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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 InfoSnap 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

  • 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.
    • DRA2+ determines each student's independent (or instructional) reading level with an evaluation of three components of reading: reading engagement, oral reading fluency, and comprehension. This assessment allows teachers to determine student deficiencies so that they can create a plan documenting what each student needs to learn next during their instructional dime. Once the assessment is complete, teachers can use this information to differentiate instruction and create instructional groups.
  • 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 National Center and State Collaborative (SC-NCSC). 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. All students in these grade levels are required to take the SCPASS except those who qualify for the South Carolina Alternate Assessment (SC-Alt). SCPASS includes tests in two subjects: science and social studies.
  • High School Assessments
    • The ACT® includes multiple-choice tests in English, Reading, Mathematics, and Science, as well as a Writing test, which is an essay. The ACT test scores provide information about progress toward college readiness and are widely used by colleges in making decisions about admission. The ACT test will be administered during the regular school day and at no cost to parents. No registration is required by students or parents. 
    • ACT WorkKeys® is a job skills assessment. The statewide testing program includes three timed tests taking 45 minutes each: Reading for Information (33 items), Applied Mathematics (33 items), and Locating Information (38 items). 
  • 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.
  • Alternate Assessments
    • SC-NCSC alternate assessement is a grade-specific assessment that is computer delivered with the option for paper forms for students who may need them to access the assessment. The SC-NCSC includes items aligned to the NCSC Core Content Connectors that link to the South Carolina College Career Ready Standards in ELA and mathematics. Students who meet the eligibility criteria for alternate assessment and who are ages 8-13 and 16 commensurate with grades 3-8 and 11 will participate in the SC-NCSC. 
    • SC-Alt is an assessment for students with significant cognitive disabilities who are assessad against alternate achievement standards as they are unable to participate in the general assessment program even with appropriate accommodation. The SC-Alt includes items in science and social studies. Students who meet the eligibility criteria for alternate assessment and who are ages 9-13 and 16 commensurate with grades 4-8 and 11 will participate in the SC-NCSC. 
    • Alternate Assessment to ACT WorkKeys®: Students who are eligible to take an alternate to ACT WorkKeys are those students who meet the criteria participation in the state alternate assessments and were age sixteen as of September 1, 2016. 

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. 

David Ruff 

  • 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 in grades 1 through 12 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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