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Assessment Policy

Assessment Policy

Purpose and Principles

At Green Run Collegiate, assessment is seen as an important communication instrument between the teacher, the student and the parent/guardian. It provides valuable information about students’ progress throughout the entire course of teaching and learning. This information should aid all stakeholders in identifying next steps inside and outside the classroom setting so that students can successfully acquire, make meaning and transfer the content, skills and concepts being discovered (Wiggins & McTighe, 2011).

Assessment is essential in not only helping students to understand and to grasp information but in also aiding them to gain a positive outlook on the learning process itself. Clearly articulated substantive feedback help students understand that learning is a non-linear, continuous journey that helps them reflect on both their accomplishments and their areas for development. As a result, assessment should be an integral factor that supports students in becoming knowledgeable inquirers who realize the importance of critical and creative thinking, and thus ultimately embody the International Baccalaureate (IB) Learner Profile traits.

Assessment Practices

Instructors in all IB programs must use assessment meaningfully in order to ensure students’ understanding of its importance in regards to their own learning. In order to do this, teachers must use both formative and summative assessments. Formative assessments provide teachers, students and parents with the necessary qualitative and quantitative data to determine next instructional learning steps. Summative assessments evaluate students’ learning and should be used at appropriate times when students are capable of demonstrating what they know, understand and do. Evidence used for grading should be valid and based on clearly defined learning goals and standards.

In addition, assessments in the classroom must be varied so that students have different ways to exhibit their learning. Although established approaches, such as multiple-choice, essays, and short answer responses, are still necessary, teachers are also responsible for developing performance-based assessments that will show students’ aptitude in applying what they have learned in unknown and unfamiliar situations.

Feedback is essential throughout the learning process. Teachers and students should provide each other with input regarding performance and improvement. Insight given can address students’ attainment of the learning goals, or it can address other areas of importance, such as students’ growth of certain IB Learner Profile traits. The primary goal of feedback is to provide students insight into their learning from an outsider’s point of view.

Grading/Marking

In addition to the grade reporting policies set forth by Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Green Run Collegiate students will also be assessed utilizing the established criterion set forth by the IB Organization. Using benchmarked criterion-referenced assessments assures that students’ performances are measured against an already established set of expectations. Normally presented through a rubric, these guidelines are typically given to students prior to the implementation of the assessment, so that they clearly understand what needs to be done in order to successfully complete it.

Students enrolled in the Middle Years Program will be awarded MYP grades based on a seven point scale. This grade is determined based on the total amount of achievement levels earned by a student in all criteria of a subject group. Each group has four areas of criteria on which students are assessed. Eight is the highest achievement level a student can earn for each criterion. The final achievement level will be based on the teacher’s professional opinion at the end of the year. This evaluation will be based on students’ performances on summative assessments; in determining the final achievement levels, instructors will take into consideration patterns in the data, such as increasing level of performance, consistency and mitigating circumstances (MYP: From principles into practice, May 2014). Students will receive a separate report card depicting progress in IB coursework.

Diploma Program and Career-Related Certificate students enrolled in any Diploma Program group course can be awarded up to a maximum of seven points upon the completion and grading of all required assessments. These points are considered the students final IB subject grade. These group courses have two kinds of assessments:

  • Internal Assessment- Determined by IB, this type of student work is graded and marked by the teacher.  This type of assessment can account for 20%- 50% of students’ final IB grade. In order to ensure reliability in terms of the instructor’s grading, student samples are mailed to IB each year in order to be moderated by outside examiners. Types of internal assessments are orals, science lap reports, and investigations.

  • External Assessment- The majority of assessment components consist of examination papers that students complete during the month of May. These exams can include multiple-choice questions, short-response questions, essay questions, and commentaries on supplied texts. Other external assessments are often completed during an extended period of time under the guidance of their teachers; such examples of these are literature assignments, written tasks and music investigations. These assessments can account for up to 80% of students’ final IB grade (Diploma Programme Assessment Principles and Practice, 2013).  

Students who are candidates for the IB Diploma must earn a minimum of 24 points. However, certain requirements must be met in order to earn a diploma at this nominal level:

  • Numeric grades have been awarded in all six subjects registered for the IB Diploma.

  • All Creativity, Action and Service requirements have been met.

  • At least a grade D has been awarded for both Theory of Knowledge and the extended essay.

  • There is no grade of 1 in any subject.

  • There are no more than two grade 2s awarded (HL or SL).

  • There are no more than three grade 3s or below awarded (HL or SL).

  • At least 12 points have been gained on higher level subjects (candidates who register for four HL subjects, the three highest grades count).

  • At least 9 points have been gained on standard level subjects (candidates who register for two SL subjects must gain at least 5 points at SL).   (General regulations: Diploma Program, 2014) 

Recording and Reporting

Green Run Collegiate will use the software application ManageBac in order to record and report IB criterion-based school grades to both students and parents. ManageBac allows students to submit their Community, Service and Action Hours, store important documents and archive important information concerning their IBIS account. ManageBac enables teachers to not only record students’ grades, but to upload their curriculum units as well as to provide student feedback so that both students and parents alike can access this information.

Issue of results concerning IB Diploma Program candidates and course students’ IB-validated grades will take place on July 6 each year. Students can view their results by logging onto their accounts at https://candidates.ibo.org. In order to access their account, students must obtain a unique alphanumber user name as well as a personal identification number from their DP Coordinator. (Handbook of Procedures for the Diploma Programme 2014, 2014)  

Homework

The role of homework is to reinforce the content, skills and concepts learned in the classroom. As a result, homework should be differentiated according to student need and readiness level.

An Inclusive IB Education

In order to guarantee that all students have open access to an IB education, the faculty and staff at GRC will adhere to both the Special Education Needs and Language policies that provide the student population the opportunity to be successful in this kind of setting. GRC teachers will plan and design their assessments according to students’ Individualized Education Plans and Section 504 plan when appropriate. In addition, students’ mother tongues will be honored, as assessments and resources will be translated for the student whenever necessary. Translation programs will also be key in providing English Language Learners with quality feedback that will guide them in their learning process. 

Review of Assessment Policy

The assessment policy will be reviewed on a yearly basis with a panel consisting of teachers, students, parents and administrative staff. This review will be driven by the needs of the Green Run Collegiate community, the changes provided by the International Baccalaureate Organization in regards to its assessment philosophy, as well as prominent research on assessment conducted by practitioners within the field of education.

References

Diploma Programme Assessment Principles and Practice. Internation Baccalaureate Organization, November 2010.  

General regulations: Diploma Program. International Baccalaureate Organization, February 2014. 

Handbook of Procedures for the Diploma Programme 2014. International Baccalaureate Organization, November 2012. 

MYP: From Principles into Practice. International Baccaluareate Organization, May 2014. 

Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2011). The Understanding by Design Guide to Creating High-Quality Units. Alexandria, Virginia: ASCD.