The conscious link that we make between assessment and instruction is largely responsible for our success. We pay careful attention to what students can do and are interested in doing. Based on our observations and interactions, we use our students’ strengths and interests to create curriculum.
Our annual assessment process includes:
- Parent/Teacher/Child Conferences: We begin the year with a fifteen minute Initial conference to discuss the child’s strengths and stretches, as well as to address concerns and questions. We have a second conference in November to review their work and discuss next steps. Conferences allow us to discuss questions and thoughts with a child’s parent(s) and provide insight into a child and potential instructional strategies.
- Student Led Conferences: During the Spring conference, the teacher, parents, and student gather to review the child’s work over the year and celebrate his or her accomplishments. Students select certain pieces from their portfolio to share, and teachers prepare a written narrative (Spring update). Parents are encouraged to write a response to their children after seeing their work.
- Primary Learning Record (PLERs): A collection of observations, interviews, work samples, and teacher responses are gathered over the course of a year. Work samples are selected and described for each student in five main subject areas two to three times per year. Anecdotal notes are recorded on a daily basis. Notes are kept of the activities, actions, and/or student conversations.
- Child Work Studies: During Teachers Council meetings, faculty occasionally engage in a process of examining a single piece of student work in depth. We discuss what we see in the work, and collaborate about the implications for future growth. Examining a student’s work in depth helps us to see every child more fully.
- Narratives: This is a comprehensive, written description of each student as a learner. Narratives are usually between two and four pages, and describe a child’s work, actions, and conversations over time. The PLER provide the data or information upon which the narrative is based. Parents are encouraged to respond to this evaluation, and their comments become part of the student record.
- Collections: A small sampling of between five and ten pieces of work is kept for each child evey year. As a student passes through the grades, a body of work accumulates. At the end of sixth grade, students review their work and reflect upon it, focusing on their growth over time. Each student’s comments is recorded and compiled into a book called Recollections which is distributed at sixth grade graduation.
- Standardized Testing: In compliance with State legislation, we administer the Smarter Balance assessment in third through sixth grades.
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