St. John’s set me up for future success. I felt like I had a leg up, both in high school and in college. It also provides a good faith background... one that you can always fall back on.
— Alex N., U.S. Navy Pilot, Alumni

Prepared for High School and Beyond


By the time students leave St. John's in 8th Grade, they are academically prepared for High School.

Many students graduate from St. John's and test into advanced courses in High School.

St. John's does NOT teach to the test.

Instead, we follow a proven Catholic curriculum that leads to academic excellence.  Our curriculum is approved by the Archdiocese of Denver and builds on the centuries of success in Catholic Education.

However, St. John the Evangelist Catholic School does use standardized testing and other assessment tools to measure student learning and achievement.

It's worth noting that there are many important things that standardized tests don't measure, including:

  • Creativity
  • Musical Skills
  • Confidence
  • Spiritual Growth
  • Social Skills
  • Empathy
  • Leadership
  • Honesty and Integrity
  • Character
  • Wisdom
  • And much more!

However, these are all attributes that we teach at St. John's alongside reading, writing, science, and mathematics.

Additional Assessments of Student Achievement

In addition to the Iowa Assessments, St. John the Evangelist Catholic School utilizes other forms of testing to help measure student achievement - Accelerated Reader and STAR Assessments.  Students begin with these programs in Kindergarten.  The results are individually based and help teachers personalize your child's instruction.


Accelerated Reader (AR)

AR is a computer program that helps teachers and librarians manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Your child picks a book at his or her own level and reads it at his or her own pace. When finished, your child takes a short quiz on the computer. (Passing the quiz is an indication that your child understood what was read.) AR gives children, teachers, and librarians feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher then uses to help your child set goals and direct ongoing reading practice

Star Assessments

Star Assessments are short tests that provide teachers with learning data. Star tests are computer adaptive, which means they adjust to each answer your child provides. This helps teachers get the best data to help your child in the shortest amount of testing time (about one-third of the time other tests take).

Your child may take a Star test for early literacy, math, reading, or other subjects of their teacher’s choice.  Teachers analyze the data they get from Star Assessments to learn what students already know and what they are ready to learn next, to monitor student growth, and to determine which students may need additional help.


Questions about test scores are some of the most common questions we receive.

All students in grades 2-8 in the Archdiocese of Denver Catholic Schools take the Iowa Assessments each February.  The Archdiocese has used this standardized assessment program for many years.  It is a nationally recognized exam that serves as a standard to assist Catholic schools in assessing the delivery and mastery of the curriculum.  Iowa tests are not "high stakes" tests.  They are considered one of a number of assessment tools to measure student learning and achievement.

Even though St. John's does not teach to the test, we are quite proud of how our students perform on the tests.  By the time students leave St. John's in 8th Grade, they are academically prepared for High School.

The charts below illustrate the excellent performance of our students throughout all levels of our school.

2016 Language Arts.jpg
2016 Mathematics.jpg

How to read these charts

The above charts show the 2016 test results of the language arts and mathematics portions of the Iowa Assessments at St. John the Evangelist Catholic School.  Each chart shows the average grade equivalent score for the grade level tested.  For example, in the first chart below, the 8th grade average grade equivalent (GE) score on the language arts test was 13.0.  To be considered "on grade level," the score would be expected to be 8.5 (5 months into the 8th grade year).  The score of 13.0 shows that the students in the 2016 8th grade class scored significantly better than expected on the language arts tests.

It is important to note that the 13.0 GE does not indicate that the students have mastered post-secondary content, but rather that they performed in a way on the 8th grade test that we would expect a post-secondary student to perform.