Assessments are used in District 28 to measure of the district’s academic programs and individual student progress. Standardized assessments help inform decisions about curriculum and alignment to state learning standards, curriculum pacing and instructional strategies. Other district assessments help teachers measure student learning and identify interventions or support needed for each student.



The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)is a standardized aptitude test that measures a student’s general and specific cognitive abilities. It measures learning reasoning and problem-solving skills in three areas: verbal, quantitative and nonverbal. The assessment is given to assist in placement for gifted and talented services. Third grade takes the three-part test on verbal, non-verbal and quantitative assessments, fifth grade takes the verbal test, and sixth grade takes non-verbal and quantitative tests. Please visit placement information on processes and identification for math and placement information for English Language Arts on our Gifted and Talented web pages.

Fountas & Pinnell

The Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment Systems is used to determine each student’s independent and instructional reading levels. Teachers are able to observe student reading behaviors one-on-one, and engage in comprehension conversations that go beyond retelling. Teachers use these assessments to target support for students. This assessment is administered three times a year in grades 1 through 5. Link: 

MAP Assessments

Designed by Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assess what students know and shows what they’re ready to learn next. These standardized, computer-based assessments adjust to each student’s response to accurately measure performance. District 28 uses math MAP assessments three times a year in grades 2-5 and two times a year in grades 6-8, and MAP reading for grades 4 to 8. This assessment helps the district evaluate curriculum and monitor student growth. The tests are also nationally normed to provide a perspective on student performance as it relates to national averages.


On-Demand Writing

The On-Demand Writing assessments are used to assess student progress as writers. The On-Demand Writing assessments help teachers establish clear goals tied to learning that have been aligned to the standards. This is an assessment given to all students in kindergarten through 5th grade in the fall. 

SEL Screener

The Behavior and Emotional Screening System (BESS) is completed by teachers for all students twice a year in grades, kindergarten through 8th grade. The universal tool is designed to quickly and systematically assess the behavioral and emotional strengths and risks of students.

Words Their Way Assessment

Words Their Way is a word study program, focused on supporting student skills in spelling, phonics and vocabulary. This assessment helps teachers identify student spelling developmental stages and help students achieve mastery in recognizing, spelling, and defining specific words. This assessment is given three times a year in grades 1-3 and once a year in grades 4 and 5. Link:




ACCESS is a group of summative English language proficiency assessments. The assessments measure students' academic, English language in four language domains: Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing. The assessment is given annually to students identified as English Learners.



The Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) is designed for students with significant cognitive disabilities and is an individualized test. It assesses academic progress in English Language Arts, Mathematics and Science.

Illinois Assessment of Readiness

IAR replaced PARCC in 2019 as the state’s assessment and accountability measure for public school students. There are two parts: English Language Arts and Mathematics, which is given to all students in grades three through eight. Link:

Illinois Science Assessment

The Illinois Science Assessment is given to students in grades 5 and 8. The test is being revised this year and is intended to be aligned with the Illinois Learning Standards for Science incorporating the Next Generation Science Standards. link


Illinois Snapshot of Early Literacy

The Illinois Snapshot of Early Literacy is a reading performance inventory for early literacy skills. It provides a snapshot of students’ literacy strengths and competencies and assists the classroom teacher in developing lessons that meet each child’s needs.


The Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS) is an observational tool designed to help teachers, administrators, families understand developmental readiness of children entering kindergarten. Link: