How One District is Supporting Students with Digital PSAT Aligned Assessments

Learn more about Horizon Education's partnership with Colton Joint Unified School District in California.

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Posted By

James Fleming

Published On

December 7, 2020

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Colton Joint Unified School District

District Enrollment: 22,000 students

80% of students on Free and/or Reduced Lunch

What they did: 

  • Digital PSAT® aligned administration for grades 8, 9, 10
  • Fully remote testing for 5,000 students across 4 middles schools and 4 high schools
  • Coordinated College Fair experience between 3 high schools

What they’re going to do:

  • Taking their data back to their SIS. Trying to break down the practice of data silos
  • District-wide parent nights to interpret scores
  • Immediate results will allow them to use more data in college counseling and course selection conversations

Dr. Eric Mooney, Director of Secondary, doesn’t believe that distance learning is a reason to cut back on programs that foster college and career readiness. Colton JUSD was able to expand their offerings to students, even if they couldn’t do it in person. 

Under the direction of Dr. Kiela Jimenez, Coordinator of Assessment and Data/CTE, CJUSD engaged all 8th, 9th, and 10th grade students in a fully digital practice PSAT 8/9® or 10®.  Students benefited from immediate feedback on their performance, and schools will use the data to engage in more informed conversations about post-secondary plans. 

Site and district leaders didn’t know what to expect when planning to assess 5,000 students from home. “We’re very happy with the overall participation rate.  We know that testing online is a challenge for many students, and we’re glad that the students remained engaged in the process”  said Dr. Jimenez. She continued, “We know that the state of California is doing CAASPP (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress) this year, even if the students are remote.  This was a great practice run for implementing a school-wide distance learning assessment. We learned a lot about what to do this spring.”

Dr. Mooney explains that working with Horizon allowed them to expand the practice PSAT® program to additional grade levels.  In the past, the district has offered the CollegeBoard PSAT 10® to all 10th grade students.  Horizon Education’s pricing allowed them to offer aligned practice exams to two additional grade levels without impacting the budget.

“An all too common pattern we see is that schools give the PSAT 8/9® or the PSAT 10® to their students, then they don’t do anything with the data.” Explained Dustin Bainbridge, Founder of Horizon Education. “What I really like about Colton’s plan is that they’re finding ways to help students, parents, and educators to engage with their results.”

Colton plans to host Digital Parent Nights to help families understand student scores and engage college readiness conversations. The school sites will also use results from the assessments to inform 4-year plans and course selection. 

Colton JUSD demonstrates that distance learning isn’t a reason to cut back on programs that benefit students. Colton students have taken the next step towards post-secondary success, even if that step was in their own living room. 

Learn more about Horizon Education's Digital PSAT®/SAT® Aligned Interim Assessments

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