• SMS Assessment and Grading

    Posted by Chelsea Drey on 10/11/2022

    Sinagua Middle School Assessment and Grading

    3950 E. Butler Avenue, Flagstaff, AZ  86004 | Phone:  (928) 527-5500 | Fax:  (928) 527-5561


    Dear Sinagua Middle School Parents and Guardians,

    Here at Sinagua Middle School, we believe that assessment is integral to both teaching and learning. We also recognize that as we are now an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, we are bound by certain standards and practices. Assessment and grading in an IB school require that “attention (is given) to the most accurate demonstration of student performance, rather than mechanically and uncritically averaging achievement levels over given reporting periods” (IBO). We also must look at the “assessment of student understanding at the end of a course, based on the whole course and not individual components of it” (IBO).

    “To determine the final achievement level in each of the criteria for each student, whether at the end of a marking period or the end of a year, teachers must gather sufficient evidence from a range of assessment tasks to enable them to make a professional and informed judgment. All units include summative tasks that are assessed according to one or more MYP criteria to ensure continuous assessment and feedback of students’ performance against the MYP objectives. The planning of units and assessment tasks should ensure all criteria have been included over time, providing balanced evidence that is sufficient for determining a final achievement level” (IBO).

    As we entered the 2022-2023 school year, a change to the grade book set-up was made to ensure that we were adhering to the goals and purpose of assessment in the International Baccalaureate. This change to the last grade is intended to allow for student growth without holding a student hostage to a prior lower-performing score in alignment with the aims of the IB assessment model. That being said, teachers are encouraged to take a holistic view of the student's performance on all summative assessments and if needed, make a professional judgment of the student's performance at the time of the progress or term reports. When you do see a grade reported, please reference the attached grade descriptors to see a description of how your student is performing in their classes.

    This system is growing and developing along with Sinagua as we continue to learn and reflect on how best to implement the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme.

    We encourage interested parents to join us for an SMS Grading Information and Q&A Night on Thursday, November 3rd from 6:00 to 7:00 PM in the SMS Commons.


    Chelsea Drey
    IB Coordinator
    Sinagua Middle School 

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