New Jersey Department of Education

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The Office of Assessments is pleased to announce that the suite of Start Strong snapshot assessments and related resources are now available through PearsonAccessnext  and the NJSLA Resource Center. As shared in the Fall 2020 Academic and Instructional Supports Broadcast memo, these assessment tools can provide educators with an early indication of the level of support students may need for this year. Districts that administer these assessments are encouraged to share the results with students, families, and educators. The information should be used in conjunction with other measures to identify some potential gaps in students’ understanding of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS). These supports are available to all New Jersey school districts at no cost as an optional resource to be used for in-class feedback and support.  

For more information on these supports, please reference the September 25, 2020 broadcast titled “Start Strong Assessments Now Available for Fall 2020.”

Start Strong Assessments: Presentation

Start Strong Assessment Overview

Start Strong assessments are based on prior-year academic standards. They are available in:

  • English language arts (ELA) grades 4-10,
  • Mathematics grades 4-8, Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II, and
  • Science grades 6, 9, and 12.

Testing Window

Each Start Strong assessment is designed to be administered in approximately 45-60 minutes to an entire class or grade level and will provide immediate results. The ELA, mathematics, and science assessments can be administered at any time, remotely or in-person, from their release on September 28, 2020 until December 14, 2020.

Additional Supports and Information

In addition to Start Strong assessments, the NJDOE is providing Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) Instructionally Embedded (IE) assessments for students with the most significant intellectual disabilities who participate in the DLM assessment program, and for English language learners who participate in the WIDA remote screener for English Language Learner (ELL) identification. The NJDOE is also offering related curriculum, instruction, and professional learning supports that can be found in the Fall Academic and Instructional Supports Broadcast memo.  


The Office of Assessments is seeking feedback to continuously improve new tools and resources for the New Jersey education community. If you have feedback on any of the assessment supports released for the Fall of 2020, please consider sharing your thoughts using the link below. Information regarding additional virtual feedback opportunities will be posted here in the coming weeks.

Statewide Assessment Program

The assessment supports provided for Fall 2020 are not replacements for New Jersey’s statewide summative assessment program, which includes the New Jersey Student Learning Assessments (NJSLA), the DLM assessments, the ACCESS for ELLs assessments, and the related federal and state reporting and accountability requirements. The assessment tools discussed above, designed to be brief and flexibly administered, are not intended to meet the strict uniform administration standards required to support federal or state accountability, reporting requirements, or comparisons between student populations across the state.

The NJDOE will continue to closely monitor developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic and will keep school administrators and educators apprised of new information regarding statewide assessments.

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