Assessing the Learning Progress of Young Students
The assessment of the development and learning of young students is an essential component of the GVA curriculum and helps guide continued development, learning and teaching. Students are observed in a variety of situations and a wide range of assessment strategies are used. Teachers observe GVA students in order to:
- Identify the student level of knowledge, skills, and understanding
- Build up a clear picture of the student and his or her interests
- Identify what and how the student is thinking and learning
- Assess the effectiveness of the environment on the student's learning
- Extend the student's learning
It is important to identify the needs of each student and to view learning as a continuum, with each student achieving developmental milestones in different but relevant ways. Through listening and observing, areas of learning that the students particularly enjoy can be identified and stimulating experiences can consolidate or extend the learning further.
GVA Assessment Plan
- All new GVA students are pre-tested with the MAPS survey tests in reading, language usage, and mathematics to develop a baseline for setting achievement goals and measuring growth over time.
- Students transferring in to GVA may have data from previous schools to complement this assessment.
- The MAPS will be administered up to three more times per academic year, essentially every quarter before the end of each nine-week term, to assess strengths and weaknesses in students and to recommend those students who will need tutoring.
- Results from the MAPS and TCAP annual state assessment are analyzed to refine academic goals, modify student groupings, and help guide instruction.
- Additional reading testing is done throughout the school year for students in grades K-5 using the DIBELs reading assessment and the Voices Benchmark assessment. These assessments are used to place student in guided reading groups based on instructional level.
Student portfolios are also used to provide evidence of achievement and these include writing samples from each year, along with specific sample work tied to each themed unit.