Go back to news listing

Message from Superintendent Adam Murray - The Power of Local Assessments

Have you ever heard these terms from your child(ren)’s school - RCAT, WAT, MIPI NCAT, and F & P BAS? These are all acronyms for local assessments that are used in all of Peace River School Division’s (PRSD) schools to support students’ learning needs and achievement.  Teachers use these powerful tools to determine how students learn and to develop personalized instructional activities. Strategic use of local assessments also helps to improve student performance on Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs) and Diploma Exams.

Assessment Legend:

RCAT = Reading Comprehension Assessment Tool

WAT = Writing Assessment Tool

MIPI = Math Intervention/Programming Instrument

NCAT = Numeracy Common Assessment Tool

F & P BAS = Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System 1 and 2


To help enhance your understanding about why local assessments are powerful tools in supporting your child(ren)’s learning, I would like to share some details about why we use them and what benefits our students receive from their use.

The local assessments listed above help teachers to determine their students’ level of knowledge and skills in the core areas of Literacy and Numeracy.  These assessments will tell a teacher if there are any learning gaps with key concepts in Literacy and Numeracy.  This information can be used to provide targeted lessons and useful accommodations to help the student learn important skills in Literacy and Numeracy.  The assessments are done at the beginning of the year and then again later in the year to assess progress.  The frequency that these assessments are administered allows Teachers and Educational Assistants to give targeted interventions and accommodations immediately after the assessment is completed.   

All schools within PRSD have school teams made up of Teachers, Educational Assistants, I-Coaches, and Principals.  These teams make up our School Division’s Collaborative Response to meeting your child(ren)’s needs.  These school teams receive support from Divisional I-Coaches, Program Coordinators, Assistant Superintendents of Teaching and Learning and Learning Supports, and even me! 

Local assessments are powerful tools in contributing to our mission to ensure every child is literate and numerate, not most students, but every student!

To further explore the power of local assessments, I encourage you to go to our website and read PRSD’s Three-Year Education Plan for 2021-2024.  We look forward to continuing to collaborate with all parents in achieving our collective goal of success for all students.

Oct 26, 2021

Continue Reading