Lexington Elementary School Primary Years Program
- Assessment is a gathering and analysis of information about student performance. It identifies what students know, understand, can do, and feel at different stages in the learning process.
- Assessment is integral to all teaching and learning. It is central to the PYP’s goal of thoughtfully and effectively guiding children through the five essential elements of learning: the understanding of concepts, the acquisition of knowledge, the mastery of skills, the development of attitudes and the decision to take responsible action.
- Everyone concerned with assessment – children, teachers, parents, administrators, and board members – must have:
- a clear understanding of the reasons for the assessment
- what is being assessed
- the criteria for success.
- Both children and teachers will be actively engaged in assessing student progress as part of the development of their wider critical thinking and self-evaluation skills. Teachers will also be concerned with evaluating the efficacy of the program.
The PYP describes the taught curriculum as the written curriculum in action. Using the written curriculum, and in collaboration with colleagues and children, the teacher generates questions which guide inquiry and instruction. These questions address the eight key concepts, leading to productive lines of inquiry. Assessment focuses on the quality of student learning during the process of inquiry and instruction and on the quality of the products of that learning. Assessment is, therefore, integral to the taught curriculum. It is the means by which:
- we analyze student learning
- we analyze the effectiveness of our teaching
- we base our future planning and practice.
Purposes of Assessment:
- To collect data that drives instruction
- To provide information about student learning
- To strengthen our learning process and practices as educators
- To identify students’ strengths and weaknesses
- To individualize instruction
- To track progress and growth within a community of learners
- To evaluate teaching and student inquiry
- To provide students with information to improve their learning
Types of Assessments:
- Formative assessment: Formative assessments are connected to instruction and learning to provide instant and frequent feedback on the learning process. This allows teachers and students to guide instruction, giving a glimpse into the effectiveness and enthusiasm of what is being learned. This type of assessment can be used to evaluate all parts of the learner, not only inquiry, but also the learner profile and student growth. Examples of formative assessments would include: anecdotal records, checklists, student reflections, student/teacher feedback, rubrics, teacher observations, peer to peer evaluations, student conversations skill development, etc…
- Summative assessment: Summative assessments allow the learner to show what they have learned at the culmination of the teaching or learning process. Expectations are clearly defined by essential questions, which drive day to day learning. This allows the teacher to measure, through the use of rubrics and/or checklists, the understanding of the central idea and inquiry points. In relation to units of inquiry, expectations and assessment formats are designed to incorporate student choice. Examples of summative assessments would include presentations, tests, individual or group projects, and/or performance based tasks.
Effective Assessments Should:
- Be consistent with the school’s philosophy
- Be purposeful
- Be varied to cater to multiple intelligences
- Be used to develop our understanding of the whole child’s academic, social, and emotional needs
- Be authentic (based on real, or realistic, problems or situations)
- Be able to evaluate knowledge of content, skills, and method
- Be directly related to learning outcomes
- Be built into learning activities
- Be a learning experience in itself
- Be continuous throughout the learning process
- Be consistent throughout the school
Effective Assessments Should Allow Students To:
- Demonstrate and share their learning and understanding
- Set goals for reaching expectations
- Use learning strategies and build on their strengths
- Expand on multiple intelligences to enhance their understanding
- Build confidence as a learner
- Express their points of view and understandings
- Understand personal weaknesses and ways in which they can improve their learning
Effective Assessments Should Allow Teachers To:
- Create instructional plans to guide inquiry
- Evaluate feedback from students
- Clearly define student needs and provide necessary instruction
- Define expectations and outcomes in order to plan learning experiences
- Adapt for learning styles and multiple intelligences
- Acquire data that can be used to inform all stakeholders
- Collect both quantitative and qualitative data
- Prepare for future inquiries and student questioning
Effective Assessments Should Allow Parents To:
- Understand student learning
- Provide support outside of school
- Celebrate learning and student accomplishments
- Observe and track student progress and growth
Strategies for Effective Assessment:
Observations: All students are observed throughout the learning cycle, targeting individual needs while focusing on the whole class. Examples may include:
- Conceptual and procedural knowledge
- Student interactions
- Reading skills
- Logical thinking skills
- Lateral thinking skills
- Study skills
- Listening skills
- Response to instructions
- Student application of prior learning
Performance Tasks: Assessments of essential questions developed around authentic challenges and problems with established criteria and goal directed tasks. Students are given the opportunity to approach these challenges and problems utilizing their personal bank of strategies. Primary sources are often useful for this kind of assessment. Examples may include:
- Role-play/Reader’s Theatre
- Response to challenges
- Project-based activities
Selected Responses: The students will demonstrate a depth of knowledge in the content areas. Examples may include:
- Test performance (written/oral)
- Computer-based software
- Quiz responses
Open-ended Tasks: Students are expected to demonstrate an application of knowledge in the content areas through acquired skills and strategies. Examples in response to essential questions may include:
- Written response
- Academic conversation
- Multiple representations
- Creative Solutions
Portfolios: A collection of students’ work demonstrates the stages of learning and provides a progressive record of student success, growth, higher order thinking, creativity, and reflection. The portfolio is first created when a student enters Lexington Elementary School and follows the student from year to year. At the culmination of Exhibition, students are presented access to their portfolios as a compilation of their educational journey through the PYP.
Interaction with Student: Students and teachers conference to identify strengths and weaknesses related to goals and objectives.
- Guided instructional groups
Student Reflections: Student reflections are used to give learners input into the learning process and promote self-evaluation, reflection, and critical thinking.
