Assessment at Nadaburg Unified


There are essentially two types of assessments that occur at school, formative and summative tests.  Formative tests are given during, and immediately following instruction, and are meant to provide information to teachers to guide further instruction.  They essentially tell us what students need to learn and what they have learned.  Summative assessments are the "big" tests that tell us how students progressed through a certain time period.  The results of these assessments are typically utilized to analyze instruction, curriculum, and resources. 


The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) tests are a set of procedures and measures for assessing the acquisition of early literacy skills from kindergarten through sixth grade. They are designed to be short (one minute each) fluency measures used to regularly monitor the development of early literacy and early reading skills.

DIBELS is comprised of seven measures to function as indicators of phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, accuracy and fluency with connected text, reading comprehension, and vocabulary. DIBELS was designed for use to identify children experiencing difficulty in acquisition of basic early literacy skills, in order to provide support early on and to help prevent the occurrence of later reading difficulties.

Informational Brochure on DIBELS

If you would like more information on DIBELS you may contact Educational Services at (623) 556-5887, or Melanie Watson, District DIBELS coordinator at


All students participate in pre- assessment and benchmark assessments throughout the school year.  Pre- assessments are given during the first three weeks of school.  Students are assessed in a variety of areas that include English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Writing, Physical Education, Music, and Art to determine their level of knowledge in these subject areas.  These assessments help teachers to determine what depth they need to cover on each topic area for the grade level.  Benchmarks are given at the end of the quarter, and only cover what was taught during that benchmark period.  This information is used to provide additional support to students who are demonstrating difficulty with a taught concept. These assessments are administered through an online assessment program.



When a classroom completes a standard, they complete a formative bases assessment (quiz).  These quick assessments in ELA and Math are designed to determine how well students mastered the taught standard.  Based on the results of these assessments, teachers can make decisions about moving forward, providing interventions/enrichment, and future instructional.  Typically, formatives are graded by the teacher (see your child's teacher for their grading policy) and are given on a weekly basis.



The State of Arizona requires that students in grades 3 through High School participate in the AZMerit Assessment.  The AZMerit assesses student knowledge of Reading and Math concepts in grades 3-8 through balanced questions of multiple choice, and answer justification.  The AzMerit is given in the Spring of each school year. 

AzMerit Parent Brochure