The VTSA testing window is March 16, 2021 through June 11, 2021.
All Vermont students in grades 5, 8 and 11, including publicly funded students attending private independent schools and programs, will participate in the Vermont Science Assessment (VTSA) unless a student qualifies for alternate assessment or has an authorized exemption for medical reasons.
We intend for this test to be administered via computer, and to make use of innovative item clusters that will make it possible to measure the full breadth of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) standards. The assessment will include reports to parents and schools that clearly articulate student performance. Additionally, the assessment will include accommodations and accessibility features to provide access for a broad range of diverse student needs in Vermont.
Local and Classroom Level
As Vermont continues to refine its implementation of the NGSS, educators and administrators will need to work together to develop a robust and varied assessment system that includes authentic, equitable and personalized formative and summative assessments.
The goal of the NGSS is to help students develop the skills and dispositions to use scientific and engineering practices, cross-cutting conceptual themes and major disciplinary core ideas to deepen their learning and solve problems across multiple contexts. The AOE has developed a science performance assessment template and a quality criteria check list to help educators build, evaluate and/or redesign their classroom level assessments.
For more information regarding classroom level science assessment, please download the PowerPoint of the National Research Council’s Developing Assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards and visit the AOE‘s State and Local Assessment Page.
State and Local Assessment Resources
- VTSA Item Review and Bias/Sensitivity Committees Application
- VTSA Science Test Administrator Manual
- VTSA Accessibility Guide
- The NGSS PE Specifications are documents that are used as tools to help educators unpack the NGSS standards. In addition, each specification comes with example phenomena and sample task demands for students. The layout is similar to the NGSS evidence statements but offers more in the way of content limits and clarification statements.
- The VTSA Achievement Level Descriptors (ALDs) define content area knowledge, skills, and processes that students at a particular achievement level should know and to be able to do. They provide descriptions of each proficiency level and are used to establish performance standards.
- Developing NGSS Assessments to Evaluate the Efficacy of Curriculum Interventions - Articulates an approach to designing assessments for the purpose of evaluating curriculum interventions intended to support implementation of NGSS.
- Stanford NGSS Assessment Project (SNAP) - Contains research articles and sample NGSS tasks
- The Concord Consortium - Searchable interactive tasks through different combinations of DCIs, SEPs and CCCs.
Email Maggie Carrera-Bly, or call (802) 828-5930.