Anwatin Middle School Assessment Policy

May 25, 2016

Our Mission Statement: Anwatin Middle School develops young people to become
principled, open-minded, inquiring members of a global community.


Nuestra Declaración de Misión: La Escuela Intermedia Anwatin desarrolla en los
jóvenes la integridad, una mente abierta, y su capacidad de ser miembros indagadores

 

1. Philosophy of assessment that supports student learning

The primary purpose of assessment in the MYP is to support and encourage student learning through the analysis of student performance. Assessment at Anwatin Middle School focuses on giving students the opportunity to demonstrate what they know and can do, and our assessment practices embed critical thinking and real world applications. Continuous formative assessment informs teachers about student learning and shapes and directs teaching and learning in the classroom. Summative assessment, such as an online portfolio, supports student learning, and is also used to determine achievement levels of students. Formative assessment helps to inform instruction. Approaches to Learning skills are the mechanisms by which to support student learning, and are integral to MYP assessment.

2. Common practices in using the MYP assessment criteria and determining achievement levels

Students demonstrate their academic performance at Anwatin Middle School by showing what they know and can do, by solving, formulating, evaluating, and doing. Anwatin asks students to apply their learning to different situations and in a variety of ways. Wherever students are in their learning, assessment at Anwatin allows students, families, and teachers to track their progress toward learning objectives. Students can show learning through writing, speaking, creating, performing, and demonstrating through activities.

Assessment is a key component of teaching and learning. Both summative and formative assessments inform teaching and determine the level of student learning. There must be a balance between formative and summative assessment that allows teachers to change instruction to meet the needs of learners and to evaluate student learning. Students and teachers must have opportunities to reflect on learning within the classroom to ensure that assessment is effective in promoting learning.

Assessments vary, and there are different purposes for assessments. At Anwatin Middle School, we believe that there are shared characteristics of high quality assessments. These characteristics require that:

  • assessment is ongoing; it does not happen just at the end of a particular unit of study.
  • teachers give students many opportunities to demonstrate their understanding.
  • assessments are differentiated, except for District required benchmark exams
  • assessment results drive curriculum direction (reteach, enrich.)
  • assessments are both formative and summative.
  • assessments are based on a clear set of criteria.
  • teachers are given time to be able to provide timely feedback to students.
  • assessment results are easily understood by students and families.
  • assessment modifications are made when necessary.

Common practices for Assessment and Curriculum

  • Assessments drive the curriculum and are aligned with the written and taught curriculum.
  • Curriculum and assessments are aligned vertically, building on prior knowledge and skills.
  • Assessments are designed to align with course outcomes, Minnesota state standards, and
  • MYP objectives and criteria.
  • The IB MYP Global Contexts will provide the context for unit design and influence unit assessments.
  • Teachers will write curriculum collaboratively using the MYP Unit Planner, assessments, and rubrics.
  • Teachers teaching the same course will use common summative assessments.
  • Rubrics are clarified using student-friendly language.
  • Exemplars are made available to students.
  • Assessments allow students to reach the highest level of achievement in the rubric descriptor
  • bands.
  • Modifications will be made for students with identified learning disabilities.

Learners are accountable for their learning. Students are expected to know and use assessment criteria before and while completing their work. Learners are to synthesize and apply their learning, ask questions and solve problems. Students should strive to produce quality products and performances, and see assessment as a way to describe and improve their learning. All work submitted for assessment is expected to be the student’s own work.

Anwatin expects their students to abide by the ethical and legal principles of academic honesty. We believe that gaining an unfair advantage academically is contrary to what learning and sharing ideas is about. We believe that all students have the right to learn in an environment where academic integrity is the norm. Consequences will be imposed when students are determined to have engaged in behaviors involving academic dishonesty (See Anwatin Academic Honesty Policy, May 2016.)

3. Recording and reporting student achievement

Throughout a course, the goal is for teachers to assess IB objective strands in their subject area at least twice and record the achievement level in Gradebook.

The MYP has established mandatory learning objectives and assessment criteria for students in 6th and 8th grade.

  • Teachers in 7th grade will use the objectives and criteria from year 1 (6th grade) in the first semester of 7th grade and transition to the year 3 (8th grade) objectives and criteria during the second semester of 7th grade.

  • These objectives and assessment criteria are specific, differentiated, and consistent with course content and the Minnesota State Standards.

Descriptors for Achievement Levels:

  • Above Proficient: Excellent, exceptional, extended, mastered (MYP score: 7-8)
  • Proficient: Consistent, accurate (MYP score: 5-6)
  • Partially Proficient: Basic, simple, inconsistent (MYP score: 3-4)
  • Below Proficient: Developing, limited, partial (MYP score: 1-2)
  • Incomplete = Unacceptable, inaccurate, insufficient evidence (MYP score: 0)

The goal is for grades to be updated in the online gradebook at least every two weeks.

Final course grades are reported to families on a quarterly basis as A, B, C, D, F, or I. A grade of “C” demonstrates proficiency in the standards of the course. “A” and “B” grades demonstrate deeper knowledge and extended application. “D” or “F” grades reflect performance that is below proficiency in course standards. An “I” is given when a student has not completed a summative assessment. The “I” will become an “F” after one quarter if it is not reconciled.

Students should be given multiple opportunities to demonstrate their current understanding and mastery of standards. Meaningful corrective instruction and additional practice should be completed prior to reassessment.

Recognizing that some students have special needs or significant learning difficulties, teachers and programs within Anwatin Middle School may modify and adapt learning objectives and criteria to serve the needs of their students and program. Program teachers and teachers sharing these students may collaborate on an ongoing basis to modify and adapt objectives and assessment criteria for these students while maintaining consistency with MYP standards and practices. Especially in these areas, teachers should be mindful of opportunities to explicitly incorporate elements of the IB Learner Profile and the Approaches to Learning skills into instruction and assessment. (Please refer to Anwatin Inclusion/Special Education Policy, May 2016.)

  • First written during the 2007-2008 school year by Sarah Wernimont, Caroline Hooper, Kate Andrews, and Liz Athorn, when Anwatin and Southwest High School were a partnership.
  • Revised on during the 2011-12 school year and shared with the Anwatin Site Council.
  • Revised in December of 2015 by Anwatin teachers Nate Lee, Jess Nite, and Sarah Wernimont.
  • Presented to the Anwatin Site Council for review on March 16, 2016
  • Anwatin teachers (Patrick Crawford, Wilmer Telleria, Liz Athorn, Erica Ilich, and Tiffany Doherty) reviewed and suggested revisions on May 4, 2016.
  • Assessment Policy was finalized with all these suggested revisions on May 25, 2016.

Resources

Anwatin Academic Honesty Policy, May 2016
Anwatin Inclusion/Special Education Policy, May 2016
Edison High School, MInneapolis, MN, Assessment Policy, 2015-16.
International Baccalaureate Organization. MYP: From principles into practice (2014). Northview Middle School and Park Center High School, Assessment Policy, 2016