March 8, 2019
RE: Trimester III Preparations in Process
“Assessment is the process of gathering data. More specifically, assessment is the ways instructors gather data about their teaching and their students’ learning.”
(Hanna & Dettmer, 2004)
This is a new quote that I recently discovered during the Directors’ conference, at the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE), that I attended last month.
It truly demonstrates how quality evaluation can enhance a student’s overall educational experience, while providing teachers with the information they need to best assist your students’ learning.
Here at the American International School of Monrovia, assessment is fundamental to improving student learning. It is the systematic collection of information about student learning, and the use of that information to create a continuing cycle of improved teaching and learning. This process allows educators to gather information that reflects levels of student achievement, and to give effective feedback to students regarding their learning.
The primary objectives of assessment at the American International School of Monrovia are to:
- Improve student learning
- Inform instruction
- Provide a tool for communication of student progress
To that end, in order to ensure that all students receive an opportunity to learn, and to meet their diverse needs, a variety of assessment strategies/tools, that include as many “active learning” techniques as possible, are used to meet our students “where they are at”, based on their:
- Learning styles
- Cultural backgrounds and interests
- Prior Learning experiences
- Achievements and areas for improvement
To achieve these assessment goals, the American International School of Monrovia uses both internal and external assessments.
Internal Assessments at AISM include:
We provide our students with the MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) assessment to determine their instructional levels, and to measure academic growth throughout the school year, and from year to year, in the areas of Reading, and Math, along with Science (grades 3-9).
MAP is an external exam given to students prior to the start of each trimester to:
- Inform instruction
- Measure student growth in the academic areas
- To help teachers address strengths and weaknesses with individual students.
MAP tests are unique in that they adapt to be appropriate for your child’s level of learning. As a result, each student has the same opportunity to succeed and maintain a positive attitude toward testing. And with MAP tests, we can administer shorter tests and use less class time while still receiving detailed, accurate information about your child’s growth.
Our focus is on every child’s individual growth and achievement. Partnering to help all kids learn, parents and teachers can have a profound positive effect on the lives of our children. AISM is committed to continual school improvement by finding tools to assist teachers in achieving mastery in the classroom.
In addition to receiving your external MAP results, which will highlight your students’ growth over the last 13 weeks, on Tuesday, you will also receive by Jupiter, our school’s Trimester II report cards at 5:00pm.
These trimester report cards are an Internal Assessment that reflects growth inside each classroom at the American International School of Monrovia:
EYP/ECE III: The report reflects three areas of growth: intellectual, social and emotional.
Grades 1 – 4: The report is an attempt to individualize the reporting so that it reflects the child’s progress in relation to individual ability and effort.
Marks* used are:
- “Above grade level”
- “At grade level”
- “Below grade level”
- “Needs improvement”
*Please note that these are “criteria-based” and vary based on student erformance.
Grades 5 and higher: Students receive academic grades depending on the individual subject areas:
Next Tuesday, on March 12th, when the Trimester II concludes, we will be sending home, with your students’, the external MAP test results, at 3:30p.m, and at 5:00, we will publish the internal Trimester II report cards on Jupiter.
AISM uses the Jupiter Ed online Portal to help keep our parents informed about their child’s progress. Both students and parents can login anytime to check current grades, homework, missing assignments, test scores, report cards (end of trimesters), and to contact teachers.
For community members joining our program this year, I just want to send a quick reminder that these internal and external assessments are best practice and provide us with detailed information to help personalize our education to best meet each student’s needs.
The goal is to avoid this:
Parents who wish to discuss their students’ academic journey are encourage to contact their teachers directly to schedule an appointment. This will allow us to ensure that we are all working together for student academic growth and success.
Best wishes for a relaxing and enjoyable weekend. We will see you on Monday and Tuesday next week to conclude our second Trimester.