As educators, we are called upon by the Ministry of Education to adhere to the policies identified in the 2010 publication entitled Growing Success: Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting in Ontario Schools. In short, the document follows up on a decade of research and practice pertaining to the use of Bloom’s Taxonomy through the Achievement Charts, the effective use of assessment for, as, and of learning, and a renewed focus on and refinement of ‘learning skills and work habits.' The Ministry requires schools to adjust their reporting procedures.
In an effort to ensure that we are meeting with the Ministry’s expectations while simultaneously addressing the needs of the School, the following strategies will be implemented in each division. The strategies will afford a progressive continuum for St. Andrew’s students.
The School’s approach to the use of the Achievement Charts and Rubrics will not change. Departments are at leisure to determine the best way to communicate to students how they are progressing in each of the four categories.
The Learning Skills have been changed to the following: Responsibility, Organization, Independent Work, Collaboration, Initiative, and Self-Regulation. The School will provide faculty with a means to assess and track student performance regularly in these areas. In the Middle School, faculty have indicated that they would like to place greater emphasis on the development of these Learning Skills.
- Faculty will include assessments for, as, and of learning; assessments of learning (evaluations) will form the basis of the student’s grade in a given course;
- faculty will ensure that grade calendars are balanced and that there will be no more than one rich evaluation per day;
- the MS Grade Team leaders will be responsible for managing the grade calendars;
- the Ministry has suggested that assessments of learning (evaluations) must be preceded by assessments for and/or as learning; as such, it is recommended that the ratio of assessments for and as learning to assessments of learning should be 2:1;
- additionally, the Ministry has suggested that a course should have in the range of 8-10 assessments of learning (evaluations) per annum; and,
- while the Ministry does not endorse the inclusion of assessments for and as learning in a student’s final grade, faculty may, at their discretion, designate up to 10% of a student’s final mark to his performance in these areas; and
- faculty are asked to be consistent and judicious in their application of this policy.
Addendum: Re-Evaluation Policy
In an effort to afford students the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of course content and to compensate for the possibility that a student may not achieve at his best on a given day, the following practice, which mirrors our Writing Centre policy, has ben set into place:
- faculty have the authority to prescribe a re-test or re-submission of an evaluation if s/he deems that the student has demonstrated outstanding Learning Skills and Work Habits and they have taken advantage of all available academic supports, including such supports as Open Classroom, Math Centre, and ESL Plus. A student does not have the right to expect this accommodation, and faculty are asked to be judicious in their application of this prescriptive opportunity;
- students who have been afforded this accommodation may augment their original grade up to 10%; and,
- this accommodation may be afforded to a given student no more than three times in an academic year.