St. Mary Catholic School Admissions Policy
Standardized test score results are used to guide curriculum, instruction, and program decisions and also to assist with identifying local and Archdiocesan-wide professional development needs.
St. Mary Catholic School students take the following standardized tests:
Admissions Guidelines for St. Mary Catholic School
The Iowa Assessments are administered to students in grades two through eight and help determine how students are performing on nationwide standards. These assessments measure achievement in several important content areas including Vocabulary, Word Analysis, Reading, Listening, Language, Mathematics, Computation, Social Studies, and Science. The exact tests that your student takes will depend on his or her grade level. The Iowa Assessments help teachers identify a student’s strengths and areas that may need additional emphasis. The Iowa Assessments also measure student growth and progress in the content areas assessed from year to year and may provide information about college readiness for older students. The assessments produce information that enables sound decision making and provides a focus for teachers to evaluate instruction. Students in grades two, four, and six also take the CogAT which appraises the development of students’ reasoning abilities using verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal cognitive tasks.
The ACRE Exam
The ACRE Exam is given to students in grades 5 and 8 in the early fall of each school year. The test measures students’ knowledge about the Catholic faith, beliefs, behaviors, attitudes and practices. Scores on this test are determined by what percentile the students place compared to Catholic school peers on the same level of the exam. Fifth graders take the Level 1 exam and eighth-graders take the Level 2 exam. Scores below the 64th suggest improvement is needed, scores between the 64th and 86th percentile reflect proficiency, and scores above 86th percentile indicate advanced knowledge. The test provides information regarding our students’ understanding and living of their faith.
The Brigance Screening
Incoming kindergarten students are administered the Brigance Screening in the spring prior to the start of their kindergarten experience. The Brigance is used to identify a child’s area of strengths and weaknesses, to plan appropriate instruction, and to implement effective and developmentally appropriate instructional activities.