A standards-aligned solution to support today’s unprecedented educational challenges.

To address the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on elementary and secondary schools across the nation, Congress has provided billions of dollars in financial support for states, districts and schools through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund.

ESSER gives districts the flexibility to deploy assessment tools to help address and mitigate COVID-19 learning loss, but where do district leaders start?

The answer is Start Strong assessment.

“This is an extraordinary moment in history. Teachers and families are being asked to make impossible decisions, and there’s a strong need for data to guide those efforts. Our mission is to provide educators and families with the tools they need to make more informed decisions to support their students.”

Arthur VanderVeen, CEO of New Meridian

Having the right data is critically important, now more than ever.

Getting students back on track requires data. At New Meridian, we believe data needs to work harder to be meaningful. In other words, data must be actionable, and should be at the core of all decision making. A high-quality, standards-aligned beginning-of-the-year assessment is a critical milestone in understanding the impacts of COVID-19 on our students and educational systems. Leveraging the flexible, easy-to-use Pearson Access platform, a Fall administration of Start Strong can guide resource allocation and instructional planning as the foundation of a reliable, data-driven approach on the road to recovery.

Unlike other interim assessment solutions, New Meridian’s Start Strong assessment:

  • Is aligned to prior year standards to get a true measure of unfinished learning.
  • Includes full Spanish translation of math items.
  • Is administered using Pearson Access, a single, integrated platform that facilitates rapid reporting.

And unlike other interim providers and adaptive interim tests, we go beyond basic reporting to provide impactful, actionable insights that add value from the classroom to the District office.

Individual Student Report – for insight into the level of support a student is likely to need to individualize instruction at the student level

Item-Level Analyses Reports – for investigating student misconceptions on items, and inferences of standard-level performance to support instructional planning by addressing standards that may be challenging at the classroom level

Aggregated Reports at the class, school, district levels – for determining which groups of students are likely to need additional resources

For District Leaders

Start Strong provides reports on overall performance at the class, school, and district level enabling education leaders to identify and compare levels of support to direct resources appropriately and quickly. This helps answer questions like:

“Where are the students who need the most support?”

For Teachers

Start Strong reports on individual student performance so teachers can quickly differentiate and prioritize instruction, while providing a view across classes as to what standards are most challenging to direct support for key content areas in aggregate. This helps answer questions like:

“What individual support will this student need to ensure they can be learning at grade level?”

For Parents and Families

 Information about student performance promotes parent engagement and more meaningful meetings with teachers. This helps answer questions like:

“How can I best extend learning supports from the classroom into the home?”

Experience the benefits of the Start Strong assessment

Strong alignment

Start Strong’s design is based on the most critical content standards from the student’s previous year of learning, allowing educators to quickly identify the areas where more support is needed in the context of the grade-level standards.

Quick delivery

The assessment is designed to be delivered in a class period. This expedites access to quality assessment information to help educators plan their lessons and units.

Fast feedback

Start Strong’s multiple-choice and technology-enhanced assessment items are machine scorable, offering teachers, schools and districts fast feedback on where students stand in the learning process.

Ultimate flexibility

Start Strong offers seamless online delivery via the Pearson Access platform and it can be administered at school or at home, allowing educators to gather assessment data regardless of the circumstances in your district when school starts in the fall.

Dedicated support

Expert consultation, training, and a full suite of documentation are built in to the Start Strong assessment, allowing for quick, seamless implementation.

Additional Resources

COVID Academic recovery

The Equity Paradox

The ongoing impact of the pandemic on our educational systems is certainly unprecedented, with remote learning continuing longer into the 2020-2021 school year than most would have thought possible when COVID struck. Time out of the classroom, away from educators and the structure and support systems they provide to students, has dramatically slowed student learning—so much so that researchers are labeling this phenomenon the “COVID slide.”

Start Strong assessment Gets Good Grades in New Jersey

New Meridian’s Start Strong assessment, a beginning-of-year test that takes a single class period and delivers quick feedback, received high marks from educators in a preliminary New Meridian survey.

Nearly three quarters (74 percent) said the Start Strong results were helpful in making instructional decisions for individual students and even more (76 percent) said the same for groups of students or entire classes.

“Our goal is to provide educators with powerful, easy-to-use tools to help their students learn. Input from teachers, administrators and assessment coordinators is absolutely essential. The administration of Start Strong in New Jersey has helped a great deal.”

Kristopher John, Vice President, Product Strategy

Start the School Year With Start Strong

Partner with New Meridian and get the data you need to start the school year off right. With Start Strong, you’ll be able to see where students stand and get the information needed to make better decisions. Contact us today to learn more about the Start Strong assessment and how it can help support you on the road to recovery.