Assessment Policy (click to print)
Bolton Academy believes that all students are capable of learning with the right support and encouragement. It’s through this understanding that teachers should utilize a variety of assessment strategies to identify our students’ understanding of concepts, skill level, and rate of progress. Teachers will use a balance of diagnostic, formative, summative, teacher, self, and peer assessments to provide specific feedback promptly after assessments. Assessment results will be used to guide and differentiate instruction for students, improve instructional practices, and to communicate the students’ performance and progress to the students, parents and other stakeholders. We believe that the teaching and learning cycle starts with assessment, rather than teaching. We foster a culture that provides students with multiple opportunities to choose how they will share their learning throughout the year. Students will engage in the cycle of reflecting on their learning and teacher feedback to set goals and progress as learners. They will have an active role in developing and sharing their assessments with others.
- To identify students’ strengths and weaknesses and monitor progress for all learners
- To determine prior knowledge
- To utilize data collected to differentiate instruction for individual students
- To drive the focus of our Professional Learning Communities
- To help the students know where they are, reflect and set goals
- To guide and check the effectiveness of curriculum development
At Bolton Academy, we utilize the following assessments to gauge the effectiveness of teaching and learning:
- Pre and post assessments
- Formative assessments
- Summative assessments
- Student portfolios
- Oral assessments
- Written reflections
- Georgia Milestones for grades 3-5
- Georgia Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (GKIDS)
- WIDA K-Screener ( Placement Test to identify ESOL students in K-1)
- WIDA On-line Screener ( Placement Test to identify ESOL students in 1st-5th grades)
- NAEP (Grade 4 only – if selected by the state)
- STAR (Reading and Math)
- STAR Spanish
- CogAT (Gifted testing only)
- Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT) (Gifted Testing only)
- Measurement of Academic Progress (MAP) (Gifted Testing only)
- Next Step Guided Reading Assessment (K-5)
- Benchmark Assessments
- Progress Monitoring
- Performance-based Assessments
- STAMP (Spanish-Proficiency DLI)
- Exhibition (5th grade only)
Data Collection and Reporting
At Bolton Academy, we believe that data collection and reporting should be a comprehensive and accurate portrayal of students’ progress. Bolton Academy’s goal is to provide results of assessment to students and parents to ensure transparency of assessments and open communication. Communication takes place through the following formats:
- Bolton Academy Student Showcase
- Progress Reports
- Report Cards
- Parent conferences
- Progress Monitoring
- Anecdotal Records and Observations
- Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
- 504 Plan (accommodations)
Bolton Academy uses assessments to gather essential information about student learning and achievement. Data from assessments helps us evaluate and improve instructional practices. Bolton Academy uses a variety of learning activities and assessment tools both in the classroom and school wide. By using different means to measure student achievement and instruction, we are able to gain a true analysis of growth in order to individualize instruction.
Bolton Academy teachers conduct informal and formal assessments throughout the year. Pre-assessments, common, and teacher assessments are administered by teachers before, during and after the learning process. Within units of inquiry, all teachers use formative and summative assessments to evaluate student understanding of the central idea and concepts.
Bolton Academy administers quarterly benchmarks. These benchmarks help gauge student understanding of previously taught material. Grade level teams meet regularly to analyze and discuss grade level data and trends with instructional leaders. Results are used by teachers and instructional staff to differentiate the curriculum as needed. Data is also used to develop strategies for intervention and monitor effectiveness through the Response to Intervention (RTI) process.
Portfolios provide an essential context for viewing a student’s learning and growth over time. Teachers at Bolton Academy use portfolios to record student knowledge within the PYP. Portfolios include at least one student work sample from each unit of inquiry accompanied by a reflection. Additional work samples may also be included. Portfolios travel with K-5 students from grade to grade.
Our fifth grade students are expected to carry out an extended, collaborative inquiry project, under the guidance of their teachers. The inquiry project allows them to demonstrate synthesis and understanding of the PYP essential elements (knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes, and action), and sharing them with the whole school community. It also provides an opportunity for students to exhibit the learner profile attributes that have been developing throughout their engagement with the PYP. Students will be able to choose real-life issues or problems, which will then be explored and investigated in the exhibition. The students begin the planning and research phase of the process in the Fall and delve more deeply in their final Unit of Inquiry beginning in the Spring.
District report cards, progress reports, and IB report cards serve as communication between teachers and parents on whether students are mastering state standards and content in the units of inquiry. Parents also receive reports of standardized test results when available, which may include the Georgia Milestones Assessment, STAR Reading and Math assessments and the Georgia Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (GKIDS).
As a grade level, teachers meet for collaborative reflection throughout the year. During this time, teachers review assessment data and reflect on instructional practices. Teachers are expected to complete reflections regarding the units of inquiry.