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HK Student Assessment Evaluation and Reporting

Adopted: October 7, 1996
Amended: June 9, 1997, December 4, 2001, June 18, 2012

Policy

The Board will ensure inclusive learning opportunities are provided for all students to be engaged thinkers and ethical citizens with an entrepreneurial spirit. 

The Board believes that a comprehensive assessment program provides relevant data for all important educational decisions related to learning—instruction, program improvement and public accountability.  It includes a variety of assessments for different purposes.

The Board believes a basic education must provide students with a solid core program, including language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.  Students will be able to meet the provincial graduation requirements and be prepared for entry into the workplace or post-secondary studies.  Students will understand personal and community values and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.  Students will develop the capacity to pursue learning throughout their lives.  Students also should have opportunities to learn languages other than English and to attain levels of proficiency and cultural awareness that will help to prepare them for participation in the global economy.

Student assessment and evaluation are fundamental to the learning process and that it is essential in determining the degree to which students have met the provincially prescribed learner expectations; in identifying students’ strengths and weaknesses; in recommending appropriate grade, program or course placement and in improving performance.

The Board further believes that student assessment and evaluation information must be effectively reported and communicated to parents, students, and Alberta Education in a clear and timely manner.

Definitions

Assessment:  is the process of gathering information or observable evidence of what the learner can do relative to the learner outcomes as outlined by the Alberta Program of Studies.
Evaluation:  is the process of making judgments based on interpreting assessment information.
Reporting:  is the sharing and communication of assessment information and evaluative judgments.

Guidelines

  1. Student learning will be assessed and evaluated in two areas:
    1. Academic achievement as measured against curriculum level standards and learner expectations of the Alberta Program of Studies.
    2. Personal growth and development and work habits.
  2. Student assessment policies will be fair and just so that students across the District can expect comparable treatment.
  3. To ensure that assessment purposes and strategies are clearly understood, on-going communication will take place.  This communication will occur among administrative and instructional staff as well as with parents and students.
  4. Student assessment shall provide for review and appeal procedures.
  5. Confidentiality of student assessment information will be respected.

Procedures

  1. The principal shall:
    1. In consultation with staff, develop school policy with respect to student assessment, evaluation, and reporting.
    2. Clearly communicate student assessment information to parents on an ongoing basis.
    3. Effectively communicate to parents and students (where appropriate) by providing:
      1. Statements of curriculum level learner expectations.
      2. Assessment practices and weighting of components for all subjects.\
    4. Ensure formal communication of student assessment through Reports  a minimum of three times per year and twice per semester for students with semestered courses.  In addition, schools will also send out progress letters.
    5. Make provisions for teachers to conduct a minimum of two parent-teacher interviews per year.
    6. Ensure that, when a student is experiencing difficulties meeting curriculum learner expectations, teachers are communicating concerns to parents.
    7. Ensure that, when a teacher recommends that a student be retained, parents receive written notice of this recommendation no later than mid-May.
  2. The teacher shall:
    1. Effectively communicate to parents and students (where appropriate) by providing:
      1. Statement of curriculum level learner expectations.
      2. Assessment and evaluation information on an ongoing basis, including formal report cards and a minimum of one progress letter.
      3. Assessment and evaluation practices and weighting of components for all subjects.

Assessment Strategies

  1. Classroom assessment should have the following characteristics:
    • It should be part of instruction and should clearly reveal to students what is expected of them.
    • It should be an ongoing process rather than a set of isolated events, with the methods and instruments  varied and used in a variety of contexts.
    • It should focus on a broad range of outcomes, reflecting multiple dimensions of skill development.
    • The measures should be appropriate to the student’s development and cultural background.
    • It should be constructive.  It should focus on what a student can do, clearly identifying both strengths and areas of difficulty.  It should encourage improvement in areas of difficulty, linking new learning to what a student already knows and can do.
    • It should involve students in their own assessment.  This gives them responsibility for their own learning and fosters lifelong learning.
  2. Assessment strategies will be developmentally appropriate.
    • Learner expectations as outlined in the Alberta Program of Studies will be assessed on an ongoing basis.
  3. Teachers will employ a variety of broad based assessment strategies which may include:
    • checklists
    • pencil and paper tests/quizzes
    • portfolios
    • student conferencing
    • performance based
    • projects
    • presentations
    • standardized tests (see Exhibit #1)

Reporting

  1. Assessment and evaluation information will be communicated to parents and students by Reports 3 times a year and twice per semester for students with semestered courses.  In addition, schools will also send out Progress Letters.
  2. Evaluation information will be provided for academic achievement and personal growth and development.  Teachers will also communicate information relative to the curriculum level the student is working at, as defined by the Alberta Program of Studies.
  3. Teachers shall ensure that information is effectively communicated to parents about:
    • what their child knows and can do in the courses  being studied
    • how well their child is doing in those courses
    • the grade level(s) the child has achieved in relation to the grade levels of the provincial programs of study for language arts and mathematics
  4. And the basis for their professional judgment in these matters also needs to be clear so that parents can readily understand how student learning has been assessed

  5. All of the assessment information should be shared, not only with parents, but also with students when it is in the students’ best interest to do so.  Communicating with students about their levels of achievement is particularly important when students are planning their future courses and making program choices.

