Saint Joseph Catholic School

(803) 254-6736 |



In September, our students in grades two through six take the Iowa Test of Basic Skills to monitor their acquisition of basic skills on a nationally normed core battery. The students in the Catholic schools take their standardized testing in the fall of the year whereas students in our public schools take tests of this type in the spring. When the children take the ITBS, it is the test for the grade that they are in at the time: third graders take the third grade ITBS test. It is understood that all of the material on the test may not have been taught to the children yet. However, using this data helps us to pinpoint areas in our curriculum that need to be emphasized in order to improve student learning outcomes.

Students in grade one and four take the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) which is a norm referenced test that measures a student's inductive and deductive reasoning abilities and capacities in verbal, nonverbal, and quantitative tasks. Scores on this assessment reflect a student's ability to identify relationships and demonstrate flexible thinking. Data collected from this testing allows us to assess if students are on-track for their learning at their age and grade level.

ITBS results for 2011

In 2011, the Diocese of Charleston renewed its relationship with Riverside Publishing, the creator of the ITBS instrument.  The test was newly “normed” and revised.  Therefore test data for this year’s test and those of the past are incomparable.  The new composite scores are listed below. The NPR is the National Percentile Ranking.  What the NPR measures is how well our students in a particular grade as a whole did versus other students of that grade level in the nation who took the ITBS test in the fall of 2011.  For example, our students in Grade Two earned a 66% NPR which means they performed better than 65% of the students in 2nd grade who took the test in the nation in the fall. Also listed is the GE or Grade Equivalent.  The GE is a decimal number that indicates the grade level and the months (e.g. 3.2 would indicate a third-grade level in the second month). GE’s indicate what the average student in the indicated level would achieve.

                                    NPR                            GE

Grade 2                      66                                2.5

Grade 3                      84                                4.3

Grade 4                      81                                5.7

Grade 5                      75                                6.7

Grade 6                      66                                7.5



At Saint Joseph School we utilize our national ITBS testing scores as a measure of our school’s success. In order to monitor the academic achievement of our students and the effectiveness of our teaching, we also compare our results with the other schools of the Diocese of Charleston. The chart below shows the composite scores in the Diocese of Charleston (in green) and the composite scores for our children in grades two through six (in blue).

Looking ahead:



Saint Joseph Catholic School 3700 Devine Street, Columbia, SC 29205 (803) 254-6736 (866) 456-7374 fax 803-540-1913