Middle School Assessment Practices
We believe that assessment practices should be straightforward, transparent, and agreed upon to ensure fairness. This policy aims at clarifying the responsibilities of teachers, students, and parents with regard to assessment practices.
We believe that:
- Assessment should promote student learning and help them achieve their full potential.
- Assessment gives feedback to teachers on their own teaching, while providing a common language for discussing and evaluating.
- Formative assessment should be designed to monitor student progress in understanding concepts and skills and use a variety of methods to show evidence and progress of student learning.
- Assessment is linked to appropriate learning objectives and factual, conceptual and debatable questions.
- Learning objectives will be aligned with French International curriculum and IB guidelines, as well as French standards.
- Assessments of any type may be adapted to student differentiation.
- Assessment tasks must be fair, clear, varied, and where possible set in a real-world context.
- Students may be given opportunities to re-work assessment tasks when appropriate.
- Letter grades attached to formative work without constructive feedback is not considered best practices. It often promotes competition and defeatism and does not provide meaningful feedback.
Formative assessment is integrated with the daily learning and daily activities of a class. Formative assessment may take the form of class questions, journal entries, homework problem-solving, short exercises or discussions, quizzes, or exit interviews.
Summative assessment is a final task at the end of a unit designed to enable students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the topics taught. Tasks should be varied and focused on concepts learned during the unit of study.
Table 1: MYP Criteria Summary Table
|Language and Literature||Analyzing||Organizing||Producing text||Using Language|
|Individuals and Societies||Knowing and Understanding||Investigating||Communicating||Thinking Critically|
|Sciences||Knowing and Understanding||Inquiring and Designing||Processing and Evaluating||Reflecting on impact of science|
|Mathematics||Knowing and Understanding||Investigating Patterns||Communicating||Applying to real-life context|
|Arts||Knowing and Understanding||Developing skills||Thinking creatively||Responding|
|Physical and Health Ed||Knowing and understanding||Planning for performance||Applying and performing||Reflecting and improving performance|
|Design||Inquiring and analyzing||Developing ideas||Creating a colution||Evaluating|
Table 2: Level and Grade Descriptors
|IB||USE PROFESSIONAL JUDGEMENT, a child is not an average of skills||Local|
|0||Difficulty in understanding the required knowledge and skills and is unable to apply them in normal situations even with substantial support. Very minimal achievement.||F|
|1-2||Produces work of limited to very limited quality. Expresses misunderstandings for many concepts and contexts. Rarely demonstrates critical or creative thinking. Generally inflexible in the use of knowledge and skills even in familiar situations with support.||D+, D, D-|
|3-4||Produces work of acceptable quality and communicates basic understanding of many concepts and contexts with some misunderstandings or gaps. Demonstrates basic critical and creative thinking. Uses knowledge and skill with occasional flexibility and requires some support in unfamiliar classroom or real-world situations.||C+, C, C-|
|5-6||Produces good and high-quality work. Communicates understanding of concepts and contexts. Demonstrates critical and creative thinking sometimes with sophistication. Uses knowledge and skills in familiar classroom and real-world situations and unfamiliar situations with support.||B+, B, B-|
|7-8||Produces high-quality innovative work. Communicates extensive and comprehensive understanding of concepts and context. Demonstrates sophisticated critical and creative thinking. Uses knowledge and skills in familiar and unfamiliar classroom and real-world situations with independence and expertise in a variety of situations.||A+, A, A-|
This part of the policy is available to students in their planners.
1. Developing assessment tasks
Where two or more teachers of the same language or subject area teach in subject teams, summative assessment tasks are developed, implemented, and assessed collaboratively. This collaborative summative assessment ensures fairness and consistency and takes place well after ample practice with formatives.
Assessment tasks are age and grade-level appropriate and set in real-world situations when possible.
Students must be given clear, ample notification for and descriptions of summative assessment tasks.
Formative tasks are meant to be practice or checkpoints and take place throughout the unit.
2. Assessing tasks
Meaningful feedback on any assessment must be given to the student within a reasonable time so as to trigger reflection and growth.
Many and varied opportunities for formative tasks are given to ensure success on a summative task.
Anecdotal evidence should be gathered and recorded by the teacher on each student during the learning process and teachers should give students ample opportunity for practice and reflection
Teachers must provide MYP subject-group-specific criteria
Throughout the year, students should be given the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge in a variety of assessment tasks including essays, reports, exams, visual displays or projects, kinesthetic performances, oral reports, process journals, or exhibitions.
3. Additional teacher duties
Teachers must reference MYP Guides when designing assessment tasks.
Each criteria in each subject will be assessed at least twice in a school year.
Students should have an opportunity to answer the factual, conceptual, and debatable questions for a unit and reflect upon their learning.
Reporting Assessment-Communication of Student Progress
The School has a dual reporting system
Local (Letter) grades are reported on progressive reports and on report cards at the end of each semester. They include summative tasks but may include other tasks such as vocabulary and grammar tests. Report cards include comments from teachers as well as summary comments from advisors.
IB grades are recorded each semester based only on summative tasks assessed against MYP achievement levels and are reported to parents at the end of each semester.
Progress Reports are sent mid-semester to update parents and students on student progress in subject content and ATL skills.
Parent/Teacher Conferences: Teachers share results of assessment data and overall student progress with parents in the fall and spring.
Student-led conferences: Students report on their coursework and progress and set goals for the remainder of the year. The advisor acts as coach/facilitator. Students are encouraged to record results of summative assessment in the Record of MYP criteria in the student planner and reflect on their learnings.
Standardized testing: Students in 6th and 8th grade take the Comprehensive Testing Program 4 (CTP4) of the ERB. This is a comprehensive standardized exam that includes verbal and quantitative reasoning, reading comprehension, writing mechanics, writing concepts and skills, and mathematical knowledge. Reports of the test are sent to parents at the end of the school year.
Using MYP Criteria:
Teachers must use the MYP year 1 criteria for 6th grade and MYP year 3 criteria for 8th grade. Subject groups will agree on whether 7th grade uses MYP year 1 for half the year or use MYP 3 for the full year. In addition, subject groups must address all strands of all four criteria a minimum of twice each year. In most cases; particularly for classes that meet four times per week, the criteria will be assessed much more than twice a year. It is expected that teachers will gather an optimum amount of assessment data to fairly and thoroughly evaluate students.
The objectives and strands must align with the criteria and teachers should prepare task-specific, student-friendly rubrics that “speak” to the student and help them understand the levels of achievement. Ideally, examples of exemplary work should be available for students to understand the nature of the task. Teachers must clearly clarify summative tasks with rubrics before or at the time that the assessment task is undertaken and should continually review key command terms for understanding in a particular subject area. In this way, students know what is expected of them. Teachers should refer to subject guides and MYP: From Principles to Practice as well as IB Subject Guides to guide their assessment tasks.
Assigning Achievement Levels. See Table 1: MYP Criteria Summary Table above
- The level descriptors (0, 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8) are used for all subjects with level 1-2 as the first band. The level descriptors should qualitatively describe the achievement of a task.
- Teachers will make professional judgments based on the student’s level of achievement.
- When determining within a band, teachers should read the descriptor and determine whether the work exceeds the first description, continuing until a descriptor does not describe the student's work. In this case, the teacher should use professional judgment and determine the level that best fits student performance.
- When a group summative task is assessed, the teacher must make sure that evidence can be evaluated for individual students.
Students with learning support needs will be handled on a case-by-case basis with modifications made to the assessment task so that the student is not disadvantaged and so that the student has a sense of accomplishment. Teachers may note on the report card when modifications to assessments have been made for students.