Testing & Evaluation

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The office of Testing and Evaluation serves instructional leaders by facilitating testing. This is accomplished by collecting, analyzing and reporting test results and program data. These tasks support data-driven decisions and targeted planning of instruction. In so doing, we help Northside increase student success by focusing on accurate and timely data collection, evaluation, and dissemination.


The Department of Testing & Evaluation in Northside ISD is comprised of two (2) distinct components which are intricately related and purposely aimed at improving the academic performance of students in the District. In the simplest definition, the Testing component is primarily concerned with facilitating all group assessment activities while the Evaluation component focuses on data analysis of the test results and other data for program effectiveness.

The Northside ISD testing program, like others in the State of Texas, is primarily determined by the many and varied components of the State assessment program. While many districts throughout the State choose to use only the State-mandated tests such as STAAR, and EOC tests, NISD has long felt that local-option testing programs are vital to provide information that is crucial to further excellence in teaching.

The Testing & Evaluation Office provides a number of services to the campuses and the central administration of Northside ISD. We invite you to contact us with any questions you may have. You are also welcome to call 397-8726 to set up a time to visit our office located at 5651 Grissom Road to discuss the District and/or State testing program.




The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) program, which was implemented in spring 2012, includes annual assessments for 

  • reading and mathematics, grades 3–8
  • writing at grades 4 and 7
  • science at grades 5 and 8
  • social studies at grade 8
  • end-of-course (EOC) assessments for English I, English II, Algebra I, biology and U.S history.

STAAR Alternate 2 assesses students in grades 3–8 and high school who have significant cognitive disabilities and are receiving special education services.


TEA has developed the STAAR Alternate 2 (STAAR Alt 2) assessment to meet the federal requirements mandated under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), a federal education law previously known as No Child Left Behind. TEA designed the STAAR Alternate 2 to assess students in grades 3–8 and high school who have significant cognitive disabilities and are receiving special education services.

The Texas Education Agency definition of a student with a significant cognitive disability is a student who:

  • exhibits significant intellectual and adaptive behavior deficits in their ability to plan, comprehend, and reason, and ALSO indicates adaptive behavior deficits that limit their ability to apply social and practical skills such as personal care, social problem-solving skills, dressing, eating, using money, and other functional skills across life domains;
  • is NOT identified based on English learner designation or solely on the basis of previous low academic achievement or the need for accommodations; and
  • requires extensive, direct, individualized instruction, as well as a need for substantial supports that are neither temporary nor specific to a particular content area. 

Determination of who will take the STAAR Alt 2 state assessment is made by a committee composed of parents, administrators, specialists and the students teacher.

In light of past and anticipated impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commissioner of education is exercising his authority under Texas Education Code (TEC), Section 7.056, to waive the requirements of TEC, Section 28.0211 regarding grade promotion requirements for students in fifth and eighth grade for the 2020–2021 school year. 

Students enrolled in grades 5 and 8 are still required to take the appropriate State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) tests once. Regardless of their score, retest opportunities will not be provided. Districts will have local discretion on whether these students should advance to the next grade, just like students in grades 3, 4, 6, and 7. These decisions should be based on local criteria that reflect a student’s academic achievement and mastery of subject matter, and should include STAAR assessment results, along with other relevant information. Districts are still responsible for providing accelerated instruction and supports for students that fail to perform satisfactorily on STAAR. Furthermore, although students in grades 5 and 8 will not be retained solely on the basis of STAAR results, school districts and open-enrollment charter schools will remain accountable for student performance. 

As a part of this waiver, there will only be one administration of the STAAR grades 5 and 8 mathematics and reading assessments for the 2020–2021 school year. This administration will be in May to coincide with the administration of other STAAR grades 3–8 assessments.

For more information:  TEA Resources:  http://www.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/staar/

1. Login to the Texas Assessment Website

2. Click the link titled “For Families”

Click the link titled “For Families”

3. Click the “Log In to Student Portal” Link

Click the “Log In to Student Portal” Link

4. Click “OK” at the prompt

Click “OK” at the prompt

5. Click “Lookup Students Access Code” link

Click “Lookup Students Access Code” link


6. Type in the Student’s first name only, the PEIMS ID (social security number or state issued id) and Date of Birth

7. Click “Go”

Click go

8. If there is State Assessment Data you should see the following screen indicating the portal access code lookup is Successful. Click “go” from here

Successful. Click “go” from here

9. You will then be directed to the Students’ Testing History page

Students’ Testing History page

10. Click Download PDF’s if you wish to print the latest copy of the CSR (Confidential Student Report)




  • Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System
  • Is designed to assess the progress that limited English proficient (LEP) students make in learning the English language.
  • Is taken in kindergarten through grade 12 in four language domains: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
  • Assesses students in alignment with the Texas English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS), which are part of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). The ELPS proficiency level descriptors (PLDs) present the major characteristics of each language proficiency level in each language domain. The PLDs define how well ELLs at the four proficiency levels are able to understand and use English in grade-level academic settings.

Student performance is reported in terms of four English language proficiency levels: beginning, intermediate, advanced, and advanced high.


All limited English proficient students as identified by the bilingual student placement center.

An online reading test based on multiple choice questions used to determine students English reading levels.

