Idlewild Assessment Policy

Idlewild Assessment Policy 2017-18

The purpose of this document is to clarify the understanding of the assessment process within the school setting.  This policy applies to Idlewild Elementary School and is to be communicated to and understood by all teachers, students, parents and administrators. 


Perspective on Assessment

Assessment is the gathering and analysis of information about student performance.  It identifies what students know, understand, can do and feel at different stages in the learning process.

Assessment is integral to all teaching and learning.  It is central to the Primary Years Program’s goal of thoughtfully and effectively guiding children through the five essential elements of learning:  the understanding of concepts, the acquisition of knowledge, the mastery of skills, the development of attitudes and the decision to take responsible action.

Everyone concerned with assessment – students, teachers, parents, administrators and board members – must have a clear understanding of the reasons for the assessment, what is being assessed, the criteria for success and the method by which the assessment is made.

Both students and teachers will be actively engaged in assessing student progress as part of the development of their wider critical thinking and self-evaluation skills.  Teachers will also be concerned with evaluating the efficacy of the programme.

The PYP describes the taught curriculum as the written curriculum in action.  Using the written curriculum, and in collaboration with colleagues and students, the teacher generates questions which guide structured inquiry and instruction.  These questions address the eight key concepts which help lead to productive lines of inquiry.  Assessment focuses on the quality of student learning during the process of inquiry and instruction and on the quality of the products of that learning.  Assessment is integral to the taught curriculum.  It is the means by which we analyze student learning and the effectiveness of our teaching.  It acts as the foundation on which we base our future planning and practice.  Assessment is essential to our goal of guiding the student from novice to expert, through the learning process.


Philosophy, Actions & Examples Chart


Why do we assess the way we do at Idlewild Elementary School?


What assessment actions do we take because of our philosophy?


How does assessment look at our school specifically?

We believe the ultimate purpose of assessment is to guide our planning and instruction so that we can support and enhance student learning.

Due to the belief that assessment guides our planning and instruction, we make sure it is frequent, on-going, varied and continuous.

  • Rubrics
  • Benchmarks/exemplars
  • Checklists
  • Anecdotal records
  • Continuums
  • Observation/discussions

Based on Vygotsky’s work which describes Zone of Proximal Development, we believe that the teaching/learning cycle begins with assessment.

We assess before, during and after units.  We assess frequently to find out what the student already knows and can do in order to discover what the best next teaching/learning steps would be.

  • Pre-assessments before all units
  • Formative Assessments during units.
  • Summative Assessments at the end of units.
  • Anecdotal records to individualize instruction.

The Zone of Proximal Development is different for every student in every area of learning.  Each student is a complex individual with a wide range of existing abilities, skills and knowledge.

Because the Zone of Proximal Development is different for every student, we assess in many different areas and in many different ways.

We do not rely on any one test to plan our instruction.  We consider a wide range of relevant and authentic performance data, formal and informal, standardized and non-standardized assessments.

We believe that teachers are professionals with the ability to make valid informal assessments.  We also believe that students and parents also can and do contribute valuable assessment data, which should be actively sought.


We collaborate regularly with teachers and to discuss, design and reflect on student learning.

At the beginning and during units we solicit student input and involvement.  At the end, we ask students and parents to reflect and give feedback as to how students were demonstrating new learning at home.


Why do we assess the way we do at Idlewild Elementary School?


What assessment actions do we take because of our philosophy?


How does assessment look at our school specifically?

We believe that the best assessments are those that are most authentic.

We assess reading, by reading. We assess writing by writing, rather than assessing these complex tasks by doing an artificially contrived task that real readers and writers do not do.

We seek assessments that reflect and affect the real world, e.g. by writing a letter to a community member. We seek assessments that elicit an authentic action within the community or world.

We understand that whatever knowledge, skill grade level expectation, or ability is being assessed, there are many possible and valid ways for a student to demonstrate their understanding.

We do not require all students to have their knowledge and abilities assessed in the same way. We believe that the important thing is to know if a student "got it". We honor and validate multiple and creative forms of assessment.

Every summative assessment in every unit offers choice in how a student can demonstrate his or her acquisition of the central idea of that unit.

We use assessment AS learning to develop life-long learners. In order to become internationally minded citizens who will positively impact the community and world, students must be able to self-assess and competently reflect on learning.

We actively teach our students to be competent at self-assessment in both academic and behavioral areas. We actively model assessment AS learning through reflection.

We constantly solicit current assessment data from students and parents throughout the year. We use this data to help guide our planning and instruction. Throughout units and at the end of units, students are asked to reflect on experiences and give feedback for planning and guiding their inquiry and also to make contributions to their portfolio.

Assessment data is not just important for teachers, but for everyone involved in the academic life of the student.

We regularly communicate assessment data to students, teachers, parents, administration, and the community.

We share assessment information with our Grade Level Team and Principal at scheduled Data Team meetings. Teachers schedule S.I.T. meetings in a timely manner when there is concern about a student's performance.

We share assessment data and/or concerns with parents in a timely manner and do not wait for scheduled parent conferences and/or official report cards.

