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Primary Years Programme (PYP) » Assessment Policy

Assessment Policy

 

Elementary Grades

 Assessment Policy

 

The Assessment Policy at San Jacinto Valley Academy is rigorous and reflects the challenging learning environments.

 

Philosophy: assessment is an integral part of our teaching and learning curriculum. We believe that assessment provides teachers with a framework for curriculum planning, reflection for teachers and students, assesses prior knowledge for planning purposes, allows teachers to reflect on best practices, measures student growth and development, and provides a framework for students, parents, and teachers to set goals.

 

Purpose of Assessment: Assessment at San Jacinto Valley Academy is utilized to promote and support student learning, to provide evidence-based reflection, to inform parents/guardians of a student’s growth and achievement, and to guide instruction, while continually evaluating our current programs. Assessments measure performance and growth and are ongoing and varied. They are integral to classroom instruction and the curriculum. Informal and formal assessments are utilized to ensure authentic reporting of student learning.

 

Types of Assessment:

 

Pre-Assessment- assesses a student's strengths, weakness, knowledge, and skills prior to instruction. The results are utilized to assist teacher with curriculum planning and differentiating instruction based on student need. Pre-assessment is also a form of Formative Assessment.

 

Formative assessment- including diagnostic testing, is a range of formal and

informal assessment procedures conducted by teachers during the learning process to modify teaching and learning activities to improve student attainment.

 

Summative assessment is utilized to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit. San Jacinto Valley Academy’s students participate in local assessments at the school level, as well as, state assessments, Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and the Northwest Evaluation Association Measure of Academic Progress (NWEA MAP) respectively. At the school site level, students may be assessed using publisher assessments, assessments built into Inquiry Units of Study, rubrics to evaluate understanding of concepts taught, and student portfolio work samples and reflection pieces. Standardized assessments (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) are administered for grades 3-8 and 11th graders in the spring of each school year. The Northwest Evaluation Association Measure of Academic Progress assessment is administered three times per year to measure student growth. All assessment results are used for curriculum planning, differentiated instruction grouping, intervention


support, acceleration support, EL support, to define meaningful performance goals, to set student goals, and to provide feedback to all stakeholders.

 

Self-assessment and Reflection: An important component of the Assessment Policy includes students learning to reflect on and assess their own work and the work of others through collaboration, group activities, discussion with peers and/or teacher, and critical analysis. Assessment is included in the Unit Planners for all elementary grade levels. Inquiry Fairs are scheduled at the end of the year for all grade levels, with some grade levels holding several “mini” Inquiry Fairs throughout the year and is an opportunity for students to showcase their learning. Inquiry Fairs are open to the community and potential students. Goal setting at Student Led Conferences is a vital step in the reflection process.

Goals are included in the Student Portfolios and are revisited on a regular basis by student, teacher, and parent (student and parent receive a copy of the student’s goals to take home) to monitor progress towards achieving the goals set.

 

Assessment Reporting: Our Learning Partnership Agreement outlines the responsibility of teachers, parents and students to attend regularly scheduled conferences throughout the year. During these conferences, the following are reviewed and discussed: assessment results, goal setting, student progress, and student interests. Students and parents may also access assessment findings via the online Parent Portal. The parent portal includes information on student attendance, grades, local assessment results, and state assessment data. The Deans are responsible for scheduling time for teams and individuals to regularly reflect on informal and formal assessments. The Governing Board receives the results of formal assessments (SBAC, AP, IB DP, and MAP), and our students regularly present their learning at the monthly Governing Board Meetings. All stakeholders are invited to attend the monthly board meetings. Additionally, state guidelines are followed for the sharing of state mandated reporting of assessments. The School Accountability Report Card, a yearly analysis of data, is on the San Jacinto Valley Academy website.

 

Tools for Assessment:

 

San Jacinto Valley Academy faculty utilize a variety of informal and formal assessment tools. Examples of assessment tools may include the following:

 

  • Rubrics
  • Teacher observation
  • Anecdotal records
  • Student self-assessment
  • Portfolios (electronic and binder format)
  • Independent and group work during class time
  • Independent inquiry projects/problem solving reports
  • Adopted core curriculum assessments
  • Teacher generated grade-level or subject area assessments
  • State assessments: Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and the Northwest Evaluation Association Measure of Academic Progress (NWEA MAP)
  • IB Assessments related to the IB Diploma Programme
  • AP assessments
  • Student selected approaches to report findings

 

How Often are Assessments (formal and informal) reviewed and analyzed?

Elementary: The elementary IB coordinators schedule and attend weekly meetings with all PYP teachers. Grading standards are created, and student work is reviewed as part of our ongoing reflection process. During our weekly planning meetings, the grade-level planners are reviewed and reflected on in order to plan for next steps or to adjust the existing planners.

 

Middle and High School: Middle and High school grade-level/subject area leads, Learning Community Coordinators, and Deans schedule and participate in weekly meetings to review formal and informal assessment results.

 

This policy is reviewed by stakeholders regularly (at a minimum, annually in the fall and spring of each school year) to meet the needs of our learning community.