Assessment Policy

Philosophy:
At Dr. Pablo Perez Elementary, assessment is a continuous process that drives instruction and informs learning. The staff at Perez Elementary believes that, through various methods of assessment, we can strengthen our teaching and guide our instruction to provide students the optimal opportunity to be successful learners. Assessment and reflection are an integral part for the continuous improvement of our program.

Purpose:
Through assessment we are able to identify where students are in the learning process. By understanding our learners, we can adapt and adjust our instruction to help students reach expectations. Assessment guides teachers as they collect data that informs instruction, understand learners, strengthen the learning process, identify students’ strengths and weaknesses, individualize instruction as needed, track progress towards growth, and evaluate teaching and student inquiry.

Types of Assessment:
Formative assessment is connected to instruction and learning to provide immediate and frequent feedback throughout the learning process. This type of assessment can be in the form of, but is not limited to: anecdotal records, student reflections, student/teacher feedback, peer evaluations, student conversation, observations, classroom participation, individual or group progress, and/or skill development. Such assessment tasks are included within the teachers’ PYP planners for each of the six units of inquiry.

Summative assessment provides the opportunity for the learner to show what they have learned at the culmination of the teaching/learning process. Expectations for summative assessments are clearly aligned to instruction and defined by the teacher and students. This type of assessment can be in the form of, but is not limited to: presentations, tests, individual or group projects, reports, and/or models with explanations. Various types of summative assessments are offered so that students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding.
Assessment tasks are included within the teachers’ PYP planners for each of the six units of inquiry.

Assessments required by the state, district, or school include:
· Accelerated Reader Tests
· STAR Tests for reading
· District Benchmarks for reading, writing, math, and science
· Gifted and Talented Testing (qualified students only)
· Center for Improving Readiness of Children for Learning and Education – C.I.R.C.L.E. Testing (PK)
· Texas Primary Reading Inventory – TPRI (K – 3rd grade)
· State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness – STAAR, STAAR-alternate., STAAR-modified (3rd – 5th grades)
· Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System – TELPAS (K – 5th grades LEP students)
· Language Assessment Skills – LAS/LAS Links (identified LEP students and new students to the campus with a home language other than English identified on the home language survey)

Understanding of Effective Assessments:
Effective assessments should:
· be consistent with the school’s philosophy.
· serve a worthwhile purpose.
· help develop our understanding of the whole child.
· drive instruction.
· be authentic.
· evaluate knowledge, content, and method as well as presentation and accuracy.
· be aligned on what the child has studied.
· be directly related to the learning outcomes.
· be built into learning activities.
· be continuous throughout the learning process.
· be planned at the start of each unit.

Effective assessment should allow teachers to:
· modify plans and instruction to meet student needs.
· develop a clear picture of students’ strengths and needs.
· continue improvement of the program.
· monitor growth and progress.
· assess their teaching methods and strategies.

Effective assessment should allow students to:
· be aware of the criteria for assessment to know what is expected.
· feel encouraged by their success.
· demonstrate what they have learned and understand.
· reflect and take action on their learning.

Effective assessment should allow parents to:
· understand student learning.
· celebrate learning and student accomplishments.
· observe and track student growth.
· provide support outside of the school.

Strategies for Effective Assessments:

· Observations
· Performance Assessments
· Process-focused Assessments
· Selected Responses
· Open-ended Tasks
· Presentations
· Group Work
· Reflections
· Teacher Modeling

Tools for Effective Assessment:

· Anecdotal Records
· Classroom Observations
· Rubrics
· Checklists
· Rating Scales
· Peer/Teacher Reviews
· Discussions
· Conferences
· Journals
· Transdisciplinary Skills

Documentation:
PORTFOLIOS
Portfolios provide a continuum to track students’ learning process and define their growth as a learner. Portfolios also provide data to parents, teachers, and students on progress for individual reflection, student-led conferences, parent-teacher conferences, and teacher reflection/data collection.

Essential agreements for portfolios:
Ø Each current grade level teacher is responsible for maintaining and storing student PYP portfolios.
Ø Each classroom teacher is responsible for acquiring the portfolios for their class at the beginning of each academic year.
Ø Portfolios will be easily accessible for teachers and students.
Ø Each student portfolio will include:
§ Colored paper separators for each transdisciplinary theme.
§ Title of unit, central idea, and date on each colored separator.
§ One student chosen work for each unit of inquiry per grade.
§ One teacher chosen work for each unit of inquiry per grade.
§ The summative assessment for each unit of inquiry per grade.
§ One reflection for each unit of inquiry per grade including:
ü Unit Name
ü Central Idea
ü What the student liked the most, interested them the most, or their favorite activity
ü What the student would like to learn more about – what they are still wondering about
ü What action did they take or could they take after studying the unit
ü Optional: One student chosen piece from outside the classroom (music, PE, an award, etc.)
Ø Pre-kindergarten and new students to the campus are required to bring a 2” white binder (with clear plastic pocket on the front).
Ø Binders will move up with the students each year.

CONFERENCES

Teacher-student conferences will be held on a continuous basis throughout the school year. This is an ongoing process that should happen regularly. These may be formal (held as needed) or informal (as part of every day best teaching practices.)

Student-led conferences are an opportunity for the students to lead the conference with their parents to communicate their learning and progress throughout the year. During this conference the students highlight what they feel is important and share their strengths and weaknesses as they see fit.
Essential Agreements for student-led conferences:
Ø Student-led conferences will be held once per academic year in the spring.
The students will:
Ø lead their own conference with their parent(s) to discuss their learning and progress during the year.
Ø share a self-reflection of the Learner Profile with their parents.
Ø plan their own presentation with teacher modeling and practice beforehand.
The teachers will:
Ø be responsible for submitting a sign-in sheet for student-led conference.
Ø serve as facilitators during the student-led conferences.


Reporting:
· Report Cards (6 week grading periods)
· Portfolios
· Progress Reports (3 weeks between report cards)
· Learner Profile Reflection Sheet (each semester)
· Student-led conference

Assessment Reviews:
As a staff, we will review the assessment policy annually.

Adopted: 2009
Reviewed: April, 2012
Reviewed: April, 2013