Puente de Hózhó Bilingual Magnet School Assessment Policy 2020/2021
Puente de Hózhó's Vision and Mission
Is to build a “bridge of beauty” between speakers and learners of Diné (Navajo), Spanish, and English and empower children to be multicultural and multilingual stewards of the world. Our mission is to provide an educational environment where students can pursue the following goals:
Academic excellence: Students will meet or exceed state, national, and international academic standards.
Bilingualism: Students will become proficient speakers, readers, and writers of Spanish, Diné, and English.
Culture: Students will affirm their cultural identity, explore other cultures and cultural issues, and develop a multicultural and pluralistic vision of the world.
Diversity: Students will experience the power and beauty of diversity and recognize its potential to enrich, enlighten, and ameliorate classrooms, communities, and the world around them.
Our school community believes that educational inequity, in general, is solvable, have a grounded understanding of how to solve it, and believe that solving it is of critical importance via meaningful teaching and learning. We bring strong leadership to all levels of the school in addressing the extra challenges facing children in all communities, low-income and otherwise, and fundamentally change the prevailing ideology around the potential of all children. We ground ourselves in the big picture in order to ensure that, as we work to achieve our mission and vision into the necessary components and measurements of student success, we never lose sight of the real outcomes we’re collectively driving toward - building a “bridge of beauty” between speakers and learners of Diné, Spanish, and English and empowering children to be multicultural and multilingual stewards of their world. Our school mission and vision collectively make up our north star and motivate our best thinking and most purposeful action.
IBO Mission Statement
The International Baccalaureate Organization aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end, the IBO works with schools, governments, and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
What is Assessment?
IBO Primary Year Program Definition: Assessment is the gathering and analysis of information about student performance. It identifies what students know, understand, can do and feel at various stages in the learning process. It is how we analyze student learning and the effectiveness of our teaching and acts as a foundation on which to base our future planning and practice. It is central to our goal of guiding the child, from novice to expert, through the learning process. (Primary Years Program Assessment Handbook, January 2000. © International Baccalaureate Organization)
Statement of Purpose
Assessment is an integral component of teaching and learning. Assessment is not an isolated event; it is both about the measurement of performance at a given point in time and an ongoing process of gaining information to promote future learning. We believe that this process should be thorough, manageable and relevant. Assessments provide vital feedback and are most effective when children are fully involved. Assessment procedures engage students; they do not happen to students.
Our objective is to focus on the specifications of the Primary Years Program as notably mentioned and dictated in the IB (International Baccalaureate) documents. The purpose of assessment at PdH is to keep a pulse on student learning and improve instructional practices. The evidence of knowledge will be used to give recognition and timely feedback to the learners and all other stakeholders. Assessments reflect best practices that support the learners’ and the teachers’ in the advancement of student learning.
Assessment is complex, diverse, intentional and sophisticated in the application and often subjective so, we frequently collaborate, to agree on and construct a detailed and efficient assessment policy where criteria are met, assessment strategies and tools are varied, and reporting becomes an essential tool for students, parents, and teachers. We comply with the guidelines set by the Arizona State Board of Education, which includes the use of standardized report cards issued twice a year.
Our educational approach focuses on holistic development which nurtures the psychological, social, and emotional needs of every student. We appreciate and honor the unique abilities of every child. PdH is committed to sustaining the academic success of every student through the implementation of innovative instruction based on solid pedagogy. As a candidate of an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, we align with the IB’s mission and their IB Learner Profile.
Objectives of Assessment
The goal of assessment is to provide a supportive and positive mechanism to improve student learning and teacher pedagogy and contribute to the efficacy of the program. Assessments provide information to parents, teachers, and stakeholders regarding the students’ learning. Assessment is planned at the beginning of the unit plan and formulates connections between the assessment tasks and the central idea, lines of inquiry, key concepts, teacher and student questions, and learning activities.
At Puente de Hózhó, we believe intentional and useful assessment will guide students through the approaches to learning:
- the acquisition of knowledge
- the understanding of concepts
- the mastering of skills
- the development of attitudes
- the decision to practice learner agency; voice, choice and ownership
Practical assessment for students addresses:
- The understanding of the (big) Central Idea
- The learner profile and the approaches to learning (knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes, and agency).
