High School Assessment Policy Acknowledgments



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AMERICAN  COMMUNITY SCHOOL

BEIRUT-LEBANON

 

High School Assessment Policy




Acknowledgments

The sections “Beliefs Statements” and “Roles and Responsibilities” have been adopted and adapted from the Hiroshima International School IB DP Assessment Policy.

The section of “Purposes of Assessment” has been adopted and adapted from Scotts Valley High School IB Diploma Program Assessment Policy.

Beliefs Statements on Assessment:

At ACS, we consider assessment to be an integral part of effective instruction. We believe that teaching, learning, and assessing are interdependent. Our assessment practices are guided by the following principles:


  • Assessment is a judgment about how well a student has attained the aims and objectives of a course

  • Assessment should be criterion-referenced. Students are assessed against learning outcomes that are available to parents and students.

  • Assessment should account for a variety of learning styles.

Purposes of Assessment:

  • Enhance student learning. This is done through

    • Providing constructive feedback to students highlighting strengths and areas for improvement

    • Providing opportunities for self-assessment and reflection

    • Providing opportunities for students to display their learning in a variety of ways

  • Provide information about student progress towards meeting course aims and objectives. This information is shared with students and parents.

  • Assist teachers in reflecting upon and evaluating the effectiveness of their teaching.

Types of assessment:

We use 3 different types of assessment instruments:



- We use diagnostic assessment in order to determine what the current level skill and knowledge students have. We use this to determine what and how we will teach. Examples would include quizzes, discussion or tests. These would be conducted, usually, in class and would not be used as part of a grade.
- Formative assessment, also known as “assessment as learning” or “assessment for learning”. Formative assessment occurs when teachers feed information back to students in ways that enable the student to learn better, or when students can engage in a similar, self-reflective process. Examples of this type of assessment would include; individual response boards, observing groups at work, reviewing work products, pre-writing activities, revising activities, performances and quizzes.
- Summative assessment, also known as “assessment of learning”. It is the attempt to summarize student learning at some point in time, for example the end of a unit or course, or during the unit of instruction. They sum up what the students know, do and understand. Examples of this form of assessment would include, but are not restricted to: a test, summative quizzes, a project, a report, an extended essay, etc.

Assessment Practices

  • Assessment should be criterion-referenced. Students are assessed against a set of learning outcomes and objectives that were shared with them at the beginning of the unit.

  • Assessment should consist of a variety of assessment tools appropriate to the course. Examples of such total are: written assignments, portfolios, tests, quizzes, presentations, projects, research papers, fieldwork, etc.

  • Assessment should be ongoing and should consist of both formative and summative assessments. Assessment rubrics should be shared with the students in advance.

  • Formative assessments do not necessarily have to be scored, but feedback is necessary. The feedback should give timely information about what was done and how well it is done, what was not done, and gives guidance for improvement.

  • Students will receive at least one formative assessment, with appropriate feedback, prior to receiving a summative assessment.

  • Individual extra credit work will not be given. However, corrective instruction and enrichment opportunities for all students can be given when warranted.

Assessment Guidelines


Meeting deadlines:

  • The expectation in the High School is that all assignments, including formative assignments, will be turned in on time.

    • If a student has any concerns about a deadline, he/she must speak with the teacher in advance to discuss those concerns.

    • Summative assignments that are not submitted on time risk earning a late penalty or a zero.

  • For the IB assessment components that require drafting (Ex: Extended Essay, ToK essay, Historical Investigation, etc.), missing the deadline of a draft results in the following:

    • Instead of receiving oral and written feedback, the student receives only one form of feedback.

    • If the draft is more than five days late, no feedback will be given to the student.

Legitimate Absence:

  • Work handed in late because of an absence is governed by the following rules:

  1. Work due on the day of the absence must be turned in on the first class meeting time after return.

  2. Classwork, homework, quizzes or tests assigned or given during the absence must be completed as soon as possible by arrangement with the teacher. It is the student’s responsibility to make these arrangements.

  3. Extended legitimate absences will be treated on a case-by-case basis.

  • When an absence is due to a pre-arranged or school-sponsored trip, all work must be completed within one cycle of the day of return. However, teachers do not need to give this extension for long-term assignments. If an assignment was given at least two weeks in advance, the student may be required to submit it on the first day back from the pre-arranged travel. The student needs to check with his/her teacher to confirm the due date for any long-term assignments.