Marking Scale

  1. The following marking scale will be used:
  2. Grade K-6 Achievement Scale Descriptors

    Proficient (P)

    The student demonstrates and independently applies an in-depth understanding of grade level outcomes.

    Meets (M)

    The student consistently demonstrates an understanding of grade level outcomes.

    Approaching (A)

    The student demonstrates progress towards meeting grade level outcomes.

    Beginning (B)

    The student is beginning to demonstrate an understanding of grade level outcomes.

    Not  Evaluated (N/E)

    This topic has either not been covered or there is insufficient evidence to assess.

     

    7 - 12 Mark Scale

    Descriptors

    80 - 100%

    The student’s performance is clearly and consistently meeting the standard of excellence

    50 - 79%

    The student is meeting the acceptable standard

    49% and below

    The student’s performance is clearly below the minimum acceptable standard


  3. Application of Marking Scales
    1. For academic marks in K-6, the “P – M – A – B –NE ” scale will be used.
    2. For academic marks in 7-12, percentages will be used.
    3. In 1-6, the “–C –G -NI” scale will be used for reporting personal growth and development.
    4. In junior high, the “E - W - S - P - N” scale will be used for reporting work habits.
  4. Curriculum Level:

    For students in grades 1-8, teachers will indicate the curriculum level of the student’s program in core subjects.  The academic mark will be relative to the curriculum level.

  5. Final Marks:
    1. K-6 cumulative report cards will be placed in the student cumulative records file.
    2. In Division 3, a final mark will be given and will be calculated by valuing each term at 25%, and 25% for a final cumulative exam.  Final exam marks will be reported.  The final mark will be recorded in the cumulative records file.
    3. Student assessment in senior high schools will be done on an on-going basis.  Final exams will be written at the end of the semester with a minimum value of 25%. 
  6. Special Needs Students
    The IPP (Individualized Program Plan) is the programming guideline for most students with Special Needs and acts as the benchmark for determining progress.  Reporting is best done in an anecdotal form.  The District report card may be used where appropriate.  The final IPP meeting delineates recommendations for the next year.  They, along with reports on the present year’s progress, should form the final report.  An indication should be made regarding the student’s academic level of functioning (where appropriate) in the core subjects (L.A., Math, Science, Social Studies).
  7. For the purpose of calculating students’ averages for school honor rolls and scholarships in division 3 and 4, the following marks can be used:
    • all school awarded final marks
    • all Alberta Distance Learning Centre final marks

    High school students must be full-time.  A full-time student is defined as taking a minimum of 15 credits in a semester.

Record Keeping

  1. Teachers' records of student final marks shall be submitted to the principal at year end.
  2. Schools shall keep student records/files for a period of at least 3 months into the consecutive school year, after which, they are to be sent to the district office for storage.
  3. The District will maintain a historical record of students’ final marks.

 

Promotion

It is the aim of schools and the district to ensure that all students will meet with success.

If a student is having difficulty meeting the learner expectations, the reasons why this might be occurring will be pursued.  Student achievement over time will be reviewed, work habits will be assessed and individual testing may be recommended.  Based on the above, a student may receive assistance through the school Learning Assistance Centre or placement in a district Special Education Program may be recommended.

  1. In Grades 1 to 9 a student shall be promoted to the next grade at the end of the school year in which he/she has completed the minimum learner expectations for that grade.  Students who are not meeting minimum standards in core subjects areas, may be considered for grade retention.
  2. For students in grades K – 6, M - Meets indicates minimum standard. For students in grades 7-12, 50% is the minimum acceptable standard.
  3. Students in Grades 10 to 12 students will be eligible to receive an Alberta High School Diploma, the High School equivalency Diploma or the Certificate of Achievement upon completion of graduation requirements.  Students will be awarded credits towards graduation requirements (100 credits) when they achieve acceptable standards (50%) in each course taken.
  4. Notwithstanding the above, a student may be promoted or retained under exceptional conditions if the principal, in consultation with other teaching staff and parents, determines that there are unusual or extenuating circumstances which would warrant promotion or retention.
  5. Promotion and retention recommendations are professional decisions made by the classroom teacher(s) and school administration.
  6. A student who demonstrates outstanding academic and personal maturity may be accelerated.
  7. Students who are classified as Special Needs according to Alberta Education criteria, will be placed in an age appropriate grade/program.
  8. Course Challenge is available to District students in accordance with District Policy HKA.

Appeal Procedure

As per Policy IFA, appeals shall be made in writing, within ten (10) school days of the decision.  Appeals shall be made first to the classroom teacher.  A second appeal shall be made in writing, within five (5) school days of receiving the results of the first appeal to the principal of the school.  If after the second appeal the decision remains unacceptable to the appellant, the appellant may appeal in writing, within five (5) school days of receiving the results of the last appeal, to the Associate Superintendent of Education and Administration.

Parents or students who proceed with the appeal process beyond the school level will be provided with a copy of Policy IFA Student Appeals, which details the appeal process.  The Associate Superintendent of Education and Administration will provide this document. 

References

Legal Reference:

Alberta Education Policy Regulations Manual – Student Evaluation 2.2 Alberta Regulation 40/89;
Alberta School Act : Sections, 13

Cross Reference:

IFA Student Appeals
IO Student Records

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