Mission Skills Assessment

Teamwork, creativity, ethics, resilience, curiosity and time management. These 21st century skills are critical to your child's success — in school and in life.

21st Century Skills

Almaden Country Day School has been selected to be part of a prestigious international study group of 100 elite schools participating in the Mission Skills Assessment. MSA schools are helping to develop the assessment, which will improve the ability to deliver these critical skills to more than 35,000 students worldwide.

What is it?

The Mission Skills Assessment is a tool developed by Educational Testing Services (ETS) to measure six skills essential to student success in today’s world. These include: teamwork, creativity, ethics, resilience, curiosity and time management.

Why are they called Mission Skills?

The MSA skills are commonly found in independent school mission statements; schools promise to cultivate these attributes in children, but historically have never attempted to scientifically measure whether their students actually develop the skills during their time in our schools. The MSA schools are committed to objectively evaluating — and improving — their effectiveness in delivering these six skills.

The assessment is for 6th, 7th and 8th grade students and consists of two 30-minute sessions as well as a teacher assessment of each student.

Why are we participating?

The MSA is an important and innovative project. Over time, it will provide Almaden Country Day School with objective, scientific data informing how well our instructional programs develop these six essential skills in our students. Studies conducted by ETS and other researchers demonstrate that these skills predict college readiness as well as the SAT; perhaps more importantly, they are integral to success in the 21st century workplace and have been shown to correlate with measures of happiness and fulfillment in adult life. This is why we believe that the MSA can help us provide Almaden Country Day School students with a powerful head start toward living a meaningful, fulfilling, successful life.

We are proud to be the first and only South Bay independent school, and one of just 10 schools in California, participating in the MSA. Our aim is to collaborate with the other schools worldwide on this important research project, and optimize our ability to deliver most important lessons of our students' lives across the preschool, elementary, and middle school years — their most crucial window for transformation and growth.

For more information, please see the FAQs below; you may also contact either Head of School Dr. Jorgenson or Head of Middle School Mr. Adams.

Mission Skills Assessment FAQs