NUA 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 NUA. 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 NUA 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.
2016-2017 Testing Windows
- Fall 2016 – August 16-September 9
- Spring 2017 – May 15-June 8
- Winter 2017 – November 28-January 13 (optional)
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).
Mac users: Please contact Gillian Simcox at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gillian will send the Mac browser file and directions.
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)
How Home School Compares to NUA as a whole – Fall 2016 NWEA Assessment (Reading and Math)
What does this mean?
- NUA 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 NUA 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. See our CAASPP page for some math vocabulary flashcards.
- Encourage your child to persevere through tricky math and language arts activities.
Look for new prompts coming for the 2016-2017 school year. The fall 2016 writing assignment will be given during LP 4 (November 7-December 9, 2016). Review the following for details.
- Spring 2017 writing assignment will be given during LP 8 (March 20-April 7)
- 2016-2017 writing prompts and instructions for parents(Updated 6/28/16)
- Rubrics (Updated 10/6/14)
- 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.
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)