Rochester Catholic Schools (RCS) strives to develop the whole child--spiritually, socially, emotionally, and academically. We prepare our students to be critical thinkers, collaborative problem solvers, and creative individuals who seek to better their world through service to others. When a student graduates from RCS, they are prepared to succeed, thrive, and lead in our dynamic 21st century world.

Philosophy of Assessment 

Assessment is an ongoing process of evaluating, measuring, and documenting student learning of state and national standards. While commonly equated with tests, teachers use a variety of tools and methods to determine understanding and content mastery in all subjects taught. Assessments provide information that can be used to direct instruction and improve learning programs. In Rochester Catholic Schools, meaningful effective assessments are used to support and improve student learning in several different ways.


K-8 Assessment

Our students in grades K-8 take the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) test twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring. This formative test focuses on individual student growth. Teachers spend time in the fall of each year analyzing the data to truly understand how to differentiate instruction to meet individual student needs.

9-12 Assessment

Lourdes High School students take the PLAN, PSAT, ACT, and the SAT. The ASPIRE is a preliminary ACT and the PSAT is a preliminary SAT. The ASPIRE is a very effective measure of progress from ninth to tenth grade and predictor of ACT scores for the junior and senior years.

  • All freshmen will take the ASPIRE test which consists of an interest inventory, academic profile, and subject tests in English, math, reading, and science.
  • Sophomores may take the ASPIRE or PSAT.
  • Juniors take the PSAT National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test which determines National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists. The PSAT assesses students’ skills in reading, math, and writing.
  • The ACT is the assessment juniors and seniors take for college admission. It consists of English, math, reading, and science reasoning.
  • The SAT is another college admission test which is taken by approximately 30% of Lourdes students who are applying to schools outside of the Midwest.