Assessment

Students are continually gauging their progress

Students are assessed throughout their learning to identify areas for support or additional challenge

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 you 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.

Communicating Student Learning with Parents

Our primary goal is to ensure that there is ongoing, regular communication about how your child is progressing throughout their learning.

Homeroom Advisors will connect with parents at the start of the school year and then throughout the year, when necessary, to communicate student progress and concerns. Houseparents report at regular intervals on the progress of boarding students. At the discretion of the Director of Senior School, a specific update on student progress may be provided with specific action items to address.

Although there is a regular schedule of formal communication of student learning, parents are welcome to contact their child’s teacher at any time to discuss any issues that arise.

Student-Teacher-Parent (STeP) Conferences

In mid-September, we host an evening for parents of Grade 9 students and other students who are new to the Senior School. The first formal STeP Conferences generally occur in late-November or early December. A second series of meetings is scheduled in early March.

If you are the parent of a boarding student and are unable to attend the scheduled evenings, you are welcome to contact the Director of Senior School's assistant for alternative arrangements to meet your child's teachers.