Upcoming Spring Assessments

Johnson Parents and/or Guardians,

The recent spate of unseasonably warm weather is a reminder that spring is right around the corner. The snow begins to melt away, trees begin to bud, and the sounds of birds chirping take the place of the crackling branches of frozen twigs and whistling wind of winter. At the same time, districts across the state begin to ready themselves for spring assessments. Here at Johnson, that process is already underway.

The two major assessments that we would like your help in preparing our Jaguars for are the NWEA/ MAP test and the state assessment, M-STEP. To help you better understand and differentiate between the two, I’d like to provide for you important information about each assessment.

NWEA/MAP Assessment

This is a computer adaptive test that all students K-5 take twice per year. It is an assessment that the district has chosen as a means to gauge student growth as well as provide data for targeted interventions for all of our students. The testing window for MAP begins in March and ends in April. As a computer adaptive test, the students in grades K-5 take the assessment online. Questions “adapt” to the student’s response – either increasing or decreasing in difficulty - based on the student’s answers. This is a norm referenced test where students are compared to millions of other students in their grade level across the nation. A RIT score is given along with a percentile for each child. The average range is between 40th and 60th percentile. A percentile of 90 percent would mean that your child performed better than 90 percent of the children in his or her grade level nationwide. If you have any questions regarding specific testing dates for your child, please contact their teacher.


The M-STEP is the state assessment that, in 2014-2015, replaced the MEAP test. This too is taken on a computer and, this year, will be computer adaptive as well. At Johnson, students in grades 3-5 will take the assessment. The window is as follows:

Grade 5: April 10 – May 5
Grade 3 and 4: May 1 - May 26

Grades 3, 4 and 5 will take ELA and Math. Grade 4 will also take Social Studies and Grade 5 will take Science. This test is proficiency based meaning the state sets “cut scores” and determines proficiency based on these scores.

The state of Michigan controls the timeline for disseminating test results, therefore, when we as a school and district receive these results is at the mercy of the state. For more information regarding M-STEP, please visit http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,4615,7-140-22709_70117---,00.html

Hopefully, this helps to clear up any ambiguity regarding the tests. As a parent, please do your best to make sure your child is present during testing times - especially M-STEP. Although these are summative assessments that a child cannot study for, a good night’s rest, healthy breakfast, and keeping up on nightly reading and homework always help.
If you have any questions feel free to email me at josh.gignac@hvs.org. As always, thank you for all you do for the students of Johnson Elementary!

Best Regards,
Josh Gignac
Principal, Johnson Elementary