A traditional Montessori curriculum doesn’t include standardized testing; it is often one of the differentiating aspects of Montessori that many find so compelling. However, at Steamboat Montessori take the view that testing is in fact a life skill our students need to practice. Additionally, as a public school, our students must demonstrate that they meet state academic standards. Our staff utilize testing data to inform the individualized instruction of each child, and not as the measuring stick of achievement. Our Montessori-trained educators incorporate testing as one of multiple points of observation that can support learning and growth for the student.
Students attending Steamboat Montessori are expected to participate in State, Charter School Institute, school, and teacher assessments. The information from assessments allows parents, students, and educators to monitor progress and performance of both individuals and groups of students, as well as make decisions regarding the design and implementation of instruction. Assessment and testing results will be shared with parents and students throughout the years, especially during Parent/Teacher Conferences. It is important that families understand the testing information and results which are sent home. Questions about assessment results should be directed to the student’s teacher or school administrator.
Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) assessments are administered for grades 3-5 in April each year. These assessments are required by state law, and are used by the state as a common measurement tool of students’ progress in English Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. Participating in these tests is important to our public charter school, and also helps guide the instruction of individual students. Results help students, parents, and our school understand whether students have mastered the content they need to know by the end of the school year. Additional information about the CMAS assessment can be found here on the Colorado Department of Educations’s website.
School Testing Policies
Paper-Based Testing Policy:
It is the policy of Steamboat Montessori to administer tests on paper to 3rd grade students during the state, CSI, and School required CMAS testing to the extent possible given the time, equipment, technology, staff, and space requirements for the testing.
Online-Based Testing Policy:
It is the policy of Steamboat Montessori to administer tests online to 4th and 5th grade students during the state, CSI, and School required CMAS testing to the extent possible given the time, equipment, technology, staff, and space requirements for the testing.
Parent Refusal Policy:
In compliance with Colorado HB15-1323, Steamboat Montessori has created a Parent Refusal Policy. Steamboat Montessori administers state testing as mandated by the School Finance Act. We are not able, as a charter public school, to opt out of testing. Parents may refuse state testing for their children without penalty, including prohibiting school attendance, imposing an unexcused absence, or prohibiting participation in extracurricular activities. Colorado’s state assessment is the Colorado Measure of Academic Success (CMAS).
Local interim assessments such as MAPS tests and the ACCESS test are not included in this policy. Parent refusals do not affect a school’s accreditation rating as long as refusals are clearly documented and submitted to the school administrator. Steamboat Montessori’s participation rates and documentation of excusals are part of the school accountability reports. Because of the number of students testing, the variety of tests available for refusal, and the documentation we need to give to our authorizer regarding refusals, parents must fill out a refusal form for each child for whom testing is being refused. The refusal paperwork only applies to the current school year; parents must submit this form even if they submitted a form the prior year. As a courtesy, Steamboat Montessori requests that any refusals are submitted before the testing window begins. The School Assessment Coordinator will track refusals and reasons for refusals. Hard copies of the refusal from will be kept in the student’s cumulative file.