DMS, BENCHMARKS, and AzMERIT
The goal of DMS (Daily Math Skills) is that students develop stronger accuracy and fluency of math skills necessary at their grade level.
Each morning, after our announcements in advisory class, students partake in DMS. Students in each class do a three minute practice of the skill they are on, beginning with Skill #1 in the Middle School Skill Sequence for the grade, and then take a two minute test. This occurs daily until the class median has reached mastery of the skill, and the class then moves on to the next sequence.
A district-wide assessment will be given to all students for math and reading prior to the end of the first three quarters. Any 6th – 8th grade student who falls far below the district assessment standard will be required to complete 12 hours of remediation for each deficient area.
Our district benchmark tests measure the academic standards taught in math, reading, writing, and science. Scores reflect whether students master, approach, or fall far below the standards in each area.
When you receive the benchmark testing results, you will see that your child scored in one of three ways for each objective that was taught:
Falls Below Standard – student scored 2/5, 1/5, or 0/5 correct on the objective
Approaches Standard – student scored 3/5 correct on the objective
Meets Standard – student scored 4/5 or 5/5 correct on the objective
If you see several concepts that read Falls Below Standard on your child’s report, he or she may have failed the benchmark test.
Students who are identified as needing extra help are given 12 remediation hours, as stated in the Vail Unified School District Raising Expectations document. These students are then given extra assistance by being placed in a reteach class, asked to attend after school remediation, and/or attend intersession classes during the break. Results will be mailed home and parents will be contacted by teachers concerning making up the remediation hours if earned.
In November 2014, the Arizona State Board of Education adopted a new statewide achievement test, AzMERIT, for Arizona Students. AzMERIT is administered in the spring to all Desert Sky students. At Desert Sky, we align our instruction with the state standards. Our formative tests and our benchmark tests are designed to assess the same standards which the students will encounter on AzMERIT.
The Arizona department of education web site has information about the AzMERIT, including sample tests.