Assessments are helpful to determine if there is a fit between prospective students and Acera, as well as to inform individual learning plans for each child. Different assessments and criteria may apply for different students. The goal of the admissions process is to ensure there is a match between the student’s needs and what the school offers. Submission of these and other assessments helps us to understand each student’s needs and alignment with Acera’s mission. We require a WISC-IV or WISC-V (or WPPSI if the child is under age 6) to be included with each application. Please include other achievement tests or portfolio information you would like us to take into consideration. Acera organizes several Assessment Days throughout the year.
In order to be considered for admission, a student should score 130 or above on the Verbal IQ and/or Conceptual / Fluid Reasoning subtest of the evaluation.
Other factors that may be weighed include:
- A score between 95% and 99% on state and/or national achievement tests in three or more subject areas.
- Demonstration of, via creativity and/or visual / spatial assessments and student work, creative giftedness (music, art, or other).
- Performance 3 grade levels above age-based expectations in one subject, or 2 grade levels above expectations in three or more subjects.
A WISC-IV or WISC-V assessment is a required part of the application to Acera. For some children, a full neuropsychological evaluation (which includes a WISC-IV/V) may be needed. Assessments are helpful to determine if there is a fit between prospective students and Acera, as well as to inform creation of individual learning plans for each child. While evaluations can be time consuming, they offer valuable data for the purposes of educational advocacy.
A WISC evaluation can be sought from any neuropsychologist. Pediatricians are one source for evaluator names. Additionally, this is a compiled list of evaluators. They are not specifically recommended by Acera; they are practitioners who have been recommended by parents who used their services.
- Cambridge Center for Neuropsychology and Learning
- Integrated Center for Child Development (ICDD)
- Children’s Neuropsychological Services, LLC (Andover)
- Daniel Reinstein at Community Therapeutic Day School (Lexington)
- Dr. Jeremy Devlin at www.cfpsych.org (Norwood)
- Aimee Yermish, PsyD
- Institute for Learning and Development, Lexington MA
- Mary Coakley Welch, Lexington, MA
- Dr. Anya Dashevsky, Lexington, MA, 339-970-0659
- NESCA (Neuropsychology & Education Services for Children & Adolescents), 617-685-9800
- ILD (Institute for Learning and Development), Lexington
- Ellen Goldberg, Newton and Brookline, 617-734-0107
- Anna C. Lombroso, M.Ed., Ph.D., Natick, 508-653-9211
- Troy Carr, 978-270-6420, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Gail Grodzinsky in Lexington 781 860-7980 email@example.com
- ICCD (Integrated Center for Child Development) www.iccdpartners.org.html
- Boston Neuropsychological Associates www.bostonneuropsych.com/whyevaluate.html
- CCNL (Cambridge Center for Neuropsychology and Learning), Sean Hyde O’Brien www.cambridgeneuropsych.com
Full Neurological Evaluation
Choose a practitioner who readily builds rapport with your child. If you have concerns for your child about anxiety, behavioral issues, impulse control, distractibility, rigidity, transition challenges, reactivity, or fears about dyslexia or any other special learning need, it is recommended that you get a full neuropsychological evaluation. This typically takes two full mornings. This usually ranges in price from $2500 – $5000 and typically includes an intake parent meeting, the assessment, a full written report (often 15 pages or more) which includes concrete recommendations for educational accommodation, and a follow up parent meeting. If you do not have fears about any special issues, but rather simply a belief that your high ability child might qualify for a gifted and talented educational program or school, you can reach out to any neuropsychological professional to administer a WISC or other IQ evaluation. This usually ranges in price from around $500 – $750.
What you can tell your child about assessment
Many children enjoy the testing session and find it very interesting. Your child will be playing games, solving puzzles, and answering questions. If your child is a perfectionist and highly intelligent, he or she is accustomed to knowing answers, so it can be stressful to suddenly “not know” the answer. The evaluator also won’t give an indicator if the child is “right” which can be tough if your child tends to seek out validation from authority. Set this expectation with your child to help keep his or her anxiety at bay.
There are other state and national tests that show achievement levels of students compared to others at their age level. We will accept any standardized state or national test as a part of the application for admission, for example: MCAS, MAP, ERB, Woodcock Johnson, SCAT Portfolio of Work – examples are: art, music, creative writing, video.