Assessment is a vital tool teachers use to determine the level of understanding a student has and to develop programming that meets the learning needs of each student. Not all assessments are designed to provide the same kind of information. They all serve a different purpose, even when evaluating the same students in the same subject. The first and likely most familiar of the assessments is referred to as assessment “OF” learning, which is a summative assessment. This assessment is done after all instruction in a topic is finished and allows teachers to determine the students’ capabilities. The next two types of assessment do not take place at the end of the instruction time, but rather during it. Assessment “FOR” learning, often referred to as formative assessment, happens during the learning. Teachers use the assessment activity to check for student understanding and to adjust their teaching to meet the needs of the student. Formative assessment also provides timely feedback to the student about their own learning so that they can make any needed changes to what they are doing. The third kind of assessment is called assessment “AS” learning. This kind of assessment develops students’ metacognition or self-awareness about what they do and do not know. The purpose of this kind of assessment is to teach students how to monitor their own learning and to evaluate if a learning strategy is working for them or not. At Regina Christian School we use assessment to help our students develop into the best they can be, and to learn how to be active participants in their own learning.
At Regina Christian School assessment is a continual process that happens in every classroom, by every teacher and as professionals they are trained to make the best decisions for each student based on these assessments. While most assessments that a student receives will have been designed and planned for by their classroom teacher there are some common assessments that are done each year at the school to provide, not just the teacher with information, but to also provide a larger team of content experts with information so that they can provide support to the teacher in making decisions on how to best help each student.
The following information outlines and explains the formal assessments conducted throughout a student’s education at RCS:
The Early Years Evaluation (EYE) – Provincial Assessment
In kindergarten RCS conducts a provincial assessment called the Early Years Evaluation or EYE. The EYE assesses 5 areas of student development (awareness of self and environment, social skills and approaches to learning, cognitive skills, language and communication, physical development). This assessment is both formative and summative and is done once in November to help the teachers inform their practices and again in May, as a final assessment.
Oral Reading Record (ORR) – Division Assessment
In grade 1 students participate in an Oral Reading Record, ORR, assessment. The ORR assesses a student’s reading level so that teachers can plan instruction for them accordingly. Students are assessed with the ORR in the fall and spring. In the fall teachers use the results to inform and individualize instruction. In the spring it is used as a final assessment.
Fountas and Pinnell Reading (F&P) – School and Division Assessment
Each fall grades 2 to 8 teachers conduct the Fountas and Pinnell Reading Benchmark to assess each student’s reading level against grade level benchmarks. The results inform the teacher’s practice and allow them to individualize programs. Students are tracked and monitored. Students performing below grade level are reassessed in the spring to measure growth and to offer parental guidance for possible summer reading programs.
Compose and Create Writing Outcomes – Provincial Assessment
In the spring grades 4, 7, and 9 teachers report the students’ writing levels provincially. The report includes the year’s formative and summative assessments for a writing outcome from the provincial curriculum.
Number Sense Outcomes – School and Provincial Assessment
In the spring grades 5 and 8 teachers report the students’ numeracy ability provincially. The report includes the year’s formative and summative assessments for 3 number sense outcomes from the curriculum.
In addition to the provincial assessment, Regina Christian School assesses all students grade 1-8 with a school based number sense assessment tool in the fall and spring to measure student growth and program efficiency.
OurSchool Student Perception Survey – Provincial Assessment
In grades 4 through 12, Regina Christian School participates in a perceptual assessment survey called OurSchool. This survey measures students’ perceptions of many facets of the school such as belonging, teacher advocacy, bullying, mental health, etc. This information is used at the school level to make programming adjustments and to meet student needs. This assessment is completed in the fall and may be followed up with a spring re-assessment based on goals set through our school’s learning improvement plan.
Canadian Achievement Test (CAT IV) – Reading, Vocabulary and Mathematics – National Assessment
Regina Christian School administers Canadian Achievement Tests in the fall in grade 6 and in the spring in grades 9 and 12. We use the information from these assessments to inform individualized student programming and to evaluate our current practices within our academic programming.
Canadian Achievement Test (CAT) – Writing – National Assessment
Regina Christian School administers Canadian Achievement Tests – Writing in the spring to grades 4, 8 and 10. This assessment not only informs individualized student programming and overall academic programming, but also provides RCS with a comparative view of our data in relation to other schools of a similar demographic.
Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) – International Assessment
When selected, Regina Christian School participates in the Programme for International Student Assessment. This is a triennial international assessment which measures the skills and knowledge of 15 year old students. Over 72 countries participate in the assessment and the content measured focusses on science, mathematics, reading, collaborative problem solving and financial literacy.
All assessments conducted at Regina Christian are used by the classroom teachers to inform practices, and to meet student needs. They are also used by a content specialist team within the school and the administration to develop a school wide learning improvement plan that monitors the efficacy of our school’s programming and helps the teachers best meet the learning needs of each student.