Assessment is done with students.
“Student-engaged assessment is a hallmark of the EL Education model. When assessment is done with students instead of to them, students take responsibility for and lead their own learning. They see themselves as the key actors in their own success. This creates a culture of engagement and achievement in which all students and adults believe that effort and reflection lead to academic growth and high-quality work. Teachers use multiple methods of formative and summative assessment to track students’ progress toward academic learning targets and Habits of Scholarship (e.g., perseverance, collaboration, responsibility). Teachers continually analyze quantitative and qualitative evidence of student performance to inform their instruction. Students learn to reflect deeply and concretely on their own performance data, assess their own learning, use feedback from peers and teachers, and set goals for achievement.” - EL Core Practice 27
At WHEELS, we believe that students should be leaders of their own learning and deeply engaged in the learning process. To that end, we practice multiple forms of student-engaged assessment, including:
- Daily and long-term learning targets
- Success criteria (“must have” and “amazing”)
- Rubrics and exemplars
- Student-Led Conferences
- Passage Portfolios in 5th, 8th, and 12th Grades
Assessment involves multiple pieces of data to drive curriculum and instruction.
“In the EL Education model, teachers and leaders use a variety of assessment types to measure students’ mastery of standards and regularly involve students in understanding and analyzing their own assessment data. (See also Core Practice 29: Checking for Understanding in Daily Instruction.) Teachers use high-quality assessment data, both formative and summative, to reflect on the effectiveness of curriculum, instruction, and schoolwide structures such as schedules, academic groupings, and intervention programs. Finally, assessments provide a body of evidence for grading, reporting, promotion, and graduation that must be communicated to the community, district, state, and other stakeholders.” - EL Core Practice 30
At WHEELS, we value assessment as a means to drive curriculum and instruction, assess our progress as a school, and assess individual student’s growth and next steps. We use a combination of local, teacher-created assessments, assessments from our curricula, and normed benchmark assessments, all of which support our Tier 1 planning and Tier 2/3 interventions. The battery of benchmark assessments include Acadience, NWEA MAP for Reading and Math.
Assessment is competency-based.
“In the EL Education model, student achievement is communicated in traditional ways (e.g., report cards) and also in ways that allow students to take the lead in speaking about their own learning. Leaders and teachers create structures and procedures that support students to create, maintain, and present portfolios demonstrating growth and achievement during student-led conferences, passage presentations, and celebrations of learning. They also implement standards-based grading systems that communicate academic outcomes relative to specific required standards and, separately, outcomes on Habits of Scholarship. Teachers involve students in the dialogue about assessment and communicating achievement. Students can articulate what they have learned and speak to their own strengths, struggles, goals, processes of learning, and preparation for college and career success.” EL Education Core Practice 31
At WHEELS, we practice competency-based learning aligned to our Grading Policy. As described within, all teachers use Mastery Based Grading to clearly communicate strengths and areas for growth on specific learning targets that students have learned, separated from Habits of Work and Learning targets.