Data & AssessmentAssessment Design Implement a System of Common AssessmentsStep 3. Establish Flexible Timeline with Milestones

Step 3. Establish Flexible Timeline with Milestones

This lesson covers one of a series of steps appropriate for districts or schools wanting to establish a system of common assessments. See the "Step 1. Where to Start on Your Road to Common Assessments" lesson if you wish to start at the beginning. Otherwise, keep reading.

Determine What, When, and Where

Determine What, When, and Where

A timeline and milestones may be tentative at this stage and evolve as the team progresses. For example, if the Assessment Team decides to purchase pre-made tests, things will progress more quickly than otherwise. However, participants will need to know possible meeting dates so they can schedule accordingly. Here is a draft of possible objectives to help you plan (modify as necessary and personalize underlined text):

Goal: Establish common understanding regarding research and terminology

Details for Meeting(s): Meet at [Location] on [Date] from [Start Time] to [End Time] on [Date(s)]

Tasks:

Goal: Explore assessment sources and structures

Details for Meeting(s): Meet at [Location] on [Date] from [Start Time] to [End Time] on [Date(s)]

Tasks:

  • Investigate possible [district-wide/school-wide] assessment structures
  • Discuss general outline for [District's/Site's] assessment structure (complete Assessment Recommendation Overview Form)
  • Investigate [District's/Site's] assessment components (e.g., tests, pacing guide, etc.) already in place
  • Discuss assessment and assessment question sources

Goal: Determine specifics

Details for Meeting(s): Meet at [Location] on [Date] from [Start Time] to [End Time] on [Date(s)]

Tasks:

  • If considering purchasing assessments, watch vendor presentations and discuss options available (if you decide to purchase pre-made assessments, remaining meetings and tasks will depend upon your vendor and whether or not you purchased all assessments to be used; the rest of this manual will assume you have assessment details to determine, so pick and choose lessons based on what remains to be done)
  • Determine some specifics for [district-wide/school-wide] assessment structure (complete the Assessment Recommendation Details Form)
  • Determine how you will evaluate assessment components (plan to complete Current Pacing Guide Detail Form and Current Assessment Detail Form)

Goal: Create action plan

Details for Meeting(s): Meet at [Location] on [Date] from [Start Time] to [End Time] on [Date(s)]

Tasks:

  • Take inventory of components already in place and evaluated
  • Determine what needs to be created and/or revised (e.g., pacing guides, tests, etc.) (complete Action Plan Form)
  • Establish details (test writers, timeline, meeting objectives, professional development, technology training, etc.) for completion.
  • Determine how participation in assessment component creation sessions will be determined and communicated

Goal: Create and/or revise component(s)

Details for Assessment Component Creation Session(s): Meet at [Location] on [Date] from [Start Time] to [End Time] on [Date(s)]

Participants: [This will likely include people other than your Assessment Team, though some Assessment Team members should be present]

Tasks:

  • Review resources
  • Other tasks will vary; for example, 1 grade/subject-specific team (of mainly teachers) might work on a pacing guide, whereas a grade/subject-specific team that already has a pacing guide might work on modifying, or creating a test, etc.

Goal: Evaluate progress and communicate next steps

Details for Meeting(s): Meet at [Location] on [Date] from [Start Time] to [End Time] on [Date(s)]

  • Determine what still needs to be done
  • Determine assessment calendar for the coming school year
  • Determine how assessment calendar will be communicated
  • Plan for related professional development (e.g., analysis of results)
  • Plan for post-administration evaluation of assessments

Anything Else?

Anything Else?

Before you communicate meeting details, be sure you have considered:

  • Read the rest of this manual to see if any upcoming information impacts your plans.
  • Key people not on the team (School Board, administrators, Superintendent, etc.) should know what is occurring.
  • All meeting locations are properly reserved.
  • There are no scheduling conflicts on the district/site calendar.
  • Communicate that milestone/objectives could change.

Before Your Next Meeting(s)

Before Your Next Meeting(s)

1. Once your timeline and milestones are set, communicate meeting details to participants. Always remind members as meeting dates approach, as well.

2. Plan to provide copies of the goal and glossary (noted in the next lesson) for everyone.

3. You might opt to prepare copies of the Current Pacing Guide Overview Form and Current Assessment Overview Form to distribute at the end of the next meeting.

4. Review the next lesson to see if there's anything you'll want to prepare ahead of time.

Next Steps

Next Steps

Now your Assessment Team is ready to meet. Refer to the next document/lesson in this manual for support.