SPA Home School students in grades TK-8 are encouraged to participate in our in-house NWEA testing, which is given during the fall and spring semesters each school year. NWEA is a computer-based test, and it adapts to the student’s level based on his or her answers to previous questions. Students are tested in reading and math during each test session. Students in grades 3-8 complete each test in one sitting (one test session for reading and a separate session for math). The test is broken up into two sessions for students in grades TK-2.
While we understand that homeschooling parents have a very good idea of how their children are performing academically, assessment data is very important to SPA. Teachers use this data to help you understand and fill any gaps in learning, and to show growth over the course of the school year. In addition, assessment data is used in the school-wide compliance documents, for WASC-accreditation reports, and for special school awards such as Gold Ribbon School.
The SPA Home School team has developed a bank of alternate assessments for students in grades TK-2 who may not yet be ready for a computer-based test. Please let your EA know if you would prefer this option.
NWEA browsers (Mac and PC) are available for download here: https://community.nwea.org/community/partner-support/technical-resources
2018-2019 Testing Windows
- Fall 2018 NWEA Window – September 4th-October 19th
- Winter 2018-2019 NWEA Window – December 3rd-February 14th
- Spring 2019 NWEA Window – May 20th-June 7th
The NWEA test requires a lockdown browser. Your EA will send these files via email. Your EA will also contact you during each testing window to make an appointment for testing. Your child is free to test at home, or in another location that is comfortable for the child, but your EA must be logged in to the testing program at the same time your child is testing (you can be in two different locations during the test).
We encourage you to read through this short document with your child prior to testing. Additionally, we strongly suggest that each student watch the brief Test Warm-Up when they first log in to the test.
NWEA Test Score Data
NUA Home School Scores on the Fall 2016 NWEA Assessment (Reading and Math)
NUA Home School Scores on the Spring 2017 NWEA Assessment (Reading and Math)
NUA Home School Scores on the Fall 2017 NWEA Assessment (Reading and Math)
NUA Home School Scores on the Winter 2017-2018 NWEA Assessment (Reading and Math)
NUA Home School Scores on the Spring 2018 NWEA Assessment (Reading and Math)
How Home School Compares to NUA as a whole – Fall 2016 NWEA Assessment (Reading and Math)
How Home School Compares to NUA as a whole (TK-8) – Fall 2017 NWEA Assessment (Reading and Math) — Coming soon!
How Home School Compares to NUA as a whole (TK-8) – Winter 2017-2018 NWEA Assessment (Reading and Math)
How Home School Compares to NUA as a whole (TK-8) – Spring 2018 NWEA Assessment (Reading and Math)
What does this mean?
- SPA Home School students scored really well on the fall 2016 NWEA test! Well done!
- Almost half of our students (46%) scored in the top 20th percentile range on the ELA test. 45% of our Home School students scored in this range on the Math NWEA test.
- Home School students scored considerably better than students from the other SPA programs on both the ELA and math assessments.
How to use the NWEA assessment to improve instruction and CAASPP scores
- Your education advisor can generate a “Goal Setting Worksheet” from NWEA, which is a report that clearly shows the areas where your child did well on each test, as well as areas for growth.
- Work with your education advisor to develop a plan for meeting those growth areas. Are they covered by your curriculum? If not, what is a suitable supplement to help your child meet those goals?
- While completing your daily math lessons, help your child understand the language of math. The state-mandated test is vocabulary-heavy and students are expected to explain their answers using math-specific words.
- Encourage your child to persevere through tricky math and language arts activities.
NUA Home School Writing Assignment
- Fall 2018 Writing Assignment Window – October 8th-November 2nd (Learning Period 3)
- Spring 2019 Writing Assignment Window – February 19th-March 15th (Learning Period 6)
- 2018-2019 writing prompts and instructions for parents (Updated 8/8/18)
- Rubrics (Updated 10/6/14)
Additional Writing Assignment Resources
- TK-2 Writing Paper (space for a drawing and either the student’s letters/words or student’s dictation to the parent).
- Write Source– Additional writing prompts for extra practice.
- Student Writing Models (Write Source) – Use these as examples of student writing. They are sorted by writing type and grade level.
- Freeology– Many free graphic organizers.
- Write Brain Books Sentence Building Worksheet
- Write Brain Books Vocabulary Development Worksheet (if English is your first language, look up some words in any other language. Or, learning some words in our family’s or your ancestors’ native tongue).
- Write Brain Books Sentence Structure Worksheet
Exemplar Writing Assignments (completed by NUA students)
- Exemplar 1 – “How to make neighborhoods better” (Grade 3 Opinion)
- Exemplar 2 – “How TV could be better” (Grade 7 Opinion/Argument)
- Exemplar 3 – “How to make a fort” (Grade 5 Narrative)
- Exemplar 4 – “A fort for Clara” (Grade 5 Narrative)
- Exemplar 5 – “Let’s save arts education in schools” (Grade 6 Opinion/Argument)