Office of Assessment

Required Assessments
Optional Assessments
Assessment Workshop Presentations and Webinars

The goal of the South Dakota Department of Education is that all high school students graduate college, career, and life ready. To this aim, the South Dakota assessment system is designed to provide districts, schools, and parents with the information they need to ensure that their students remain on track to reach this goal. South Dakota public school students participate in annual summative testing in English language arts and mathematics and the results of these tests are included in the state accountability system. In addition to annual tests in English language arts and mathematics, South Dakota requires assessment of science and writing annually and provides schools and teachers with resources to utilize other assessments to help identify strengths and areas for improvement.

The Office of Assessment, housed within the Division of Assessment and Accountability, is responsible for implementing and supporting the SDDOE’s summative, interim, and formative assessment programs.

SD DOE Testing Dates for 2015-16 school year
NAEP – National Assessment of Education Process
    National year, small sample of schools in a pilot study
ACCESS and ACCESS Alt (for ELL students)
    ACCESS: Feb. 1 – March 4, 2016
    ACCESS Alt: Feb. 1 - March 4, 2016
Smarter Balanced (ELA and Math Assessment)
    Grades 3 – 8: March 9– May 6, 2016
    Grade 11: March 9 – May 6, 2016
    (Paper/pencil window: March 16 – April 19, 2016 Tests shipped on April 22)
NCSC (Alternate ELA and Math Assessment)
    March 30 – May 6, 2016 [tentative but testing will be within this window]
DSTEP Science and DSTEP Science Alt
    March 28 – April 22, 2016
Home School Testing with SAT10
    March 28 – April 22, 2016
    Grade 11 or 12, schools work with CTE and Labor to schedule

Parent Communication
2016 SBAC Guide
2016 Reporting Memo 2016 Sample Letter
SBAC Guide DSTEP Guide
DSTEP A Guide ACCESS 2.0 Information

Useful Links
National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC Alternative Assessment) DSTEP Science
DSTEP Science Alt National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
ACCESS/W-APT Homeschool
Smarter Balanced Assessment portal Smarter Balanced Assessment information


Contact the Assessment Staff with any questions.