How We Assess

Our Philosophy

We believe assessment is:

  • An ongoing process that helps identify, at various stages in the learning process, what a student knows, understands, and can do
  • A measure of what we, as educators, need to do to better serve our students
  • Vital for a clear understanding of overall school performance
  • Must be a process that encourages, challenges and motivates students to higher levels of learning and self-awareness
  • Multiple types of evidence must be used to better understand each learner’s strengths and needs, and to plan for support and enrichment
  • Should allow students authentic opportunities to display their accomplishments and demonstrate their learning

Standardized Tests

As a public school, we administer all required state assessments: SAGE and DIBELS

SAGE (Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence)

SAGE is a computerized system of assessments beginning in grade 3. It is designed to measure student success and growth. Results are used in state and federal accountability systems and determines our school grade. 

Parents may opt their student out of SAGE testing, however high opt-out numbers will negatively affect our school in two ways:

  1. It will unjustly affect our school  grade. We may be performing at an A, but labeled a C.
  2. We will not be able to adequately prove to the state and community the beauty and efficacy of whole-child education.

Although we are sensitive to the controversy around standardized testing, we are not afraid of it.

We believe our approach prepares our students for whatever academic challenge that may be placed before them.

How we will use SAGE data

SAGE is just one snapshot of how Treeside is performing. We will use SAGE data to identify areas of success and growth, as well as,  areas we may see fit to target upon which to improve.

SAGE is administered one time per year.

DIBELS (Dynamic Indicator of Basic Early Literacy Skills)

DIBELS assesses the acquisition of early literacy skills from kindergarten through sixth grade. We, however, will start the assessment in 1st grade. The assessments are designed to be short (one minute) fluency measures used to regularly monitor the development of early literacy and early reading skills: phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, accuracy and fluency with connected text, reading comprehension, and vocabulary. 

DIBELS is administered three times per year.

How we will use DIBELS data

Our teachers will use data to monitor students mastery of literacy skills and to adjust their instruction to better meet the needs of their students. 

We are required to report DIBELS scores to the state.

Authentic Assessments

Authentic assessment is when a student is asked to demonstrate meaningful application of knowledge and skills. This type of assessment is an integral part of whole-child education.


  • Main Lesson Book
  • Writing and performing a skit
  • Illustrating/drawing a science concept
  • Coding an app
  • Creating/finishing a science project
  • Etc.

Authentic assessments are used to both formally and informally assess student mastery.