Assessment Policy

Purpose of Assessment 
Assessment is instrumental to learning. It helps give students feedback on the learning process. Assessment helps inform, enhance and modify the teaching process. It supports development of the whole child. Great assessments promote a positive student attitude toward learning by utilizing creative and critical thinking.
Assessment Criteria 
As an IB school, every teacher must assess specific subject group criteria listed below using a variety of summative assessments at least twice during the year. These criteria represent the use of knowledge, understanding and skills which must be taught. They are summarized below and the complete MYP standards and strands year 1 (6th grade) to year 3 (8th grade) are posted here: IB MYP Assessment Objectives and Strands.
Subject Criterion A Criterion B Criterion C Criterion D
Arts  Knowing and Understanding Developing skills Thinking creatively Responding
Design                                       Inquiring and analysing Developing ideas Creating the solution Evaluating
Individuals and societies  Knowing and Understanding Investigating Communicating Thinking critically
Language acquisition  Listening Reading Speaking Writing
Language and literature  Analysing Organizing Producing text Using language
Mathematics Knowing and Understanding Investigating patterns Communicating Applying mathematics in real-life contexts
Physical and health education Knowing and Understanding Planning for Performance Applying and Performing Reflecting and improving performance
Sciences Knowing and Understanding Inquiring and Designing Processing and evaluating Reflecting on the impacts of science
Interdisciplinary Disciplinary Grounding Synthesizing Communicating Reflecting
Community Project Investigating Planning Taking Action Reflecting
Summative Assessment
Assessment of learning (it determines grades). These are performances or tasks directly linked to the statement of inquiry that demonstrate student understanding of IB subject criteria. They are based on the theory that understanding is not something we have—like a set of facts we possess—but rather is something we can do. The MYP uses the term “performance” in its widest sense to describe all forms of assessment. Types of summative assessments may include: Compositions, creation of solutions to problems or products, essays, examinations, questionnaires, investigations, research, performances and presentations. To ensure depth and complexity of a summative task teachers often use the GRASPS model (Goal, Role, Audience, Situation, Product, Standards). Using this model creates exciting, real-world assessments.
Formative Assessment
Assessment for learning (not for grading). This should be done before and during learning. Effective formative assessment can help personalize learning and provide opportunities for students to refine or rehearse performances for summative assessments. Peer and self-assessment are powerful tools for learning. These formative assessments, checks for understanding, should take place every class period. Examples of effective formative assessments include: 1-minute essay, Google forms, 1-sentence summary, exit tickets, hand signals, quick write, think-pair-share, peer interviews, analogy prompt or 1-word summary.
Differentiation
Modifying teaching strategies to meet diverse learning needs. Allow students to pursue appropriate and personal learning goals. Consider each student’s language profile. Apply these principles: 1) Affirming identity and building self-esteem, 2) Valuing prior-knowledge, 3) Scaffolding (supports), 4) Extending learning. Differentiate in terms of content, process and product. By content: What should students know?By process: What activities will help students make sense of the knowledge, skills and understanding? By product: What tasks will provide evidence of what the student knows, understands and is able to do?
Task-Specific Clarifications
MYP publishes assessment criteria in rubric form that is holistic, in that they offer general, qualitative value statements about student achievement. Furthermore, these rubrics area created with specific command terms that have the same definitions across subjects and grade levels, the command terms are posted here. Task-specific clarifications require teachers to redraft the value statements in a rubric in terms of specific assessments. It should be completed at the beginning of each unit.
Inappropriate Grading Practices
MYP is a challenge to traditional grading practices. Determining grades by giving a proportion to classwork, homework and tests is inappropriate. Determining grades by averaging all summative assessments in a criterion is inappropriate. Using a single piece of evidence to determine a final grade is inappropriate.
Determining Grades
MYP reports of student achievement should communicate the student’s achievement level for each assessment criteria. It allows students and parents to know how students are performing on each objective. Teachers analyze student summative scores paying attention to patterns in the data, including increasing performance, consistency and mitigating circumstances to determine the student’s final achievement level. In the two examples below, determining a final score by looking at patterns gives a better sense of what a student understands at the end of the grading period rather than simply averaging. Since formatives don’t count toward the final grade, students aren’t penalized for not scoring well while they are learning.
Student Formative* Homework Max 8 Formative* Quiz
Max 8
Formative* Exit-ticket Max 8 Criterion A
Unit Test
Max 8
Criterion A Project Max 8 Criterion A DBQ
Max 8
Criterion Slide-deck
Max 8
Criterion A Essay  Max 8 Final score Criterion A Max 8
Sophia 8 3 4 5 5 6 8 8 8
Jose 1 1 2 1 5 4 5 5 5
*Formative scores may be reported, but are not used in the determination of a final grade.
Grade Descriptors, Boundaries Equivalencies
To arrive at a criterion level total for each student, the student’s final achievement levels in all four criteria of the subject group are added together. In Synergy, it takes the mean of the criterion level totals that determines letter grades with equivalencies to adding the scores together as shown in the chart below.
Scale Mean Boundaries Alignment of Arlington Public School Grades with MYP Grade Descriptions
A 7.00-8.00 28-32 Produces high-quality, frequently innovative work. Communicates comprehensive, nuanced understanding of concepts and contexts. Consistently demonstrates sophisticated critical and creative thinking. Frequently transfers knowledge and skills with independence and expertise in a variety of complex classroom and real-world situations. Demonstrates significant growth in the subject area.
B+ 6.00-6.99 24-27 Produces high-quality, occasionally innovative work. Communicates extensive understanding of concepts and contexts. Demonstrates critical and creative thinking, frequently with sophistication. Uses knowledge and skills in familiar and unfamiliar classroom and real-world situations, often with independence. Demonstrates noticeable growth in the subject area.
B 4.75-5.99 19-23 Produces generally high-quality work. Communicates secure understanding of concepts and context. Demonstrates critical and creative thinking, sometimes with sophistication. Uses knowledge and skills in familiar classroom and real-world situations, and, with support, some unfamiliar real-world situations. Demonstrates noticeable growth in the subject area.
C+ 4.00-4.74 16-18 Produces good quality work. Communicates basic understanding of most concepts and contexts with few misunderstandings and minor gaps. Often demonstrates basic critical and creative thinking. Uses knowledge and skills with some flexibility in familiar classroom situations, but requires support in unfamiliar situations. Demonstrates some growth in the subject area.
C 2.50-3.99 10-15 Produces work of an acceptable quality. Communicates basic understanding of many concepts and context, with occasionally significant misunderstandings or gaps. Begins to demonstrate some basic critical and creative thinking. Is often inflexible in the use of knowledge and skills, requiring support even in familiar classrooms situations. Demonstrates some growth in the subject area.
D+ 2.00-2.49 8-9 Produce work of limited quality. Expresses misunderstandings or significant gaps in understanding for many concepts and context. Infrequently demonstrates critical or creative thinking. Generally inflexible in the use of knowledge and skills, infrequently applying knowledge and skills. Demonstrates marginal growth in the subject area.
D  1.50-1.99 6-7
E 0.00-1.49 1-5 Produces work of very limited quality. Conveys many significant misunderstandings or lacks understanding of most concepts and contexts. Rarely demonstrates critical or creative thinking. Very inflexible, rarely using knowledge and skills. Demonstrates inadequate growth in the subject area.
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