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The Basilica School of Saint Mary's assessment program is intended to assist teachers and administrators in a systematic evaluation of the academic and religion programs, to diagnose students’ strengths and weaknesses, and to aid in revision of the curriculum and planning of instruction. In addition to assessments for grading purposes, the school will administer standardized religion and achievement tests according to the diocesan assessment program.

The Basilica School students consistently score above or at the diocesan average percentiles in all areas. Additionally, our students consistently perform above the national average on all standardized measures. It is our goal to ensure that all students achieve their God-given potential.

Incoming Kindergartner Assessment

The Brigance Screener III Assessment is administered to all incoming kindergarten students during the spring prior to their entrance to The Basilica School of Saint Mary. Students will participate in developmentally appropriate activities that assess fine and gross motor skills and literacy. The goal of the program is to determine each child's strengths and weaknesses, thereby ensuring that each student develops the skills necessary for academic success.

Scantron Assessments

Scantron, an online assessment, will be administered three times each year; September, January and May. The purpose of the September and January assessments is for student progress monitoring. Scantron assessment provides us with instant results which enable teachers to use them in their classroom immediately, allowing for instruction to the needs of each student. The May assessment will be used to measure student progress for the school year. Tests provide teachers, administration and Diocesan personnel diagnostic data that can be used in planning future instruction. The Scantron assessments are based on diocesan curriculum standard and are nationally normed reference.

Click here for the Scantron Parent Guide.

Assessment of Catholic Religious Education (ACRE)

This assessment tool, designed by the National Catholic Education Association, is administered to students in grades five and eight each year. Test scores provide school and diocesan personnel data regarding understanding of basic doctrine as well as attitudes towards living the Catholic faith.

Individual student scores are not reported back to parents.

Iowa Test of Algebra Readiness

Students in the 6th and 7th grade participate in a testing program that provides additional data for determining eligibility for enrollment in the Algebra program during their 7th or 8th grade year.

High School Aptitude Placement Test (HSAPT)

All eighth grade students take the high school placement test (usually administered in late November or early December) used as part of the application process for placement in diocesan high schools. Eighth grade teachers are encouraged to review only the format and style of the high school placement test with their students.


PALS is the state-provided screening tool for Virginia’s Early Intervention Reading Initiative (EIRI). The purpose of the EIRI is to reduce the number of children with reading problems by detecting those problems early and providing research-based, small-group intervention. At St. Mary we screen students using PALS in grades K and 1, in the fall and spring of the school year. All students not meeting the Entry Level benchmark for their grade will receive intervention services with the reading specialist, in addition to their regular classroom instruction.

PALS assessments are designed to identify students in need of additional reading instruction beyond that provided to typically developing readers. PALS also informs teachers’ instruction by providing them with explicit information about their students’ knowledge of literacy fundamentals. Mid-year assessment and PALS Quick Checks allow for ongoing student progress monitoring throughout the year.