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Assessment, Grading and Reporting Practice
1.0 Goals of assessment:
• • • • • Provide information that students can use for self-evaluation. Provide incentives to learn. Communicate the achievement status of students to parents. Select, identify, or group students for certain educational paths or programs .. Evaluate the effectiveness of instructional programs. Guskey (1996)
2.0 To work towards these goals, the staff at Ross Sheppard School believe the following:
• • • • • • • • The primary purpose of assessment, grading and reporting is to improve learning. Our assessment practices will be meaningful and clear. Grades will only reflect what students can do relative to provincial curriculum*. We encourage further growth and development through assessment. We use evidence from a variety of assessment techniques to reach a summative grade including informed professional judgment when determining grades. Assessment should take into account the student's learning needs. We provide an overview of the assessment plan for each course to students/parents at the start of the course. We strive for consistency of assessment in our subject areas and school.
* Some programs may choose to provide students and parents with marks according to outside standards. These grades will not affect students' Alberta Education mark, but will be used to inform students and parents about students' progress according to another program (e.g. International Baccalaureate).
3.0 How we communicate and report information related to assessment:
3.1 Course Outlines at the beginning of the semester/year, course outlines are published by each teacher for each subject. All students are asked to keep the course outline at the front of their binder for the subject. A copy of all course outlines is kept by the department head of the subject area. 3.2 Student Agendas - are made available to each student at the beginning of the year. Students are encouraged to use the agenda booklets to help organize school work and important deadlines. Agendas also have important information regarding assessment, reporting periods and scholarships. 3.3 Phone Contact - can be made at any time throughout the year by either the teacher or parent regarding the progress of the student. 3.4 SchoolZone is web based program that gives parents and students secure access to general school information, attendance reports, mark updates, and dates of major assignments and exams. Information on how to sign-up for a SchoolZone account is posted on our website: http://shep.epsb.cal. 3.5 The school web site provides parents with updates about the school as a whole. 3.6 Interim Reports / Marks Update for all subjects, achievement will be posted on SchoolZone at the half-way point of each semester. Parent conferences are held twice during the year, following the achievement update.
3.7 Progress Reports - are published on SchoolZone four times each year. The report provides parents and students with a cumulative grade that reflects achievement to that date. Progress reports also include final exam and mid term exam results where applicable. Note: Diploma exam marks cannot be posted as they are calculated by Alberta Education. Diploma exam results will be mailed directly to the residence of the student by Alberta Education. 3.8 Parent/Staff Meetings can be requested by parents at any time. With reasonable notice teachers will make themselves available for the meeting. Parents can contact the teacher at the school to request the opportunity to discuss their child's progress. School administration may choose to sit in or can be invited to attend these meetings. Parents of students who require an Individualized Program Plan (IPP) will be involved in communication to update and review the plans. These meetings and communications are coordinated by the school. Parents of students who have an IPP are invited to call the school at any time during the year with questions that they may have.
4.0 Assessment Students will experience two types of assessment in the classrooms at Ross Sheppard: 4.1 Formative Assessment (Learning Activities): Formative assessments are the ways in which teachers assess student progress on an ongoing basis. The primary goal of this type of assessment is to help students improve and inform teachers regarding student learning needs. 4.2 Summative Assessment: Summative assessments are used to measure student achievement throughout the learning process. Summative assessments include a variety of ways that a teacher may gauge and report a student's progress in relation to the Alberta Program of Studies.
5.0 Grading and Mark Calculation
5.1 Formative Assessments; Students will be required to complete all learning activities assigned in their classes. Formative assessment can include homework, in class activities or approaches to learning (i.e. organization, task completion, follows expectations). 5.2 Summative Assessments: Grades/marks will be awarded to summative assessments and will be used in reporting student achievement. Marks are a numerical way to represent the achievement or progress of a student. We use percentage grades to report our marks. Marks indicate whether a student has reached the defined outcomes in the Alberta Program of Studies for a particular course. Attitude, effort and behaviour are included as part of a student's summative assessment (mark) only as related to curricular outcomes. 5.3 How Marks are Calculated: Our departments have worked together to develop consistent procedures and weightings in the program that we use to calculate our marks. At the beginning of the school year, a description of these procedures and weightings will be included in each course outline. It should be noted that the calculation of marks is not made by using a simple average of the scores.