- Journal Writing
- Reflection during assessment (formative)
- Reflection post assessment (summative)
- Interactive Journals
Comparison: Stakeholders are enabled to measure multiple dimensions of student progress through different comparison points.
- Prior and current knowledge, performance, and learning experiences
- Homework and class work
- Individual work and group work
- Class-wide levels of performance
- Standardized performance
- Past and present exhibition of the profile and attitudes
Tools for Effective Assessments:
- School and District created assessments
- Anecdotal records
- Rating scales
- Digital Portfolios
- Student work samples
- Classroom observations
- Individual and peer reviews
- Reflections (student, parent, teacher)
Parent/Teacher Conferences: One formal parent teacher conference per year is held in the fall. This is an opportunity to address concerns and goals for the year. As needed throughout the school year, conferences will be held with the teacher and parent.
Teacher/Student Conferences: These reflective conferences will be held on an ongoing basis throughout the school year to monitor student progress.
RtI (Student) Team Meetings: RtI meetings are held weekly. These meetings are to identify interventions necessary to meet the instructional and/or behavioral needs of students in the general educational setting.
IEP Team Meetings: A group of teachers, administrators, and the school psychologist meet once a year with parents of students who have an IEP (Individual Educational Plan). This meeting is used to review the progress that has been made towards individual objectives and to develop new goals for the upcoming year. Throughout the school year, conferences will be held with teachers, parents in an effort to address academic concerns as needed.
Reporting to Parents and Stakeholders:
- Teachers report formative and summative assessment information through weekly reports in Tuesday Folders and regular communications.
- In addition to ongoing classroom evaluations, students receive a formal report card at the end of every nine weeks. The report card will include their grades for all curriculum.
- Learner Profiles Report Card every nine weeks
- IEP Progress Notes are sent home to parents every nine weeks.
- Fifth grade students present Exhibition to parents and stakeholders to demonstrate their understanding of the essential elements of the PYP. (Beginning in Spring of 2020)
- Formative and summative assessments
- Student self-reflections and teacher reflections in response to all six planners during the school year
- Star 360 is administered two times during the year for grades two through five (Fall and Winter) and twice a year for kindergarten and first grade (Winter and Spring)
- Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) testing is used to identify students’ readiness for kindergarten at the beginning of the school year
- Inquiry based lessons in all core subjects are assessed on a regular basis
- The SC READY (math, writing and reading) test is given in the last 20-days of the school year to third, fourth and fifth grade students as determined by the state of South Carolina
- SC Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (SCPASS) is given in the last 20-days of the school year for students in grade four and five for science and social studies
- WIDA Screener is used to screen language abilities for students new to Lexington throughout the school year.
- WIDA is used to assess the end of year language abilities of ESOL students in 5K to 5th grades.
- ESOL: K W-APT screener (Kindergarten WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test) at the end of 4K and in the first semester of 5K. This test assess listening and speaking skills. We begin assessing all four domains; listening, speaking, reading and writing.
- DIAL-4 is given to 3 and 4 year olds to determine which students are chosen for the 4 year old kindergarten class as determined by the school district
- LASSI-2 along with information observation and consultation is used to screen for language disorders in proficient native English speakers at the request of the classroom teacher
- 4-year olds will be given the Individual Growth and Development Indicators of Early Literacy (myIGDIs™) during the first 45-days of school and again during the last 45-days of school
- The STAR (Student Testing Assessments and Rubrics) test is given to students based on scores from the CogAt and ITBS testing. This is the final test used to identify those who will be served in the Gifted and Talented Program.
- The CogAt (Cognitive Ability Test) is given to all 2nd grade students and 4th graders that did not take it in grade 2
- The ITBS (Iowa Test of Basic Skills) is given to all 2nd grade students
- Fitnessgram is a National Fitness Assessment that is given to fifth grade students at the beginning and end of the year with scores going at home at the end of the school year.
- SC-ALT is given to the Mod 2 and 3 students during March and April. The areas tested include science, social studies, math, and ELA. The test is given one-on-one with a monitor present. The SC-ALT takes the place of PASS for these students.
- Assessments given by Special Needs and Speech Pathologists include:
- Due Process Screening – completed within two weeks of the referral
- Re-evaluations – completed at least three years from placement or previous re-evaluation date
- Medicaid Assessments – completed upon initial entry and again annually preceding the IEP review
- Assessments given by the Speech teachers include:
- IDEA Assessments – completed within 60 days of receipt of parent permission
- Diagnostic Therapy – completed during every session; ongoing
- Teachers enter students’ grades into PowerSchool/PowerTeacher. Grades are then exported to the PowerSchool operator so that report cards can be generated
- Digital portfolios will be kept for all students. Two artifacts and reflections for each unit of inquiry will be chosen. The teacher and student each choose one artifact.
- Student grade reports are placed in their permanent records at the end of each year. The permanent record follows the student through graduation of high school.
- Data collection is conducted daily during Special Needs and Speech classes. IEP files include three folders: Due Process, Case History/Assessments, and IEPs.
- Student digital portfolios will be available to LES students, their teacher(s), authorized school administrators, and/or the student’s parents/guardians. However, formative and summative assessments, records kept aside from the student portfolio, will only be accessible to the student, teacher, parent, any staff member that works with that student, and the administration. These records are otherwise considered confidential and not to be shared.
- All special education and speech therapy files are confidential and kept in secured locations.
- As a staff, we will review our assessment policy annually.