Units of Inquiry

Purpose:  Each unit of inquiry will include both formative and summative assessments which will be fair, consistent and developmentally appropriate.  All essential elements will be assessed:  knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes and action.  The purpose and means of assessment will be clearly explained to the students in advance.

Formative Assessment (Assessment FOR Learning) is interwoven within each unit of inquiry. Pre-assessment is considered a form of formative assessment.  Formative assessment and teaching are directly linked; neither can function effectively or purposefully without the other.  The tools and strategies of formative assessment can be, but are not limited to:



Methods or approaches used when gathering information


Instruments used to collect data



Performance Assessments


Process-focused Assessments


Open-ended Tasks

Anecdotal Records

Selected Response:  quizzes/tests



Summative Assessment (Assessment OF Learning) takes place at the end of each unit of inquiry and is an opportunity for students to demonstrate what has been learned through the unit of inquiry.  Summative assessments may include one or any combination of the following:  acquisition of data, synthesis of information, application of knowledge and process.

  • Evaluation methods to measure proficiency may be through performance based assessments, student initiated action or through selected response items.
  • Those involved in evaluating student responses, products or performances may include any one or combination of the following; teacher(s), student(s), parents/community members, expert judges.
  • Feedback methods may be in one or any combination of the following; verbal report/conference, developmental proficiency scale, narrative report, checklist, numerical score, rubric, or letter grade.

Student generated reflections will take place at the end of each unit.  They may be any of the following:

  • A general reflection on the unit of inquiry, including knowledge and understanding of the central idea and possible future investigations
  • A response to a piece of work from the unit of inquiry
  • Each student will maintain a running record of big ideas taken from each unit to be passed from grade to grade so students/parents will have cumulative student generated assessment from their PYP experience.


Learner Profile


  • Kindergarten and 1st grade will introduce the Learner Profile focusing on one attribute a month.
  • 2nd through 5th grade students will use the Idlewild Learner Profile Reflection to self-assess their growth and understanding of the Learner Profile. Teachers agree to give students time at least 2-3 times a year to complete the document, students will self-assess proficiency in displaying the Learner Profile via the IB Learner Reflection which is sent home with second and fourth quarter report cards.  Teachers will also assess students and students will share self-assessment with families.  This will be housed in the student’s portfolio.
  • All units of inquiry will focus on aspects of the Learner Profile that are particularly valuable in exploring the central idea and lines of inquiry.
  • Grade 5 students will reflect on their PYP experience through the exhibition using electronic data and portfolio pieces.


  • Students, parents, teachers and school administration are expected to model the Learner Profile while at Idlewild Elementary.
  • Students are held accountable to show evidence of understanding the characteristics of all profile attributes through behavior, writing personal reflections, and in class discussions.
  • Assessment of the Learner Profile attributes will be student driven. Teachers will communicate evidence to parents and parents will be encouraged to facilitate using the profile to set goals with their student.


Student Portfolios

“Portfolios are collections of children’s work that are designed to demonstrate successes, growth, higher order thinking, creativity and reflection.  The portfolio is an exhibition of an active mind at work.”       PYP Assessment Handbook

The portfolio will include the following:

  • A cover sheet from each grade level illustrating the units of inquiry
  • A self-selected piece of work and corresponding reflection from each unit of inquiry, labeled on the sheet protector for clarification
  • Student generated PYP Learner Profile Reflection
  • Any significant student action that the student selects to add to the portfolio
  • Parent Reflections

*(Based on input from collaboration with staff for Portfolio Essential Agreements)

Management Guidelines

The 3 ring notebook will be kept for each student, kindergarten through grade 5, as the portfolio.  The entire portfolio will be sent home at the end of 5th grade.  If a student moves before 5th grade, it will be sent with the student.




The primary function of reporting student progress is to establish, encourage and maintain communication between the home and school, the child and parent/guardian, and the learner and teacher.

The type of fall conference offered is determined by grade level.  Special accommodations may be needed to suit individual family needs.

Parent/Teacher Conferences is an opportunity to establish a relationship with the parent(s), to learn about the student from the parent, to set goals and compare observations, and to share evidence of student learning through the grade level expectations, the curricular standards and through measures of growth via comparisons.

Student Led Conferences are an opportunity for students to talk to their parents about their growth from the beginning of the year through November.  This allows the student to reflect on their growth, take ownership of their own learning, and to set goals with their parent(s) to insure the student’s continued success.

Teacher/Student Conferences are an opportunity for students to get and to give feedback critical for differentiation and individual growth.  It also allows teachers to get information that can guide instruction and help students with self-reflection through modeling and discussion.


District/State Assessment 2017-18

District/State Assessment



Renaissance Learning – STAR Early Literacy

Grades Kindergarten and First

Fall, Winter, Spring

DIBELS- Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills

Grade 2


MAP- Measures of Academic Progress (Math & ELA)

Grades Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth

Fall, Winter, Spring

SBA- Smarter Balanced Assessment (Math & ELA)

Grades Third, Fourth and Fifth


WCAS – Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (NGSS Science)

Grade 5


Updated 10/2017