- Students’ as active participants in the learning process through reflection and demonstration of their understanding.
- Students’ strengths demonstrate mastery and expertise.
- Analyzing and understanding student’s learning and areas of improvement.
- Student involvement in the building of assessment activities and tools, such as rubrics.
- Students’ who are responsible for their learning will excel when challenged.
- Peer and self-assess and identify individual strengths
- See the progress they have made
- Identify goals for reaching expectations
- Understand where further development is needed
- Accept and reflect on feedback about their learning
- Encourages the personal pursuit of excellence
- Mastery of transdisciplinary skills
Effective assessment for teachers addresses:
An awareness of the assessment policy practiced and the commitment to understand and develop appropriate assessment criteria.
- Inclusion of peer and self-assessment where applicable.
- Identify differentiation needs to guide instructional practice
- To enhance students’ learning and development, while supporting their learning needs.
- Enlightenment throughout the teaching and learning process
- Identify next steps to guide inquiry
- Determines expectations and outcomes for student and teacher lead inquiry
- Collection of data, both quantitative and qualitative to advise students, teachers, grade levels, school, and community
- Collaborate and reflect on best teaching practices for student performance and progress
- Assess student understanding to real-life situations across disciplines
Assessment encourages parents to:
∙ Track their student’s performance and progress
∙ Celebrate and participate in the learning process
∙ Recognize the objectives teachers have for their student
To provide transparency of curriculum
Effective assessment for stakeholders:
- The standards set by the IBO.
- Verification of teaching objectives to learning outcomes.
- Assessment tools determine the effectiveness of unit inquiry.
- Developing a community of teachers and learners striving for excellence.
Types of Assessments: How we identify what students know and have learned.
Pre-Assessment – Before the beginning of every unit of inquiry, teachers will assess children’s prior knowledge and experience to identify their background knowledge
Formative Assessment - Formative assessments are interwoven with daily learning, both formal and informal, and helps teachers and students discover what student’s prior knowledge to plan further steps on teaching and learning. Formative assessment and instruction are directly linked; neither can function effectively or purposefully without the other. Teachers will design at least three formative tasks with pre designed rubrics for each unit of inquiry.
Feed Forward a new Form of Assessment - Feed forward type of assessments offers constructive guidance to students on how they can do better on subsequent assessments. It is a combination of both feedback and feed forward that helps ensure an assessment has a developmental impact on learning. Feed forward clarifies expectations in advance, including what good performance is. This process leads to change, engaging students in the learning process and improving grades. This is used to identify a student’s difficulties and is addressed before an assessment takes place.
Summative Assessment - Summative assessments are administered at the end of units and are formulated so that students can exhibit their acquired knowledge in a well-founded context. The PYP promotes the use of school-wide assessment and feedback techniques. Summative assessments are designed using a variety of methods that may include tests, benchmarks, lab reports, essays, presentations, projects, portfolios, etc.
Performance Assessments -The assessments have established criteria that are goal-designed. These tasks provide authentic and significant challenges.
Assessment is based on performance during:
- Response to challenges
The students’ trans-disciplinary and other skills are observed and recorded by noting the typical as well as nontypical behaviors. Collating many observations enhances reliability, and synthesizes evidence from different contexts increasing validity. A system of digital note taking and record keeping minimizes the amount of writing.
Assessment of process-focused assignments focus on:
- Project work
- Transdisciplinary skills
- Typical and non-typical behaviors
- Behaviors over time (i.e., multiple observations)
- Practices in different contexts, with a synthesis of evidence
- Research effectiveness
Selected Response Assessment
Tests and quizzes are examples of one-dimensional exercises.
Some examples are:
- Oral Test performance
- Quiz responses
- Written test performance
An assessment used bi-weekly to monitor the growth in students who are not at grade level. It is used to determine a student’s responsiveness to instruction, and to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching in Tier I settings. Students who are struggling to make the expected progress, are given interventions determined, implemented and reviewed for efficiency. The chosen intervention depends on the student's strengths, needs, and specific skill. Interventions can vary in level of intensity; Tier II interventions are provided to small groups of 5-8 students, and Tier III interventions are provided for 1-3 students at a time. Tier III interventions are the most intense and are reserved for students who have a substantial gap in their learning.
