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How Do We Know If They Know It?


PCSD Assessment
Assessment at PCSD is not just about testing. It is about consistently figuring out what students know and don't know and using that information to increase learning.  Assessment is guided by beliefs as well as quality assurance documents and procedures.  Parents, students, and educators have have different roles in the assessment process.

Nebraska Assessment Framework 

PCSD uses Nebraska's balanced approach to assessment using national, state, and local assessments.
National Assessments These assessments are designed to sort students into high, medium, and low ability level groups. PCSD uses four of these tests to see how our students compare to other students nationally. 
  • NWEA These adaptive tests are used with K-11th grade student's to identify their reading and mathematics achievement and growth. Science is assessed in grade 5-11. Fourth and eighth grade reading and math scores are reported to the state of Nebraska.
  • ACT This is a college entrance exam and is taken by many students, including all 11th-grade students.
  • Teaching Strategies Gold   This assessment tracks social, emotional, and academic achievement for 0-5 years old in PCSD. Scores are reported to Head Start and the Nebraska Department of Education.
  • ELPA21 Links English Language Proficiency Assessment
  • DRA2 This is a comprehensive reading assessment given in grades K-4 to determine reading group placements and to monitor reading skills. 
State Assessments 

Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System

NSCAS Overview

Nebraska looks at assessment as a system that includes instructional support, ways to monitor what students know, and an annual test showing is a student is meeting state standards. 

NSCAS Math (grades 3-8)

NSCAS ELA (grade 3-8)

NSCAS Science (grades 5 and 8)

 The state of Nebraska is having all 11th graders will take the ACT test. 

If you have any questions about the new tests, talk to your student's teacher or contact Dr. Larson at

Local Assessments  Local Assessments are designed to ensure that students understand all district and state standards and essentials. Teachers construct local assessments using Nebraska and PCSD quality criteria.   

All assessments are used to monitor growth towards District Improvement Goals and Content Area Goals (see left panel for details).