  • For school-sponsored trips that extend over a weekend, the student is excused from taking in-class tests or quizzes during the first two days upon return, but must reschedule these assessments. This does not apply to assessments that do not require prior preparation at home.



Assessment Calendars


  1. Major Assessment Calendars: The Grade Level Coordinators maintain a test calendar for each grade. The purpose of these calendars is to help the faculty distribute the due dates of major tests, assessments and projects. The test calendars are posted on the ACS webpage (http://www.acs.edu.lb/page.cfm?p=534) for students and parents access.

  • A student is not expected to have more than two major assessments in a given day, or more than four major assessments in a normal five day week.

  • Teachers put the due dates of projects/essays on the calendar as well.

Students who feel that they have been assigned too many assessments in a given week should attempt to resolve the issue politely with their teachers. If that is not possible, they should see the Grade Level Coordinator.


  1. IB internal calendars: The IB deadlines are distributed over the course of two years according to an internal calendar. The IB 11 and IB 12 internal calendars are maintained by the IB coordinator. The internal calendars are posted on the ACS webpage (http://www.acs.edu.lb/page.cfm?p=552) for students and parents access.

Grading/Marking Protocols


  • Report card grades are based primarily on achievement on summative assessment. Teachers will have a suitable number of summative assessments per semester that will enable them to determine a grade for the report card that will reflect the students’ actual skills, abilities and knowledge.

  • Academic achievement is reported separately from other dispositions such as attendance.

  • Learning behavior (self-management, attitude towards learning, meeting deadlines, contribution to class, etc.) is reported using the Learning Behavior rubric (Appendix A).

  • Participation/Preparation is to be no more than 10% of the final grade and teachers are to use a participation rubric.

  • End of year exams/projects/semester exams and IB/LB Mock exams count up to 25 % of the semester grade

  • IB/LB type assessments that use IB/LB rubrics/markschemes should be scaled according to the IB/HS or LB/HS equivalency scale.

  • Teachers should share their grading policies with their students at the beginning of the year. Different sections of the same course should have the same grading policy.


Recording and Reporting

  • Teachers record grades on the school electronic grade book which provides online, daily access to students and parents. Teachers update their grades on a regular basis.

  • The electronic grade book sends automated progress reports to parents every other week. In addition, students who have C- or below receive narrative progress reports at the end of the first and the third quarter. These reports serve to inform students and parents about a student’s progress in each class; the grades on progress reports are not recorded on report cards or transcripts.

  • Report cards are issued twice a year at the end of each semester.

  • First and second semester grades are averaged for the year-end grade. An exception to this rule applies to Grade 12. The first semester for the seniors is longer than the second. Therefore, the semesters are weighted 60% and 40% in determining the year-end grade.

  • Semester grades and the final course grade are recorded on a school transcript. This transcript accompanies college applications.

  • Parents-teachers conferences are held three times per year for all students: after the first term progress report, the first semester report card, and after the third quarter.

Homework Guidelines


  • Homework is an essential part of the educational program at ACS. Not only does it provide the student with the opportunity for independent practice, skills reinforcement, and research, it also promotes time management and individual responsibility.

  • By the time a student reaches grade nine, he or she should expect to spend an average of two to three hours per day on schoolwork outside of class.

  • Not having a specific assignment due the next day does not mean the student does not have any homework. Homework or preparatory tasks are ongoing. No one should believe that the only time to do homework is the night before an assignment is due or before a test.

  • When assignments, homework, or preparation are not being done, teachers have an obligation to inform parents. If a student is consistently not preparing assignments, the teacher has an obligation to contact the parents. Parents also have a responsibility to inform teachers when an unforeseen emergency prevents a student from following the regular homework schedule.

Roles and Responsibilities

Administration

It is the responsibility of the administration to:

  • Share the assessment policy with students and parents.

  • Explain the assessment guidelines to students.

  • Orient the new teachers about the assessment policy and provide the necessary guidance and support for all teachers.

  • Monitor the implementation of the policy.

  • Foster the academic honesty guidelines as per the Student Handbook and the IB Academic Honesty Policy.

Teachers

It is the responsibility of the teacher to:

  • Provide the students, at the beginning of each unit, with the set of learning outcomes and skills for that unit.


