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Student Assessment

At Horizons, our students in 3-8 grade take the State of Colorado’s Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science assessment. As a charter school, our participation in standardized assessments is especially important as we are required to uphold excellent academic accountability as a part of our charter contract with BVSD.  As a school with strong data-driven instruction, standardized tests are an important component of our program. With your support, your student can help show how well our school and the school district, as a whole, is performing.

By participating in the state assessments:

  • Our educators will have access to valuable data about the performance of our students and apples-to-apples comparisons to students across the district and the state.
  • Data collected helps Horizons K-8 teachers and leaders to determine if curriculum and instructional practices are working, helping to direct resources and professional development.

Below is a specific list of the tests and which grades will be taking the tests. 3rd, 4th, 6th & 7th graders will take approximately 6 hours of tests; 5th and 8th graders will take approximately 9 hours of tests due to science testing.

English Language Arts: Grades 3-5

Math: Grades 3-8

Science: Grade 5 and Grade 8

We encourage you to please speak with your student(s) about giving their best efforts on the assessments. Supporting your student to get a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast (in addition to encouragement) is also important!

The purpose of assessing student progress at Horizons is to measure growth toward and beyond BVSD and state academic standards as well as individual goals. Horizons students set and evaluate their own goals, in cooperation with their parents, as facilitated by their homeroom teachers. Students do not receive grades. Assessment measures used at Horizons include:


A portfolio is a collection of student work, which provides evidence of progress. Individual student portfolios include personal goals, self­ evaluations, assessments, and work samples in all content areas.

Digital Recordings & Videos

Regular digital recordings may occur as we assess presentation skills. These provide a visual record of a student’s progress. If available, when a student graduates, these are offered to parents with their child’s academic portfolio.

Fall/Spring Conferences

There are two, one­ hour-long student­-led family conferences held each year for the purpose of presenting student work samples, goal-setting, and evaluating academic progress and social awareness. Student-led conferences are a significant part of a student’s experience as they give each student a chance to begin to integrate what they are learning and to take ownership of their learning. In the conference, students have the opportunity to share with others what they value, what they are learning about, and an increasing level of self­ awareness about who they are and how they will be of service in the world.

Literacy and Math Assessments

Teachers of grades K-­5 administer BVSD literacy and math, and other assessments at regular intervals throughout the year.  These interim measurements allow for teachers to gather and track data as to student progress in these critical areas.