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Assessment & Grading


Assessment Program in Gower

Illinois legislation requires each school district to report information to ISBE concerning the administration of standardized assessments to students at each school. The law also requires schools to make this information public via the school district’s website or distribution in paper form. Districts can comply with this requirement by linking to the assessment survey results. This will also allow districts to track their completion rate. The survey will dynamically populate data submitted in the previous year for review and editing as needed. Please note that the law defines tests “scored by a non-district entity” as the focus of this data collection effort. We refer to these as “standardized.”  View the results of the annual assessment survey submitted by Gower District Administrators to ISBE by using this link:

The standardized tests listed below are given at various times throughout the school year as measurements of student achievement and the effectiveness of our programs and curriculum. To learn more about our Academic Performance, visit our dedicated webpage here

MAP Measure of Academic Progress is given in grades K-8 in the fall, winter, and spring.

Assesses:  Reading and Math Achievement and Student Growth

For more information:


CogAT Cognitive Abilities Test is given in grades 2 and 4 (spring).

Assesses: School Aptitude   

(Students may be tested in the middle school as needed)             


ISA Illinois Science Assessment is given in grades 5 and 8 in the spring

Assesses:  Science knowledge and skills


IRA Illinois Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers is given in grades 3-8. 

Assesses:  English Language Arts and Math 


Fitnessgram Offers multiple tests to assess aerobic capacity, body composition, muscular strength, muscular endurance and flexibility. To access more information regarding Fitnessgram please visit this link.


ACCESS English Language Proficiency Test

Administered in January/February to all students in K-8th grade that are receiving English as a Second Language support

Assesses:  Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening


KIDS Kindergarten Individual Development Survey

This reporting instrument is used annually with all kindergarten students during the fall.

Assesses:  Readiness for school in the areas of math, language and literacy development, approaches to learning, and social/emotional development.


Grading in Gower

It is important to remember that students can learn without grades. They cannot learn without formative assessment and feedback!!!


Over the last several years, Gower West has been using a Standards Based Report Card for Kindergarten through 4th grade. Prior to the 2019-2020 school year, the Standards Based Grading model was used in K-2 classrooms. Beginning with the 2019-20 school year, 3rd and 4th grade classrooms adopted the model. Shared as part of the monthly Superintendent’s Report at the Nov. 19, 2019 Board meeting, Supt Report Appendix B – GW Report Card Redesign, was presented as part of the district’s shift to a standards based grading system over time. Policy 6:280 Grading and Promotion was subsequently updated on December 15, 2020 to support this process and to align with the expansion of this grading model to Gower Middle School beginning in the 2021-22 school year.


The following report – Standards Based Grading – Gower School District – was presented to the Board of Education at the regularly scheduled Board meeting held on May 17, 2022 and may serve as a valuable source of information regarding this subject. Additionally, the Gower Foundation Podcast, The Gladiator Soundboard, published an episode dedicated to this topic; What Does Testing, Learning, and Grading Look Like in Gower? and can be accessed by using this link.

Range of Readiness Model in Gower

In April, 2018, Gower School District Officials led the development of the “Range of Readiness Model” as a balanced, research-based and appropriate approach to apply current student performance data to the concept of high school and/or college ‘readiness’. This model was adopted by Gower School District and is being used by other elementary school districts in the area as well as the local high school district.  As educators, we know that having information early on about a student’s “readiness” for a particular end goal is helpful in terms of shaping a more personalized educational experience.  Intervention, opportunities for acceleration, curriculum and course design are all items that can become much more targeted with reliable “on-track” measures.  The model is limited in scope to a student’s NWEA/MAP performance and growth over time, but is helpful in providing insight to and projections for performance later in a student’s academic career on the ACT as well as the SAT through correlation. 

To review and or download a full copy of the initial report, Simon, V. (2018). Range of Readiness Model please use this link.