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Assessment and Evaluation

Laura DonnellyDr. Laura Donnelly
Director of Assessment
and Evaluation

75 Calhoun Street
Charleston, SC 29401
843-937-6433 (p)

Office of Assessment and Evaluation

We manage systems that enable our district and all employees to make data-based decisions that will elevate student achievement and close achievement gaps between students.

How We Directly Support Schools

  • Oversee assessments that measure student, educator, and school-wide performance
  • Provide data analyses to assist in high-quality decision-making at each school
  • Manage data information systems: Data Central, PowerSchool, Enrich
  • Program evaluation and research

Our Core Services

  • Reviewing and explaining state and federal accountability for CCSD and schools
  • Managing student enrollment data that determines state and federal funding
  • Organizing, facilitating, and analyzing state and district-wide assessments
  • Maintaining essential student data systems
  • Conducting, analyzing, and sharing results of School Quality Reviews

Contact Us with Questions About...

  • Assessments that measure student, educator, and school-wide performance
  • Important data to assist in high-quality decision-making at each school 
  • Management of student enrollment data that determines state and federal funding
  • The PowerSchool and SmartChoice systems 

Pupil Accounting

The primary purpose of the Pupil Accounting System is to classify each pupil in the South Carolina public school system into one of the pupil classifications described in the Education Finance Act (EFA). Our schools report this information, along with the membership and attendance data, every 45 days (quarterly). Districts receive EFA funding based on the Average Daily Membership (ADM) of the district.


Student assessments include both formative and summative assessments. The results of the assessments are used by all stakeholders to make program, staffing, professional development, instructional, financial, and personnel decisions. Formative assessments are on-going and are used as the basis for drawing conclusions about examinees to inform the instructional process. Summative assessments are used for accreditation and accountability reporting.

Danna Cousins

  • Elementary and Middle School Assessments
    • SC READY are statewide assessments in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics that will meet all of the requirements of Acts 155 and 200, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA), and the Assessments Peer Review guidance. All students in grades 3-8 are required to take the SC READY except those who qualify for the South Carolina Alternate Assessments. SC READY assessments are not timed, and both computer-based and paper-based testing will be available. 
    • SCPASS is a statewide assessment administered to students in grades 4-8. Students in grades 4, 6, and 8 will take the SCPASS science assessment; students in grades 5 and 7 will take the SCPASS social studies assessment. All students in these grade levels are required to take the SCPASS except those who qualify for the South Carolina Alternate Assessments. 
  • High School Assessments
    • Beginning with the School Year 2017-18, 11th grade students now have the opportunity to choose which college assessment (ACT or SAT) they will take during the school day. Charleston County School District encourages all students to take at least one of these tests, as they are used for college admissions and merit-based scholarships. 
    • Career Readiness Assessment: TBD
  • End-of-Course Examination Program (EOCEP) examinations, which count 20% of the students' final grade in each gateway or benchmark course, currently include Algebra 1, English 1, U.S. History and the Constitution, and Biology 1.
  • South Carolina Alternate Assessment
    • The South Carolina Alternate Assessments are for students with significant cognitive disabilities who are assessed against alternate achievement standards as they are unable to participate in the general assessment program even with accommodations. 

Christina Mattioli

  • Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) are K-12 computer-adaptive interim assessments that measure growth, project proficiency on high-stakes tests, and inform how educators differentiate instruction, evaluate programs, and structure curriculum. 

Colleen Cumback

  • Pre-K and Kindergarted Readiness Assessments
    • myIGDIs Literacy is a formative assessment individually administered by the teacher to support the identification of preschool children requiring additional diagnostic assessment or levels of intervention in oral language, phonological awareness, alphabet knowledge, and comprehension. This assessment can be used to measure developmental gains and inform instructional needs of individual children.
    • KRA is a developmentally appropriate instrument that measures a child's school readiness across multiple domains. Understanding a child's school readiness helps kindergarten teachers best meet the child's needs, and it helps schools, families, communities, and policy makers know how to best support young children as they enter the K-12 environment. The KRA determines each child's readiness level from an evaluation of four domains: Social Foundations, Language/Literacy, Mathematics, and Physical Well-Being. The KRA provides a snapshot of students' abilities at the beginning of the school year.
  • Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) and Iowa Assessments (IA) for Grade 2 are used to identify students for Gifted and Talented programs. The identification of gifted and talented students is a multi-step process which consists of screening and referral, assessment of eligibility, and placement. The objective of the grade 2 testing program is to evaluate each student for the purpose of placement into a district gifted and talented program.
  • South Carolina Performance Tasks Assessments (PTA) is part of the process to assist in the identification of students for participation in programs for the gifted and talented. 
  • ACCESS for ELLs® is an assessment of English language proficiency for students who are classified as English language learners (ELLs). An Alternate ACCESS assessment is administered to ELL students who meet the criteria for alternate assessment that prevents their meaningful participation in the ACCESS for ELLs® assessment.

Data Systems

Data Central and Enrich


Program Evaluation and Research

The Office of Assessment and Evaluation provides program evaluation and research support for the district, learning communities, and CCSD schools. Program evaluation involves the systematic study of interventions and programs in our schools to see if they are effective in reaching their goals. We conduct program evaluations of key initiatives in our district as well as evaluations of new innovations within individual schools in our district. The research we conduct varies in terms of focus but it may include topics such as examining achievement gaps or identifying methods to reduce them; examining trends in achievement data over time, across subjects, or across schools; or identifying predictors of student, teacher, or school success. We also conduct research to support grant-funded work in the district. All of the research and evaluation work we do is used to support continual improvement of district and school initiatives.

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