  • Teachers are trained to use proficiency level descriptors to determine the English language proficiency levels of students based on classroom observations and written student work.  
  • Teachers are required to go online and pass calibration tests that assess the teacher’s knowledge of rating various student TELPAS writing, listening and speaking samples.  A teacher must successfully calibrate every year in order to qualify to assess students TELPAS ratings. After passing the TELPAS calibration test the teacher is also required to go online and pass a refresher TELPAS training course where the teacher rates various writing samples.

TELPAS results are used to meet state and federal reporting and accountability requirements teachers are trained to use proficiency level descriptors (assessment guidelines) to determine the English language proficiency levels of students based on classroom observations and written student work.

  • Beginning (Little or no English ability)
  • Intermediate (Limited ability, simple language structures, high-frequency vocabulary, routine contexts)
  • Advanced (Grade appropriate, with second language acquisition support)
  • Advanced High (Grade appropriate, with minimal second language acquisition support)
  • To help parents monitor the progress their children make in learning English.
  • To inform instructional planning and program exit decisions for individual students.
  • To report performance to local school boards, school professionals, and the community.
  • To evaluate programs, resources, and staffing patterns.
  • To evaluate districts and campuses in a variety of state and federal accountability measures.
CogAT Logo


COGAT 07 Information

The Cognitive Abilities Test™ (CogAT) measures general reasoning abilities in three domains: verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal.  CogAT’s measurement of three different content domains ensures that educators receive a balanced view of the child. Although its primary goal is to assess students’ reasoning abilities, CogAT can also provide predicted achievement scores when administered with The Iowa Tests.




The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a program cosponsored by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). It's a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT®. It also gives you a chance to enter NMSC scholarship programs and gain access to college and career planning tools.

NISD currently offers the PSAT test to all sophomores and juniors as a tool to prepare for the SAT and National Merit Scholarship program.  The test is given once a year in October.  For questions regarding this test, please contact your high school Counselor.


PSAT/NMSQT Testing Date for 2021-2022:
  • October 13, 2021 

(Registration for 10th & 11th grade homeschool students has closed. The deadline for homeschool students to register for the October 13, 2021 PSAT administration was Monday, September 13, 2021. Due to test ordering deadline and planning, no late registrations will be accepted.)



Out of School (OOS)/Out of District (OOD)

Northside ISD has registered with the Texas Education Agency as an Out of School (OOS) and Out of District (OOD) state testing site. NISD provides one central testing location for OOS and OOD state testing. Only STAAR state assessments will be administered at the site. The NISD site is the Student Services Center - Testing Annex (Behind Student Services Building) located at 5651 Grissom Road. Individual high school campuses will not serve as OOS or OOD sites.


  • NISD will only test on the dates posted under Important Dates on this site.
  • Students must pre-register through texasassessment.gov by the deadlines provided by TEA. NISD does not allow walk-in registration.
  • Check-in requires a pre-registration form and valid photo identification.
  • Students may begin the check-in process at 7:30 am on the date of testing.
  • Forms of photo identification accepted by NISD may be a campus ID, driver's license, military ID or passport. Students without a valid photo ID will not be allowed to test.
  • Students must plan to arrive at the test site, check-in and be seated prior to the start time of the test. Once a test session starts, NISD will not allow late check-in's to test.
  • NISD will offer one test session date that will begin at 8 am. Refer to the Important Dates below for the date of each test session.
  • Students must follow district dress code guidelines or will not be allowed to check in and test.
  • NISD does not provide lunch for students.
  • Students who have completed testing may turn in the test materials and leave the testing site.
  • Test results will be sent to last home campus of the student. Students must contact last home campus for test results.

Students who will be away from their home districts, also called out-of-district (OOD) students, for the June 2022 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) end-of-course (EOC) administration can register to take the necessary assessments at any participating Texas campus. In addition, out-of-school (OOS) examinees can register to take the necessary STAAR EOC assessments at any participating Texas campus.

For the June 2022 STAAR EOC administration, OOD and OOS examinees must register online. The OOD and OOS test site directory with the list of participating campuses can be found online on the registration form. The specific dates and times for each assessment can be found on the registration form as well.

The Texas Assessments of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) tests are no longer being administered. Former TAKS examinees (including former Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAAS) and Texas Educational Assessment of Minimal Skills (TEAMS) examinees) can take the appropriate State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) test. STAAR may be used as an alternate assessment to meet graduation testing requirements for former TAKS, TAAS, and TEAMS examinees.

The June 2022 STAAR EOC OOD and OOS registration window opens on Monday, May 16, 2022. Registration deadline for the June assessments is Friday, May 20, 2022.

The assessments will be administered as follows:

  • Tuesday, June 21, 2022- English I
  • Wednesday, June 22, 2022- Algebra I
  • Thursday, June 23, 2022- English II
  • Friday, June 24, 2022- Biology
  • Friday, June 24, 2022- US History
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Program Evaluation

Program Evaluation is a component of the Testing and Evaluation Department located in Student Services.  This unit responds to federal, state and other grant-funded program requirements and directly supports District Strategic Plan Goal III, Objective 7:  Use data to inform and drive instructional decision-making.  Accountability reports, program evaluations, and other ad hoc reports provide important information used to evaluate instructional and program effectiveness and to increase student achievement.

Contact Testing and Evaluation Department at 210-397-8726 for any questions and further information.