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Here are the various standardized tests that Dekalb County Schools, and therefore Fernbank, participate in.

Georgia Milestones

Given in late April to see if your child is ready to move to the next grade level

The Georgia Milestones Assessment System (Georgia Milestones) is a comprehensive

summative assessment program spanning grades 3 through high school.  

Georgia Milestones measures how well students have learned the knowledge and skills outlined

in the state-adopted content standards in English Language Arts, mathematics, science, and

social studies.  

Students in grades 3 through 8 take an end-of- grade assessment in English Language Arts and

mathematics while students in grades 5 and 8 are also assessed in science and social studies.

High school students take an end-of- course assessment for each of the ten courses designated by

the State Board of Education.

Features the Georgia Milestone Assessment System include:

  • open-ended (constructed-response) items in English Language Arts and mathematics (all grades and courses);

  • a writing component (in response to passages read by students) at every grade level andcourse within the English Language Arts assessment;

  • norm-referenced items in all content areas and courses, to complement the criterion-referenced information and to provide a national comparison; and

  • transition to online administration over time, with online administration considered the primary mode of administration and paper-penc​il as back-up until the transition is complete

  • (please see Fernbank’s testing schedule). 


Preparing for the Test: 

Parents - There are some great online resources to help your child(ren) prepare for this test.

If you have any questions about the assessments listed, please contact

Simone Willingham

Assistant Principal For Instruction

Testing Coordinator - MAP, CogAT (Screener For Gifted), GA Milestones for Fernbank Elementary


MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) 

Given 3 times per year to see how your child is progressing

MAP is a computer adaptive test, which means every student gets a unique set of test questions based on responses to previous questions. As the student answers correctly, questions get harder. If the student answers incorrectly, the questions get easier. By the end of the test, most students will answer about half the questions correctly. MAP results are provided as a numerical RIT score. This score is used to measure a student’s achievement level at different times of the school year and compute growth. Think of this like marking height on a growth chart. You can tell how tall your child is at various points in time and how much they have grown between one time and another. It is a very useful tool for teachers and administrators to understand which areas students have mastered, and where they could use more focus.

To learn more, check out this useful MAP guide.

Illuminate - Post Unit Assessments (Grades 1- 5) 
The purpose of the Post-Unit Assessment is to assess student learning at the end of a unit for each content area (English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies). By assessing the students teachers are able to identify academic strengths and weaknesses. This information is used to guide instruction, evaluate teaching, and look for trends in student learning.

CogAT (The Cognitive Abilities Test)

Given once a year 

Students in grades K-5 who score in the 90 th percentile or above on the August MAP Assessment

(Reading or Math) will be invited to take the CogAT. The CogAT measures reasoning abilities,

not achievement. The CogAT allows comparisons of the performance of DeKalb students with

the performance of other students in the state/nation of the same age, who took the same test, at

the same time of year. Results are used for program qualification for Gifted. As of now,

students will be eligible for Gifted screening every other year.

To be eligible for Gifted services, students must qualify in at least 3 of the 4 assessments. All

eligible students are administered the following 4 assessments:

  • MAP

  • CogAT

  • Creativity

  • Motivation

ACCESS (Assessing Comprehen​sion and Communication in English State to State for English Language Learners)

What is ACCESS for ELLs 2.0?

Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to- State for English

Language Learners is also known as ACCESS for ELLs 2.0. ACCESS for ELLs 2.0

serves as a secure large-scale English language proficiency assessment administered

to Kindergarten through 12th grade students who have been identified as English

language learners (ELLs). It is given annually (between January – February) to monitor

students' progress in acquiring academic English. ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 is aligned with

the World Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) English Language

Development Standards and assesses each of the four language domains of Listening,

Speaking, Reading, and Writing.

Purpose and Use of ACCESS for ELLs 2.0

  • Helps students and families understand students’ current level of English language proficiency along the developmental continuum.

  • Serves as one of multiple measures used to determine whether students are prepared to exit English language support programs.

  • Generates information that assists in determining whether ELLs have attained the language proficiency needed to participate meaningfully in content area classrooms without program support.

  • Provides teachers with information they can subsequently use to enhance instruction and learning in programs for their English language learners.

  • Provides districts with information that will help them evaluate the effectiveness of their ESL/bilingual programs.

  • Meets, and exceeds, federal requirements for the monitoring and reporting of ELLs's progress toward English language proficiency.

If you have any questions about ACCESS, please contact

Jamesa Hodge

Assistant Principal For Instruction

Testing Coordinator- ACCESS for Fernbank Elementary


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