Barbara Gortych, Ph.D.
Coordinator of Behavioral Services

Assessment & Guidance Links

Assessment & Guidance 

Welcome to the Watertown Public Schools Assessment and Guidance Web Page.

Assessment and Guidance encompasses three main service areas in the district:  1) district-wide regular education assessment which is the cornerstone of data gathering around academic progress,  2) psychological assessment which is part of the IEP/Special Education eligibility process, and 3) guidance services extending from Kindergarten through 12th grade.

General Education Assessment

Watertown uses Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) to assess academic achievement three times each year for all elementary and middle school students, as well as some high school students. The coordination of the testing process, the analysis of the data by school-based teams, and the sharing/use of this information to guide curriculum development and instruction are key components of ensuring data-driven instructional practice. Further, the analysis of this data is coordinated with MCAS scores and additional classroom-based assessment measures to further enhance an understanding of student growth and achievement.

Special Education Assessment

Districts are mandated to assess students in a number of areas as part of the Special Education eligibility determination process. Psychologists in the district complete these assessments each year for this purpose. Further, through this department, consultation around test supplies, storage & procedures to all disciplines involved in assessment (OT, PT, Speech and Language, Special Education) is provided. 

Guidance Department

Guidance counselors play a key role in all schools K-12th grade in enhancing school climate, providing a vital communication link with  parents, and counseling students each day. Additionally, they manage the MAP and MCAS assessment process and preside over both General Education Teams (GET) and  Section 504 meetings. They also are essential in implementing the district’s Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan. Additionally, at the High School, they are extensively involved in the college application process, the administration of various exams (PSAT, SAT, AP) and in overseeing a legion of local scholarships.


The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) is designed to meet the requirements of the Education Reform Law of 1993. This law specifies that the testing program must test all public school students in Massachusetts, including students with disabilities and English Language Learner students;  measure performance based on the Massachusetts Curriculum Framework learning standards; report on the performance of individual students, schools, and districts.

As required by the Education Reform Law, students must pass the grade 10 tests in English Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics and one of the four high school Science and Technology Engineering tests as one condition of eligibility for a high school diploma (in addition to fulfilling local requirements).

MCAS will be taken this year by WHS students (usually in the 10th grade, but sometimes in other grades as well) in English Language Arts, Math, and Science. 

The MCAS Science test will also be taken by students in the 5th grade and in the 8th grade


PARCC stands for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.

 The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has decided that the PARCC test will continue to be administered  to our students this year.

For more information on PARCC, please visit our PARCC page.

Advanced Placement (AP) Tests

Advanced Placement Tests are taken each year at the High School in May.  In general, around 100 students take about 200 exams in anywhere from 12 to 14 different subjects. Most of these classes are offered at WHS, but some students take additional courses offered through VHS (Virtual High School) or a directed individual study.


AP tests will be taken from May 2-13, 2016, in the Phillips Building in Room 101.


Changes are coming to SAT and PSATs!! 

Fall (2015), PSAT will not be administered on a Saturday...instead, they will be given during the school day. The Saturday option will return the following year (fall, 2016).

 And a "new" version of the SAT will be offered in the spring of 2016!

 Important SAT Dates

SAT Watertown High School Code: 222250