DISTRICT ASSESSMENT OF STUDENTS AND PROGRAMS
1.0 ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
A. DISTRICT-WIDE ACHIEVEMENT TESTING
- The Curriculum Department is responsible for the District-wide, periodic, systematic assessment of achievement.
- Annually, the Curriculum Department, in consultation with school personnel, shall determine the subject areas to be assessed during the succeeding school year.
- The Curriculum Department shall appoint achievement testing management committees comprised of teachers, administrators, trustees and parents to establish the guidelines and procedures for the direction and interpretation of the assessment.
- The achievement tests shall determine the students’ mastery of basic or essential skills.
- The results of the assessment shall be reported as follows:
- District results shall be reported to the Board of School Trustees and to each school zone Assistant Superintendent.
- Individual school results shall be reported to the respective schools and to the appropriate zone Assistant Superintendent.
- Classroom results shall be reported to the respective schools.
- Upon completion of the interpretation of results, the management committee shall report to the Director of Instruction (Curriculum) with recommendations for the improvement of curricula.
- Each school principal shall be responsible for filing with the Director of Instruction (Curriculum), and the appropriate zone Assistant Superintendent, within six months of receiving the achievement testing reports, a summary of the measures undertaken to improve and/or maintain the instructional process in the subject area assessed.
B. SCHOOL BASED ASSESSMENT
- The principal, in consultation with the professional staff, is responsible for the development of a school policy on the assessment and reporting of student achievement. This policy is to be consistent with provincial guidelines and District regulations and is to be filed in the school with a copy sent to the zone Assistant Superintendent.
- The school policy shall include:
a) The purposes of the school assessment of student. Such purposes should include the following:
- placing of students at the appropriate level of instruction
- monitoring instructional programs
- assessing student achievement
- screening student placement, grade by grade
- diagnosing special student needs
- obtaining data for reporting student progress and achievement
b) The methods by which the data will be collected should include the following:
- the use of standardized and diagnostic tests
- the use of teacher made tests
- the use of anecdotal records and personal observations
- the use of classroom assignments
- checklists and rating scales
c) The manner in which the results will be reported to students and parents/guardians
d) The procedure by which any student may appeal a final standing.
- Each principal shall be responsible for ensuring that the objectives and content of programs are defined and that the methods used to arrive at student grades are fair and just.
- Each principal shall ensure that the methods used to determine student grades are made known to both students and parents.
- Each principal shall have on record a complete summary of all final standings awarded to students.
- Each school is responsible for the implementation of a screening and diagnostic program that will:
- use District screening and diagnostic resources
- consider the total growth and development of the child
- identify those children who require learning assistance or enrichment
- serve as a basis for individualizing instruction, ensuring articulation between “feeder” and “receiving” schools regarding strengths and weaknesses of individual students.
II. DIAGNOSTIC ASSESSMENT FOR EXCEPTIONAL STUDENTS
A. DEFINITION AND PURPOSE
- Definition: Diagnostic Assessment is the process of determining a student’s characteristics. It covers functioning of an education, sociological, physiological and psychological nature and pertains to the assessments provided for students seen by members of the Zone Support Services Team.
- Purpose: The purpose of the diagnostic assessment is to identify and describe, in a written report, the child’s strengths and weaknesses in the above areas and to recommend strategies to meet the child’s needs.
B. THE DIAGNOSTIC EVALUATION
- All students identified, screened and referred and found to be in need of a full assessment, will receive a multidisciplinary diagnostic evaluation and a comprehensive staffing to determine their individualized needs for special programming. In the evaluation process:
- a child will receive tests appropriate to the degree and type of the presenting problem
- the tests administered will be as free of discrimination as possible, considering the population upon which they were standardized and the population to which they are administered
- the tests, whenever possible, will be administered in the child’s primary language
- the tests will be administered only by personnel qualified to do so
- Any diagnostic procedure from the Assessment Team will assure, in advance, that:
- the diagnostic procedure will be explained to the parents in both oral and written form in their primary language where possible
- the parents will provide written permission for a diagnostic evaluation before any psychological testing takes place.
- parental communication will take place with a surrogate parent/guardian, if parents are unavailable
- transportation necessary to secure testing will be made available
- parents will be notified of the diagnostic findings and will be involved before final decisions are made regarding services to be received by the child
- the child may be involved in the decision making process when appropriate
- the assessment information will be confidential and released only to the parents and the child (when appropriate), authorized educational personnel, and other agencies when written parental permission has been obtained.
