Measuring Student Achievement
As Catholic educators, our faith values play an important role in measuring the achievement of your child. Our assessment and evaluation practices recognize each student as an individual who, through God, possesses unique gifts and experiences. We always strive to maintain children’s self-worth and dignity and provide opportunities for hope.
Our teachers use a variety of methods to measure your child’s achievement. While the curriculum and standards set by the Ministry of Education form a consistent basis for evaluation, we recognize that there are many different ways that children learn, and demonstrate their learning.
It is important to look at the whole picture – what do students know, how do they think, what can they do, what can they produce, and are they developing our faith values? We take time to measure student achievement, not just by the final result, but also by the process students use to get there. That is why when we evaluate students we don't only look at “what” they have learned, we also consider “how” they have learned. One great benefit of this approach is that it helps teachers better understand the problem if a student is struggling in a certain area.
Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting
Keeping all of this in mind, how do teachers actually assess and evaluate student learning? In our schools, assessment and evaluation are about more than measuring achievement and assigning value to students’ work. The primary objective is to improve the learning of all students. We use information from the assessment process to improve teaching strategies and programs for your child.
What is assessment?
Assessment is an ongoing process which begins the moment your child engages in learning activities. It is the process of collecting evidence and using it to determine the next steps for learning.
What is evaluation?
Evaluation occurs when we judge or evaluate the quality of your child’s work based on specific criteria, and give the work a specific value or grade that reflects that evaluation. We use an Achievement Chart provided by the Ministry of Education to help determine these values.
Subject Achievement and Learning Skills / Work Habits
When we assess and evaluate what your child is learning, we look specifically at two distinct areas:
- Achievement of curriculum expectations in any given subject or course
- The development of learning skills and work habits
The achievement level in a subject indicates the extent to which your child has learned expectations outlined in the Ontario Curriculum. The development of learning skills indicates “how” your child has learned. Learning skills can be demonstrated in all subjects or courses, or in other behaviours in school.
We have created a Frequently Asked Questions document to provide you with more detailed information about how we assess and evaluate learning.
What about the report card?
The province of Ontario has standard or consistent report card formats for students in Grades 1 to 6, 7 and 8, and 9 to 12 (please see the section on Progress in Kindergarten for a description of achievement of Kindergarten children). The provincial report card summarizes your child’s achievement with regards to curriculum expectations and learning skills.
Starting in 2010 students in Grades 1 to 8 will receive a Progress Report Card as their first report in mid-November. Please visit our link Elementary Progress Report Card for more information on the purpose and format of this report.
The Provincial Report Card is distributed twice per year in elementary schools (mid-March, and end of June), and two times per semester in secondary schools (late November and early February for Semester 1 and late April and end of June for Semester 2). We encourage you to contact your child’s school to get exact dates that reports will be issued and to find out about parent-teacher interviews.
Please visit our link Understanding Your Child's Report Card for more information.
Are there other ways to find out how my child is doing?
The report card is just one way to communicate about how your child is learning. Other ways teachers may communicate with you about your child’s progress include:
- Informal progress reports
- Write-ups on assignments or projects that have been assessed and returned to students
- Telephone conversations
- Parent-student-teacher conferences
You are encouraged to speak to your child’s teacher whenever you have a question or want to hear an update. By working together, we can achieve our goal of improving student learning.