information on assessment can be found on the Colorado Department of Education website.

Basic Literacy and Early Gifted and Talented Screening

Dynamic Indicators of Basic Literacy (DIBELS)

  • Grades: K-3
  • Dates: Aug. 22 - Sep. 4, Dec. 6 - Dec. 19, Apr. 23 - May 4
  • Days Testing: 10 day window
  • Time for Administration: Less than 10 minutes
  • Required by: State
  • Purpose: Colorado READ Act
  • Use of Results: Determine student acquisition of basic reading skills. Determine students with significant reading deficiency.

Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)

  • Grades: 2
  • Dates: Feb 26 – March 1 (Grade 2) When needed (3rd - 12th grade)
  • Days Testing: 15 day window
  • Time for Administration: 3 hours
  • Required by: District
  • Purpose: Gifted and Talented Identification
  • Use of Results: As part of a body of evidence to determine if students qualify for Gifted and Talented services.

Academic Progress

NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Reading and Math

  • Grades:  2-10
  • Dates: Aug. 28 - Sep. 14, Dec. 4 - Jan. 21, Apr. 23 - May 10
  • Days Testing: 28 day window
  • Time for Administration: 1 hour per subject
  • Required by: District
  • Purpose: Determine academic level and growth
  • Use of Results: Class placement, instructional grouping, Educator Effectiveness.

Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS)

  • Grades: 3-8 English Language Arts and Math
  • Grades: 4, 7 Social Studies (3-year rotating basis)
  • Dates: April. 9 - Apr. 19
  • Days Testing: Varies
  • Time for Administration: Approximately 4 - 6 hours, depending on subject and grade level.
  • Required by: State and Federal
  • Purpose: Elementary and Secondary Education Act and State Accountability
  • Use of Results: Measure student performance and growth in the Colorado Academic Standards. Screen for academic programs and placement, Educator Effectiveness.
Preparatory Exam PSAT
  • Grades: 9-10
  • Date: April 10, 11 or 12
  • Days Testing: 1 day window
  • Time for Administration: 3.5 hours
  • Required by: State
  • Purpose: Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids
  • Use of Results: Determine postsecondary readiness.

College Entrance Exam SAT

  • Grade: 11
  • Date: April 10
  • Days Testing: 1 day window
  • Time for Administration: 4 hours
  • Required by: State
  • Purpose: Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids
  • Use of Results: Determine postsecondary readiness.

Assessments for Unique Populations

ACCESS 2.0 for English Language Learners (ELL)

  • Grades: K-12 English Language Learners
  • Dates: Jan. 8 - Feb. 9
  • Days Testing: 24 day window
  • Time for Administration: 4 sections averaging from 35 - 60 minutes each
  • Required by: Federal
  • Purpose: English Language Acquisition Proficiency and Growth
  • Use of Results: Measures ELL students' progress in acquiring academic English in the areas of: social and instructional language, language of science, language of social studies, language of language arts and the language of math.
Dynamic Learning Maps (English Language Arts and Math) and CoAlt (Science and Social Studies) 
  • Grades: 3-11 Students with a Disability Qualifying for Alternate Assessments.
  • Dates: Mar. 26 - Apr. 27
  • Days Testing: Varies
  • Time for Administration: Varies based on student need
  • Required by: Federal
  • Purpose: Elementary and Secondary Education Act and State Accountability
  • Use of Results: Measure student progress toward meeting Extended Evidence Outcomes of the Colorado Academic Standards.