An exhibition is a production of culminating efforts that demonstrate the understanding of the five essential elements. Students are challenged to take responsibility for the design, organization, and successful completion of an in-depth investigative project. They design an action plan to create awareness or problem solve ways to improve the issue they investigated.
Reflection - Reflections and observations by both students and teachers are documented and exhibit the evolution of the IB Attitudes and Learner Profile.
Evaluation – Evaluation is the process of analyzing student progress and the effectiveness of a program based on sufficient assessment information.
Learner Agency – Learner Agency is the students’ voice, choice, and ownership of learning and is deemed the most significant assessment of the efficacy of the program.
Recording and Analyzing the Data
∙ Anecdotal notes are taken during all classroom activities to provide feedback to students
∙ Teachers utilize “quick check” strategies to monitor student understanding
∙ AIMsweb Plus (3 times/yr.)
∙ Synergy Quest (4 times/yr.) in ELA and Math
∙ ENIL (Estructura para la Evaluación del nivel independiente de lectura/Independent leveled evaluation in reading)
● DOLPA Diné Oral Language Proficiency Assessment
● IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment)
∙ AzMerit State Standardized Test
● AAPPL Assessment of Performance Toward Proficiency in Languages
● IPT-Oral IDEA Oral Language Test (Spanish)
● AZELLA Arizona English Language Learner Assessment
Performance Assessments and Rubrics
∙ Summative Assessments identified in PYP planners
∙ Rubrics centered around the assessments
∙ Digital documentation of student learning in all disciplines
∙ Student-led conferences
∙ Open house and parent/teacher meetings
∙ Ongoing student reflection
∙ Unit reflection by grade-level and language teachers
∙ Summative assessment
∙ Observation of learner agency
∙ Representation of the application of the Five Elements of the PYP Program
● Culminating exhibition by 5th-grade students
Analysis of Assessment
- Teacher teams meet weekly to review data and look at student learning and growth. The data and discussions inform and shape future instruction, determine the need for interventions, and facilitate appropriate student placement.
- Assessment practices are regularly reviewed with the standards and practices of the International Baccalaureate at the center.
Reporting on assessment includes communicating which essential elements the students have mastered. Reporting involves all stakeholders and is a partnership that is honest, comprehensive and understandable to all parties. The assessment information is formally shared with parents twice a year in the student’s standards report. Parent/teacher conferences are held in October and March and parents are invited to attend Open House. A more comprehensive report is given to parents at the end of the school year. This report covers both academic, social and behavioral progress. Copies of the end of year reports are filed in the student’s cum folder.
In the final year of their PYP education, fifth-grade students demonstrate the mastery of the five essential elements through an extended, collaborative inquiry into a local or global issue. This process is called the PYP Exhibition. One purpose of participating in the PYP Exhibition is to provide a forum for student-driven reporting. Other essential purposes include the following:
- For students to engage and report on a comprehensive, collaborative inquiry
- Offers students the chance to demonstrate independence and responsibility for their learning
- Allows students an opportunity to explore multiple perspectives of their topics
- Will enable students to synthesize and reflect on their education from their earlier years to present
- Provides a genuine measure to assess student understanding
- Provides an enriching experience uniting all stakeholders and members of the community.
- Allows for the celebration and the transition of learners from the PYP to the MYP as they continue their exemplary journey in education.
This policy is designed to provide a whole school approach to record keeping and assessment, which is an essential factor in planning. Assessment, recording and reporting success cannot be used in isolation. There is a clear connection between the evaluation and recording of progress and the use of this information to inform staff and parents to raise standards.
Reviewing a Language Policy, 2018
Learning in a language other than the mother tongue in IB programmes, 2008
Language and learning in IB programmes, 2014, ©International Baccalaureate Organization.
Language Scope and Sequence, 2018, International Baccalaureate Organization
Guidelines for developing a school language policy, by IBO, 2008
Guidelines for school self-reflection on its language policy, 2012
Developing academic literacy in IB programmes, 2014
Revised Sept. 2020