Assessment and Reporting

Assessment

At SMUS, assessment serves many purposes beyond generating a report card or a final grade. It might be used at the beginning of a unit of study to gauge what students already know. It might be used in the middle of a unit, to look for gaps in understanding. And, of course, assessment can be used in what educators call a summative way: at the end of a unit of study to measure student proficiency or achievement.

Outcomes-Based Assessment

SMUS assessment in all forms is tied to British Columbia Ministry of Education standards, which are known as prescribed learning outcomes. Prescribed learning outcomes make it clear what students are expected to know and be able to do at each grade level and in each subject. When we assess students, we are measuring them against these standards; not against one another. And if one assessment method does not reflect student learning, we might use a different method. This outcomes-based and differentiated approach clarifies what we expect students to know, allows them to demonstrate their learning in a way that works for them, and allows our teachers to focus on each learner as an individual.

Reports

Junior School reports include detailed achievement information for each term's major curricular outcomes. For example, in Grade 5 Math, one of the six individual outcomes reported is “applies appropriate strategies when solving word problems.” This additional detail will allow students, teachers and parents to focus on both areas of strength and weakness within a course to foster more successful learning.

Reports also include details on students' learning behaviour and habits, such as the ability to manage time and materials effectively, and the frequency and level at which a student interacts with others.

Reports are issued three times a year at the end of each term: in December, March and June. Parents also have the opportunity to meet teachers and find out more about their child’s progress during scheduled parent-teacher conferences in October and January, and at student-led conferences in the second or third term, depending on grade.