Student Peformance

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ICS Students Excel in HSPT Test Scores

Student Performance at ICS 

At Immaculate Conception School, our faculty & staff strive to prepare your child for lifelong success. Through a mixture of a challenging curriculum, enriching extracurricular activities, and our Catholic faith, the ICS curriculum and student performance snures that your child is ready to excel in High School, College, and Beyond. 

Progress Reports 

As educators, we are committed to providing a transparent and comprehensive evaluation of student performance that aligns with our educational values and academic standards. Our approach to student assessment is thoughtfully structured within a trimester academic calendar, ensuring regular and detailed feedback through progress reports issued in late fall, early spring, and at the year’s end.

Academic Assessment

For students in the 3rd through 8th grades, performance in core academic classes is measured using traditional letter grades. This includes subjects like Mathematics, Science, English Language Arts, History, and Spanish in the middle school years. These grades provide a clear indicator of a student’s comprehension and mastery of subject material according to established academic standards.

Specials Classes Assessment

In addition to core subjects, ICS assesses student achievement in specials classes such as Art, Music, Physical Education (P.E.), Technology, and Library (the latter for elementary grades). These areas use standards codes to evaluate student performance across a spectrum ranging from “Independent/Proficient” to “Unsatisfactory/Needs Improvement.” This method allows teachers to gauge not only the skill acquisition but also the application and understanding of concepts in a more nuanced way than traditional grading might allow.

Early Grades Assessment:

For our younger students in Pre-K through the 2nd grade, progress reports are crafted with an eye towards developmental milestones, assessing skills as “Independent,” “Progressing,” or “Emerging.” This approach recognizes the varied paces at which young children develop new skills and accommodates the less linear nature of early childhood learning.

Effort and Conduct Evaluation

Across all grade levels, ICS places a significant emphasis on the holistic development of students by also assessing effort and conduct. These standards codes range from “Outstanding” to “Unsatisfactory” and are crucial for nurturing our students’ growth in personal responsibility, social interactions, and overall engagement in the school environment.

Interim Reports:

To enhance our communication with parents and provide them with a timely understanding of their children’s academic and personal development, ICS issues interim progress reports in the middle of each trimester. These reports serve as an early indicator, giving parents and teachers the opportunity to intervene and support students before formal grading periods conclude.


Powerschool is an online grading system used at ICS for all students in 3rd grade and higher. Via Powerschool, parents have 24/7 access to individual assignment grades and trimester and full-year class averages. Parents are encouraged to review Powerschool weekly so that they are always informed of their student’s progress and can see how missing assignments or poor performance on specific assessments might be impacting overall performance well in advance of final report card grades.

Parent conferences are offered schoolwide in late October each school year to discuss student progress. Though not mandatory, teachers may specifically request parent attendance if there is a classroom concern. Pre-K teachers have an additional conference day for all families in the springtime, necessitated as an element of our Maryland Excels Level 5 Rating. Parent meetings also occur throughout the school year as needs arise, requested by either the teacher or the parent. At ICS, we seek to foster active parent and school cooperation to support our students in meeting their academic and social goals.


Standardized Testing – NWEA MAP

Our students from the 2nd through the 8th grades participate in the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) tests provided by the Northwest Education Alliance, conducted three times each year. These assessments cover math, reading, and language usage, with science added in the spring for 3rd, 5th, and 7th grades. Administered over three consecutive mornings without time constraints, most students complete these tests within 60-90 minutes. Our faculty and administration analyze these results in depth to pinpoint areas of growth and identify where additional support may be required.

Religious Education Assessment – ACRE

In addition, our 5th and 8th graders undertake the Assessment of Children/Youth Religious Education (ACRE) online, which evaluates the effectiveness of religious education in Catholic schools. The insights gained from ACRE testing guide us in enhancing and refining our schoolwide religious education curriculum and teaching methodologies.

Through these diverse measures, Immaculate Conception School ensures a holistic approach to student performance assessment, combining academic metrics with essential feedback mechanisms to support every student’s educational journey.

Through this multifaceted approach to assessing student performance, Immaculate Conception School ensures that each student’s educational journey is supported by detailed, constructive feedback. Our goal is to prepare students not only for academic success but also to be well-rounded individuals who embody the values and skills needed for lifelong achievement.

Preparing Students for Success in High School and Beyond

A child’s journey extends far beyond the campus of ICS. As an ICS student continues through the various grade levels at our school the attention of our teachers shift towards preparing students for success in high school and beyond.

HSPT Preparation:

Starting in the 7th grade, ICS students begin their preparation for the HSPT, a critical step in the high school admissions process. We administer the Pre-HSPT to all 7th graders each spring, covering the costs and sharing detailed results with parents at the end of the school year. This early assessment mirrors the HSPT, providing valuable insights into each student’s strengths and areas for improvement, thereby informing our targeted test preparation strategies. Throughout the summer before 8th grade and during the fall, we provide recommendations on practice tests and preparation resources. This ensures that our students approach the HSPT with confidence, honing their accuracy and test-taking skills.

Exceptional HSPT Performance:

Our approach to HSPT preparation has produced exceptional results. Our 8th graders consistently achieve scores well above the national average, often exceeding it by over 30 points in math, reading, and composite measures. These scores are not just a benchmark for high school admissions but also play a crucial role in qualifying our students for prestigious scholarships and honors programs.

Acceptance Into The Premier High Schools In The Area:

The efficacy of our preparation is also reflected in the high school placement outcomes. Over 95% of ICS graduates gain acceptance to their first-choice schools, including Catholic, private and magnet high schools. Our students primarily matriculate to top high schools such as:

  • Calvert Hall College High School
  • Loyola Blakefield
  • Maryvale Preparatory School
  • Mercy High School
  • Notre Dame Preparatory School

Many of our students also find their paths leading to other premier Catholic, private, and magnet high schools in the area.

Scholarships and Honors:

A significant number of our students—often more than 60%—receive scholarships or are admitted into special honors programs. Each year, we are proud to see at least one Knott Scholar emerge from our graduating class, a testament to the high caliber of our academic and spiritual education.

Through our dedicated preparation and support, ICS students not only achieve outstanding results on the HSPT but also secure placements that set the stage for future academic and personal success, fully embodying our mission to prepare them for the challenges and opportunities of high school and beyond.