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Parents and Students
Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS)
The Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS) replaced Delaware Student Testing Program (DSTP) starting in the 2010-2011 school year. DCAS is an adaptive test which tailors questions based on a student’s answers. Students take the tests two to three times per year. Starting in the 2012-2013 school year no winter tests are given, except some high school end-of-course assessment.
Students may test up to two times in the large spring window. DCAS is given on a computer and results are received immediately. Most of the questions on the test are on grade-level material. Results provide information on how much material the student has mastered. A small number of items may be based material across grade levels to better pinpoint a student’s academic strengths and needs.
- The accountability score is based on grade-level items.
- The performance level compares the accountability score to a spring goal.
- The instructional score includes on grade-level AND cross grade-level items.
It is important to note that the fall test is like a pre-test since much of the grade-level material tested has not yet been taught. Also, with DCAS the State Board of Education set higher expectations for Delaware students, which means it is harder for students to meet or exceed standards than it was in the past with DSTP. DCAS performance level scores are posted on Home Access Center for students in grades 4-10 on the “Testing Tab”. Please see below for more information on accessing DCAS scores on Home Access Center.
Practice tests are available and students have opportunities to practice online testing skills, such as using a mouse or keyboard and using online tools. Families can also try the tutorial and training tests available at the state website link below. To use the training test, a free Mozilla Firefox browser must be installed on the home computer. A link to download Mozilla Firefox is on the website with the training test. Please be aware that the training test is not grade-specific. Questions are grouped by elementary, middle, and high school levels. Therefore, some questions may be easier or more difficult based on the student’s actual grade.
In the 2013-2014 school year students will be tested in the following subjects:
- Reading- Grades 3-10 taken two-three times per year (fall and spring-with two opportunities for highest score)(Grade 2 once in spring only)
- Mathematics- Grades 3-10 taken two-three times per year (fall, winter, spring-with two opportunities for highest score)(Grade 2 once in spring only)
- Social Studies- Grades 4 and 7 (spring)
- Science- Grades 5, 8, and 10 (spring)
- End-of -Course assessments- middle and high school students taking Algebra II, Integrated Math III, U.S. History (January or May depending on when course completed), other optional end-of-course assessments may be added.
Resources from Red Clay School District
- Parent Information on DCAS with introduction to future tests (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consoritum (SBAC)
- Tips for DCAS Success
- General Test Taking Tips and Resources
Resources from the Department of Education
- State DCAS website
- Accessing Home Access Center for DCAS Performance Level Scores
- Informative Parent Brochure
- En Español (coming soon)
- Letter from the Secretary of Education for 2013-2014
Information on this page maintained by Gerri Marshall