2015 ISTEP

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The intent of this letter is to inform parents about the details surrounding the 2015 ISTEP results. I will also share our plan to continue to support students who did not pass 2015 ISTEP and who are not currently receiving an intervention. All parents will receive this same information in the mail.

In April of 2014, the Indiana Academic Standards changed, and the ISTEP test also changed in 2015. This new test assessed students on these more rigorous academic standards. In November, all parents should have received their child’s preliminary results and were given the opportunity to request a rescore, if necessary. Due to the delay in receiving ISTEP results, we were not able to respond to this data at the start of the school year. As a result, we have developed a plan to support any student who did not pass and are not currently receiving additional support at school. When students return from the holiday break, these students will receive additional instruction on critical skills in the subject area they need support with. These students will be assigned remediation during the school day and will meet four days a week during their advisory class to receive this extra support.

We will continue to use Acuity results to ascertain student progress in English/Language Arts and Math as we prepare for Spring 2016 ISTEP+ (Part 1 February 29-March 11 and Part 2 April 18 – May 6). Students just finished Acuity B and all students will be assigned instructional resources to support any standards that need to be addressed. In February, all students will take Acuity C. Teachers will again analyze student results and assign instructional resources. Any student who still needs additional support after Acuity C will be assigned a Skills class. These students will be given the option to come out of their elective class during the school day or meet before/after school to receive this additional support. I want to encourage all parents to have your child work on Acuity resources at home.

I want to thank all of our parents and guardians for your continued support of your child’s education. Together, we will ensure that all students meet their potential and find academic success. Please enjoy a safe holiday season with family and friends and feel free to contact me with any questions you might have.


Sean Galiher,



What is Acuity (math and language arts)?

Penn-Harris-Madison uses Acuity as a formative Readiness test. The Acuity Readiness Assessments are aligned to the 2014 Indiana Academic Standards. They will be administered three times this year (September/October; November/December; and February) in 6/7/8th grade math and language arts. They will be administered two times this year (November/December and February) in 6th grade science. They are diagnostic assessments teachers will use to guide instruction. If teachers see that students are having difficulty with certain standards and concepts, they work with students to re-teach this concept. We may also use the Acuity test questions in instructional settings. After each testing session, teachers analyze classroom results to adjust instruction, as needed. This information will continue to help us prepare students to pass the spring ISTEP+ assessments. Student assignments are also available to students on the Acuity website (https://www.acuityathome.com/index.jsp). These were assigned to each student AFTER testing took place this winter. Assignments are at the student’s achievement level. Completing these assignments as “work at home” can only improve student skills and we encourage this practice. We will also use these assignments in our learning lab and in the classroom setting.

Experience Online Testing

The Indiana Department of Education is providing the ISTEP+ “Experience” opportunity through Pearson. The purpose of Experience is for students, educators, parents, and community members to see how test items similar to those on the ISTEP+ Part 2 assessment are presented in the online system.

You can access the ISTEP+ Experience on the following IDOE website: http://www.doe.in.gov/assessment/experience-online

Once on the main page of the Experience ISTEP page, access the practice assessment found in the following link:download.pearsonaccessnext.com/IN/in-practice-tests-links.html (link is external).

The answer keys for the Experience Online Assessment can also be located on the main page.

This information is also posted on the Schmucker website under Academics >> ISTEP >> Prepare Your Child for Spring 2016 ISTEP+.