  • Provide the students with the rubrics by which all formative and summative assessments are evaluated.

  • Use the Learning Behavior rubric to assess the student’s approaches to learning (self-management, attitude towards learning, meeting deadlines, contribution to class, etc.)
  • Design varied assessments that target the set of learning outcomes and skills

  • Put the date of the major summative assessment on the test calendar and communicate the date with the students one week before the assessment is due.


  • Create Turnitin.com accounts for their courses, when applicable, so that students submit drafts and final papers to this site before turning them in.

  • Inform parents when the student doesn’t submit an assignment, doesn’t do homework, or comes unprepared to class.

  • Report to students and parents on student progress.

  • Post grades on the electronic grade book in a timely manner.

  • Reflect on the effectiveness of instruction and on assessment instruments.

  • Foster the academic honesty guidelines as per the Student Handbook and the IB Academic Honesty Policy.

  • Make the necessary arrangements with the Learning Support Specialist to accommodate the students with special learning needs.

Students

It is the responsibility of the student to:


  • Strive to acquire and demonstrate the attributes of the IB learner profile.

  • Be principled and behave ethically as outlined in the Student Handbook and the IB Academic Honesty Policy.

  • Prepare for and participate in all formative assessments in order to grow in concept, skill, and knowledge strength.

  • Make the necessary arrangements to retake assessments or submit late assignments in case of a legitimate absence.

  • Meet all deadlines set by the teacher and/or by the school. In case of any concern about not meeting a certain deadline, the student must contact his/her teacher in advance.

  • Reflect on progress for improvement and seek the teacher’s help when needed.


Related documents:

ACS Academic Honesty Policy

ACS HS Learning Support Guidelines

ACS Student Handbook


Assessment Policy review

This policy was written in the academic year 2012/2013, and is considered as a working document. It will be reviewed annually by the High School governance body.



Final Note

ACS is in the process of planning to implement Standards Based reporting.



Appendix: ACS Learning Behaviors RUBRIC

Behavioral Category

IB Learner Profile - Trait Reflected

ACS Social Emotional Standard

Performance Indicator

Rating

Consistently

(C)

Sometimes

(S)

Rarely

(R)

Independent / Self-Managing

  • Knowledgeable

  • Inquirer

  • Balanced

1.B – Recognize one’s own personal qualities and external supports.

1.C – Demonstrate skills related to setting and achieving goals.

1.D – Develop one’s own sense of personal responsibility and integrity.


  • Comes to class on time and prepared

  • Brings necessary materials to class

  • Shows initiative and establishes goals in their learning

  • Remains on task










Attitude / Relating

to others

  • Open-minded

  • Caring

  • Risk-taker

1.A – Identify & express one’s emotions, feelings and needs appropriately.

2.A – Recognize the feelings and perspectives of others.

2.B – Recognize individual and group similarities and differences.

2.C – Use communication and social skills to interact effectively with others.

2.D – Demonstrate an ability to prevent, manage, and resolve interpersonal conflicts in constructive ways.


  • Actively and positively involved in group activities

  • Attentive listener to teacher and to students

  • Follows the instructions of teacher

  • Respectful of the opinions and feelings of others

  • Demonstrates care and kindness to others

  • Accepts constructive criticism and responds appropriately













Participation / Contributing

  • Communicator

  • Thinker

2.A – Recognize the feelings and perspectives of others.

2.C – Use communication and social skills to interact effectively with others.

3.C – Contribute to the well-being of one’s school and community


  • Recognizes appropriate times to talk and to listen

  • Helps in the positive development and progress of classroom learning

  • Offers constructive opinions in class

  • Contributes to an attentive, focused, learning environment

  • Collaborate with others in a positive manner

  • Demonstrates a positive attitude towards activities and learning










Resourceful / Responsible for their learning

  • Principled

  • Reflective

3.A –Consider ethical, safety, and societal factors in making decisions.

3.B – Apply decision-making skills to deal responsibly with daily academic and social situations.



  • Turns work in on-time and meets deadlines

  • Is prepared thoroughly for assignments / activities / projects / presentations

  • Conducts their learning in an ethical manner and respects the ACS honor code

  • Shows respect for learning resources (school instruments, furniture, equipment, cameras, etc.)













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