Maternelle and Lower School Assessment Practices
We recognize that our students have different learning styles as well as different cultural experiences, expectations, and needs.
A wide variety of assessments are designed by teachers for use in their classrooms with this in mind. These tools include but are not limited to observations, performances, checklists, rubrics, anecdotal records, continuums, tests, written and oral responses, videos, audio recordings, photographs, drawings, and open-ended tasks. In addition, teachers conduct pre-assessments in many forms including, but not limited to artifact walks, wonder walls, KWHL charts, class discussions, or written pre-assessments.
Reporting on Assessment
Reporting on assessment includes communicating what students know, understand, and can do. Reporting involves parents, students, and teachers as partners and is intended to track student learning over time. Reporting to parents, students, and teachers occurs through conferences, the use of Seesaw (K-5th grade), the portfolio, report cards, Je valide (maternelle), the cahier du jour (daily work), standardized assessment, and the exhibition.
Teachers will conference with students both formally and informally on an ongoing basis throughout the school year. As students get older they become more involved in the assessment process.
Teachers and parents will conference at least twice per year to formally address all aspects of the program and to discuss and identify social, emotional and academic strengths or areas for improvement. Parent/teacher conferences can also be scheduled throughout the year as needed. Parents and teachers may include students in these conference meetings as well if desired.
Teachers at all grade levels have the option of having a conference be framed as a student-led conference. In this approach, students guide their parents through the classroom and show them evidence of their progress in their learning. This may also include visits to specialist classrooms or other areas of the school as well. For younger students, student-led conferences may take the form of an “open classroom” with guiding questions for parents to pay attention to as they observe their child in learning centers.
In order to track student progress over time, Seesaw is used in Maternelle and Lower School to showcase the learning that is taking place over the course of every year. The cahier de vie is also used as a way of documenting the learning and events (at school and at home) in maternelle. In kindergarten to fifth grade, writing samples are also chosen by students and saved over their years here and sent home with them to showcase their progression in writing over time at our school.
Formal report cards are sent digitally to parents twice per year. The report cards are developed to reflect developmental growth over the span of a cycle (three years in the French system). In the report card teacher comments allow teachers to describe the curriculum taught, Units of Inquiry, and address student's knowledge, concepts, skills, learner profile attributes, and actions observed. In maternelle, students are encouraged to validate the skills they have made progress in over the course of the year, and positive reinforcement of their capabilities is used to reinforce this progress.
Fifth-grade Exhibition provides students an opportunity to synthesize and apply their learning by engaging and reporting on an in-depth, collaborative inquiry. Every year, we reflect on how, at each grade level, we can support and enhance the skills needed for students to be successful during their 5th-grade exhibition.
We also use a limited number of standardized assessments. In the first and sixth grades the French National Assessment is administered as required by the French Ministry of Education. This is a standards-based pre-assessment that is directly linked to the French National Curriculum.
We also administer the Educational Records Bureau Comprehensive Testing Program (CTP online) in the fourth grade (this assessment is also used in our Middle School in the sixth and eighth grades). This is a norms-based assessment designed to deliver personal feedback via item analyses for each student and class. It also provides comparative data on each student, including differentiation among performers across the full academic spectrum. Language assessments in both French and English are given to track progress, beginning in kindergarten.