Q: What is JAACO?

A:  Jaaco is a specialist assessment service working in the area of Specific Learning Disabilities, including the identification of Dyslexia, and special assessment conditions for NZQA or University examinations.

Q: Who works at JAACO?

A: Judith Alexander, the principal assessor, has extensive educational experience including general classroom and learning support teaching.  Her qualifications include a Master of Educational Psychology (1st class Honours), NZQA Level A,B, and C assessor registration.  Judith is also a registered assessor for SPELD NZ.

Q: What is an educational assessment?

A:  An Educational Assessment is a detailed analysis of learning strengths and difficulties. 

Q: Why have an  assessment?

A:  There are three common reasons for an assessment; identification of reasons for slow academic progress, to help develop a teaching programme targeted to meet specific need and to support applications for special assessment conditions.

Q: What what can happen if specific learning needs are not identified?

A:  If difficulties are not identified and appropriate interventions put in place, students not only fail to reach their potential but can get further behind, lose motivation and confidence.

Students with behavioural issues often have an undiagnosed learning problem.

Q: What assessment is used?

A:  The main assessment is the Woodcock Johnson 111 (WJ111), a standardised assessment that includes cognitive (intellectual or thinking ability) and achievement ratings.  The WJ111 provides an IQ score, identification of academic level and an indication of individual academic strength and weakness. 

Additional assessments are used when needed. 

Q: Where does the assessment take place?

A:  The assessment usually takes place at Jaaco’s Grafton office however if preferred the assessment can take place at the student's school

Q: What happens during an assessment and how long does it take?

An assessment includes a range of general thinking and academic tasks.  The tasks include auditory, visual, reasoning, logic and academic activities.

A full assessment takes about four hours depending on the tests used, the client’s processing speed and the number of breaks.

Q: What happens after the assessment?

A:  The results are analysed and a detailed report written.  The report includes a detailed analysis the findings and makes recommendations of suitable strategies for the client to adopt and suggestions for tuition and/or special learning / assessment accommodations.  Written reports are normally completed within three weeks of the assessment. 

Q: How much does an assessment cost?

A:  An assessment, written report and follow up phone call costs $600.  

An additional meeting to discuss the results can be arranged.  Meeting costs are $100 per hour.

Q: How to I arrange to have an assessment?

A:  Phone or email Judith to discuss your needs.  Find our contact details here.