Sequoia Elementary Assessment Policy
The Sequoia Elementary School community is dedicated to developing caring, critical thinkers who celebrate our diversity and that of the world around us as we learn and grow together. Through our rigorous, inquiry-based program we develop the full potential of all students.
Sequoia Elementary School is a public school within the Mt. Diablo Unified School District, located in Pleasant Hill, California and, as such, we use multiple forms of assessments to measure student progress and determine next steps across the curriculum.
Our teachers continuously reflect on student progress throughout the school year. Students are invited to reflect on their progress as well. Students are encouraged to consider where their growth and progress is centered on the International Baccalaureate (IB) Learner Profile and content, set goals for themselves and reflect on their progress towards those goals.
Report Cards: Students’ growth and progress are reported out in the district report cards at the end of each trimester (beginning of November, end of February and beginning of June). The MDUSD Report Card is aligned with the California Common Core Standards. The district report card includes an addendum, the Progress Reflection, that is specific to IB at Sequoia Elementary. The Progress Reflection documents students’ and teachers’ reflection on student growth around the IB Learner Profile and exploration of the Transdisciplinary Themes.
Progress Reports: In addition to the Report Card, which is sent out at the end of the trimester, teachers send home a Progress Report twice a year for students who are struggling with content. The Progress Report is sent out at the midpoint of Trimester Two and Trimester Three. (We do not send out Progress Reports in Trimester One. Rather, we hold Parent Conferences at which we discuss all students’ progress.)
Student Portfolios: Evidence of growth is collected in the Student’s PYP Portfolio that follows students across the grade levels. Evidence includes the Progres Reflections and end of unit projects.
There are two kinds of assessments that inform our work with students, formative and summative assessments.
Formative assessments: Formative assessments are used throughout a unit and provide feedback to teachers about students’ understanding. Real-time adjustments are made in instruction based on this data. Formative assessments are not factored into a final grade. These assessments include exit tickets, student/teacher conferencing, analysis of writing samples and other student work, teacher observation, and peer and self-assessments.
Summative Assessments: Summative assessments are given at the end of a unit. There are a variety of assessments including tests, quizzes, written pieces, oral presentations, and posters. The data from the summative assessment is used to measure growth around standards and concepts. Summative assessments inform grades. The design of these assessments is informed by the Universal Design for Learning model. The Universal Design for Learning model centers on providing flexibility in accessing content and demonstrating mastery of content. For example, students would have options in demonstrating mastery of content that might include a written reflection, doing an oral presentation or creating a poster. Teachers use the data from these assessments to reflect on student growth and on the efficacy of the unit design and implementation. Rubrics and checklists are some of the tools that are used to measure mastery on projects. These tools are developed with student input and are shared with students when the assessment is assigned.
District Assessments: District Benchmark Assessments In English Language Arts and Math are given three times throughout the school year. These district designed assessments are aligned with the MDUSD Priority standards. The data from these assessments are used by grade-level teams to determine instructional next steps.
State Assessments: State Assessments are given to students in grades third through fifth. The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) is a state assessment given in the spring. The CAASPP focuses on Math and English Language Arts. In fifth grade students also take the Science portion of the CAASPP state assessment and participate in a physical fitness test. The data from state assessments are used to reflect on instructional design and efficacy.