What does the IAR assess?
The IAR is designed to asses the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics. The math assessment also addresses the Standards for Mathematical Practices.
Who takes the IAR?
Students in Grade 3 - 8 are tested in both ELA and Mathematics.
How many tests will my child take? How long is each test?
English Language Arts
Grade 3 : 2 tests (75 minutes each)
Grades 4 - 8: 2 tests (90 minutes each)
Grades 3 - 8: 3 tests (60 minutes each)
When will the IAR be administered?
District 36 has established a 3 week testing window in April. To best meet the needs of individual school schedules, each building then chooses specific testing dates within the window.
How is the IAR administered?
The IAR is computer-based. Students will use district devices such as iPads, Chromebooks, laptops and desktops. Location of the test administration is determined by buildings and can include computer labs, resource center or classrooms.
How is IAR scored?
The majority of the questions are computer scored. The writing portion of the ELA test and the reasoning portions of the Math test are assessed by trained scorers using a rubric.
What will the results be used for?
District administrators, math and literacy facilitators, and teachers work together to examine the data. The results from the assessment provide the school district with information on student learning and for continuous improvement of our educational programs.
What type of questions will my child be asked on the IAR?
You can review the sample practice tests by clicking here.
Can we compare scores from this year’s IAR to the scores from the PARCC assessment that was given in the past?
According to ISBE, the IAR measures the same standards and includes the same high-quality test questions used the last four years. Using the same content and measuring the same standards ensures comparability from year to year - an essential commitment to including growth in our support and accountability system.
Will the IAR results be used to determine high school placement?
Is the District’s curriculum aligned with the IAR?
The IAR is designed to measure grade level content standards as outlined in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). District-wide Curriculum Committees, consisting of K - 8 classroom teachers, facilitators and administrators, spent several years aligning our local curriculum with the CCSS. We have collaborated with experts in the field of Math, Reading and Writing to refine our scope and sequence (content and order in which it is taught). Teachers and administrators have engaged in high quality professional development to ensure successful implementation of our new curriculum.
How does the District prepare students for the IAR?
District curriculum, which is aligned with the CCSS, has been exposing students to the content and skills presented on the IAR continually throughout the school year. Because the IAR is computer-based and requires students to manage multiple screens, prompts and tools while typing their responses in a time situation, we familiarize students with the test interface.
Students will utilize some instructional time to gain exposure to question format, familiarize themselves with the online tools, practice navigating sample tests, and review models examples of student responses. The goal of these sessions is to help familiarize students with the testing environment, as well as them understand the expectations of the test and how their work will be evaluated.
What will my child be missing during the hours devoted to testing and preparation?
The District recognizes the IAR will require a significant number of hours. Instructional plans are developed accordingly so that students will not miss a specific unit or content area. In addition, will have preserved honored student experiences such as the Pioneer Room, Civil War Days, Outdoor Education, etc...
If my child has an IEP or a 504 Plan, will he or she receive accommodations?
Yes. Children who have IEPs and 504 Plans will receive the accommodations that are currently specified in their plans.
What if my child become frustrated while taking the IAR?
The emotional well-being of our students is always the primary concern of the teachers. Teachers are able to suspend a student’s test if necessary. You will be contacted if something unusual occurs during test administration.
What can I do to help my child?
The preparation provided by the District will be sufficient to help students navigate the IAR and no additional preparation is necessary. On the homefront, you can support your child by helping them get a good night’s sleep and eating a hearty breakfast on testing days.
Is there an opt-out option for the IAR?
Per the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE):
“State, local districts, and schools are required to administer the IAR assessment to all students. Districts can develop a policy for those students who refuse to take assessments on testing days, but federal and state law does not provide for any opt-out provisions. Therefore, ISBE does not provide any guidance on how a district or school can provide an ‘opt-out’ because such an option would violate the law.”
Therefore, District cannot accept a parent request for an opt-out. If a parent refuses the test on his or her student's behalf in writing prior to the test, or if a student refuses to take the test at the beginning of the testing session, the student will remain in the testing environment and will be allowed to read a book during testing.
Beginning in the Fall 2018, the Illinois State Board of Education has made participation in the IAR an important criteria in the school report card. Any school that does not have 95% participation is not eligible to receive an Exemplary Standing on the State School Report Card regardless of meeting the other criteria.
If you or you child would like to refuse the test, please contact the building principal before testing begins.