Assessment Procedure

A guide for parents


  Why should my child be tested?

Testing will provide a clear picture of how your child is performing over time, in a variety of settings, with different people, and in a variety of circumstances. 

Do I, as the parent, have any say whether or not my child is tested?

Yes!  A parent's consent must be obtained in writing before any assessments take place.

Who is involved testing?

Only qualified personnel are allowed to administer the tests.  This may include:  the teacher, school psychologist, speech-language pathologist, and others professionals depending on the areas your child is being tested.

What does the assessment consist of?

Evaluating your child will be a process.  This process includes collecting information about your child.  Information should be collected through a number of sources including:
  • A review of records:  looking at your child's history will give professionals a feel for how your child has developed   over time.  Records that may be reviewed include:
           - Health and developmental history
           - Results of hearing and vision tests
           - Educational history and prior placements
           - Report cards and group test reports
           - Attendance and discipline records
           - Any diversity issues (e.g.  primary language, culture)
           - Information from any professionals who have worked with your child privately
  • Interviews:  You (the parent), your child, and your child's educators will provide information to the evaluators.  This will come from structured interviews where you (or others) may be asked to use a rating scale to compare your child to other children their age.  Also, informal interviews may be used to discuss the child's strengths and needs.
  • Observations formal observations may be made in the classroom, during recess, and while the child is taking a test.
  • Testing:  different formal and informal tests will determine your child's strengths and needs.

What is the end result for my child?  How are the results used?

After the process of evaluations is complete, you and your child's teacher(s) should have a better understanding of your child as a learner and a person.  The results should help you see your child's strengths and if they have any needs.  Hopefully, the results lead to recommendations on how to help your child improve their learning at school and at home.  In some cases, the results may determine if special education is needed.

What are the different types of assessments used to assess my child?

  Type of Assessment Purpose When is this assessment used?  
  Ecological Assessment To determine classroom environmental influences or contributions to learning Anytime students appear to have learning or behavioral difficulties  
  Norm-Referenced Test To compare a specific student's ability with that of same-age students in national sample When achievement or ability needs to be assessed for initial, annual, or triennial (every 3 years) evaluations  
  Standardized Test Test given with specific instructions and procedures, often are norm-referenced also When achievement or ability needs to be assessed for initial, annual, or triennial (every 3 years) evaluations  
  Error Analysis To determine a pattern of errors or specific type of errors Can be used daily or on any type of assessment at any time  
  Curriculum-Based Assessment To determine how a student is performing using actual content of curriculum To measure mastery of curriculum (e.g. chapter tests)

Chart from
Assessing Learners with Special Needs:  An Applied Approach (6th edition) by Terry Overton



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