How is the New Normal Impacting Your Child’s Academic Performance? Consider Benchmark Testing to Determine if Your Child is Performing at Grade Level

Mon. 10/12/2020

Despite the fact that we don’t know exactly how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting academic performance, our own experiences and observations suggest that the substantial loss of learning time, coupled with  the  sudden and challenging shift to remote learning or home schooling are having an impact on academic performance and learning. 

A recent report by the Economic Policy Institute, COVID-19 and student performance, equity, and U.S. education policy Lessons from pre-pandemic research to inform relief, recovery, and rebuilding Report, September 10, 2020 confirms the disruption being experienced by millions of students across the United States and asserts that, “The only effective response is to use diagnostic testing and other tools to meet each child where he or she is and to devise a plan for making up for the interruptions.”

The Summit School, through Summit Resource Center, is offering Benchmark Testing a form of diagnostic testing used to identify a student’s academic strengths and weaknesses. Benchmark Testing evaluates students, grades 1-12, in math and reading, against specific national grade-level standards and learning goals. 

If you are concerned about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting your child’s academic performance and/or you would like to know if your child is performing on grade level and progressing throughout the academic year, Benchmark Testing will provide actionable data.

Using Aimsweb™ Plus, testing results indicate current performance, Lexile scores, and estimate reading and math grade level equivalencies. Results include:

  • Your child’s score
  • National Percentile
  • Grade level performance
  • Rate of improvement
  • Academic risk status.

Benchmarking is designed to inform instruction to improve achievement, results highlight:

  • Progression toward academic goals
  • Effectiveness of current educational programs and curricula
  • Need for intervention or additional support, where performance is lagging.

Benchmarks are established three times per year. The screening periods for each season and recommended testing windows include:

  • Fall: August 1 – November 30
  • Winter: December 1 – March 15
  • Spring: March 16 – July 31 

AimswebPlus was designed by educational experts and underwent a stringent development and standardization process prior to launch. The system uses proven, standards-based assessments to screen and monitor student performance. These assessments are built upon brief, valid, and reliable skill measures. The Summit School’s Director of Program Supports and Nationally Certified School Psychologist/Psychology Associate, Dr. Leslie Eget oversees testing and is a valuable resource for parents when evaluating test results and considering next steps.

Parents who have used Benchmark data found it to be essential for getting their child the help they needed in their school setting. “This past year I used this to support my requests for increased intensity of interventions and specific types of interventions to be included in her IEP and special education program. I also used this data to help us target specific skills to focus on in our tutoring,” one parent reported. Teachers who receive this data use it to inform their academic programming for students. 

If you are interested in knowing more about Benchmark Testing, please contact the Summit Resource Center Coordinator, Tyisha Peoples at or 410-798-0005.

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About The Summit School – The Summit School was founded to serve children, grades 1-8, with dyslexia and other learning differences. The Summit School has an incredible record of helping children become successful learners. The core of Summit’s program incorporates: highly trained teachers, evidence-based instruction, hands-on, multi-sensory learning environments and small class sizes. For more information about The Summit School and the resources offered through the Summit Resource Center please visit www.thesummitschool.org.

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