5.4 Assessment Descriptors: Teachers may use one of the following codes to describe a student's achievement, lack of participation, or behavior related to the completion of an assigned task. These may be used in a formative situation to provide feedback or summative as a description of why an assigned task is incomplete. Any codes identifying a behavior rather than an achievement indicates that follow up with the student is warranted. OMI-Omit MPA - Missed Performance Assessment AMP - Academic Malpractice NHI- Not Handed In CNA - Chose Not to Attempt SKIP-Skip EE - Exceeding Expectations WT - Working Towards Meeting Expectations LDI - Learned/Demonstrated NC - Not Completed VAC - Vacation ABS -Absent EXC - Excused ELT - Elite Athlete ME - Meeting Expectations NM - Expectations Not Met Informally
This added level of information can provide another resource for teachers and parents to support learning. For a full description of codes used please visit shep.epsb.ca. For a full description of codes used please Visit shep.epsb.ca.
6.0 Work Not Handed In/Incomplete Work
Teachers will assign clear deadlines and expectations for assignments and other learning activities related to their course. Students are asked to record these deadlines, and organize their time appropriately for the completion of these tasks. Should an assignment not be completed on time, or an exam is missed due to illness, the teacher will arrange an alternate time when the student can complete the assignment. A behaviour code will be entered in the mark book until the assignment is completed. Timely communication from students and their parents regarding any extenuating circumstances (e.g. illness, family crisis) will be considered if a deadline cannot be met. The following is a brief outline of Ross Sheppard's intervention plan to ensure that all work is completed: 6.1 Should a student choose not to complete the assigned task, even with a number of teacher interventions, the teacher may choose to submit this to the respective subject area's department. head. 6.2 Each department has an intervention strategy to ensure the completion of this work. 6.3 Should the department intervention plan fail to convince the student of the gravity of completing this task it will be referred to Ross Sheppard Administration. At specific intervals throughout the year, an ASW (Administration Supervised Writing) session is held where students MUST attend to complete these assignments. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action. If a student does not submit enough material to provide an accurate description of his or her achievement, the progress report may indicate 'unable to evaluate'. Such a code note indicates that the teacher is unable to assess the student's progress in the course.
Ross Sheppard staff members are committed to helping students better prepare for assessments that occur at the end of the learning process and, as such, in certain circumstances offer the opportunity for students to rewrite formative assessment
activities. Students will not normally have the opportunity to rewrite summative assessments such as major tests or re-do major assignments (as defined by the classroom teacher), as these assessments are a measure of the student's learning over a period of time. Rewrites on summative assessment items are at the discretion of the individual teacher.
8.0 Plagiarism and Cheating
Plagiarism, copying the work of another individual and inferring that it is your own work, is an unacceptable practice. Cheating may include plagiarism, purchasing, copying, stealing exams/assignments, or gaining access to answers for a test or assignment in a way that does not reflect the students own understanding of the concept. All students who are suspected of plagiarism or cheating will be referred to school administration.
9.0 Marks Appeal Process
Students and/or parents may appeal a teacher's decision in the assessment process through the following steps: • Students should arrange to speak with the teacher at a time when the issue can be reviewed without interruption. • If the student is not satisfied with the outcome, he or she can discuss the situation with his or her grade coordinator. The grade coordinator will arrange for the student and his or her parents to speak with the department head. • If there is no resolution, parents can appeal to the principal by outlining their concerns in writing. The principal will contact the parent(s) and may arrange for a meeting to discuss the concern. The principal will review the situation, attempt to seek resolution and, if necessary, make a decision regarding the dispute. Students and/or parents may appeal an individual year-end course mark through the following steps: • Outline the appeal in writing. If there is documentation that indicates a difference from the teacher's record, it should be attached to the written appeal. • Come to the school on mark appeal day (published on the website and final progress report) between 8:30a.m. and 12:00 p.m. The principal wi" meet with the parent and student and make a decision regarding the appeal.
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