- the parents will have the right and option to seek a third party, independent evaluation
- procedures will be developed and will be followed when parental permission is denied.
- The Diagnostic evaluation will encompass the administration of appropriate tests based on the Referral Form and any other screening or observational material provided by the Principal of the school which has made the referral. These tests may include, but not be limited to:
- administration of educational tests to determine strengths and weaknesses and learning style including:
- sensory and gross motor testing to determine perceptual motor development and sensory integration
- psycho-linguistic tests to measure the level of development in the various language functions
- developmental assessment to determine the sequence and achievement of maturational levels as appropriate
- speech – articulation, fluency and voice
- achievement tests to determine current levels of academic performance
- vocational interest and ability inventories
- testing of mental abilities where it would be a valuable addition to the child’s profile of strengths and weaknesses
- further psychological testing as indicated by clinical observation or by type and severity of handicap
- audiological evaluation
- visual screening
- administration of educational tests to determine strengths and weaknesses and learning style including:
C. ANALYSIS OF DATA
If more than one individual has been involved in the assessment of the child, a multidisciplinary staffing will be used to analyze and interpret all of the diagnostic material and to develop a comprehensive written report for educational placement and instructional services for the assessment committee.
- Accumulated data to be analyzed for inclusion in the report will include:
- statement of referral problem
- review of the diagnostic evaluation findings
- report from the parent, child and significant others having previous contact with the child
- an evaluation of the child’s current academic progress including a statement of the child’s learning style and sources of reinforcement and reward.
- The written report will reflect recommendations for educational placement and instructional services.
- The report will be forwarded to the assessment placement committee.
III. ASSESSMENT OF APTITUDES AND INTERESTS
Assessment of aptitudes and interests is conducted by professionals for the purpose of obtaining information about a student’s aptitudes and interests. These assessments can be done on an individual or group basis, with the assessment findings being used by educational practitioners, students and parents/guardians as an aid in career planning.
- The professional personnel will use only assessment instruments appropriate to the age, grade and reading level of the student population to be tested.
- While most aptitude and interest assessment can be effectively administered in a group, adequate precautions will be taken to make sure the testing situation conforms with the requirements laid out in the assessment instrument’s administration manual. Where individual testing is to be undertaken, prior parental consent will be obtained.
- The assessment of aptitudes and interest by standardized tests and inventories will be administered only by professional personnel deemed to be qualified to administer, score and interpret that specific test or inventory.
- The administering professional personnel must ensure that the assessment results are interpreted accurately to the student, parent/guardian or other people with whom the assessment results are interpreted and that they or other people with whom the assessment results are interpreted will be fully advised of the variables that can affect the aptitude or interest assessment process.
- The results of the assessment will be considered confidential between the student, parent/guardian, teacher and other qualified professionals directly concerned with that student and will not be shared with other students or teachers without prior consent.
IV. SCHOOL ACCREDITATION AND PROGRAM EVALUATION
The primary purpose for the evaluation of school programs and practices is to ensure the ongoing revision and improvement of the educational programs, resources and services provided by the schools in the Greater Victoria School District. The evaluation should be a formal process structured according to the guidelines established for each level of evaluation.
- All senior secondary school programs and practices shall be evaluated every six years using the format, procedures and schedule established by the Ministry for accreditation purposes.
- All junior secondary school programs and practices shall be evaluated every six years using the Greater Victoria School District’s Junior Secondary School Evaluation Guidelines. External review teams shall be utilized.
- All elementary school programs and practices shall be evaluated every six years using either Greater Victoria School District or the Ministry of Education’s Elementary School Self-Assessment Book. External review teams shall be established by the school’s zone Assistant Superintendent in consultation with the principal and staff.
- To facilitate schools in conducting program evaluation activities, provision shall be made in the annual budget for staffing, in-service and other expenditures related to the evaluation.
- The Board of School Trustees shall be advised of the completion of all school accreditations and school self-assessment reports. Where the Board requests a review of a report, the review shall take place at an in camera meeting of the Committee of the Whole Board.
In addition, a summary of the detailed evaluation report will be presented at a regular meeting of the Board.
- Implementation of the recommendations contained in the reports shall be the responsibility of the principal who will prepare an implementation plan in accordance with established procedures for submission to the appropriate zone Assistant Superintendent who shall monitor the follow-up plan.
Greater Victoria School District
- Approved: January 31, 1983
- Revised: September 26, 1988