Policy Code: G3400 Assessment Policy
The Wake County Public School System and Garner Magnet High School are committed to maintaining rigorous performance and achievement standards for all students and to providing a fair and consistent process for evaluating and reporting student progress that is understandable to students and their parents and relevant for instructional purposes. The purpose of a grading system is to appropriately and consistently measure and communicate a student’s level of mastery of defined learning objectives. In addition, all WCPSS grading and reporting practices will support the learning and teaching process and encourage success for all students. The following assessment policy has been developed in accordance with WCPSS Board Policy 3400 and Regulation 3400-R&P (Evaluation of Student Progress).1
Assessment is an integral part of the planning, teaching and learning process. Fair and diversified assessments at marked periods are necessary to enrich student learning, monitor and evaluate student progress towards meeting course and programme standards, provide feedback to students, parents and other stakeholders, gather evidence to support teacher reflection for students and on the effectiveness of teaching, inform curriculum review, evaluate the suitability of courses, and develop short and long-term achievement goals for students.
- Every student is uniquely capable and deserves to be challenged and engaged in relevant, rigorous, and meaningful learning each day.
- Every student is expected to learn, grow, and succeed while we will eliminate the ability to predict achievement based on socioeconomic status, race, and ethnicity.
Assessments of various types determine the effectiveness of teaching
Assessments can and should take various forms and methods
Assessments monitor the progress of student learning
Both students and teachers should be involved in assessment
Student learning is evaluated using predetermined criterion rather than comparisons to published averages or norms
External assessments allow administrators, teachers, students, and parents to evaluate their students’ progress relative to district, state, national, and international performance
Effective assessments provide feedback to teachers, students, and parents in order to improve/revise instruction in the classroom and student study habits
Assessments should reveal what the student knows and understands
Assessments should be used to help parents understand and support what is going on in the classroom
Assessments should allow all stakeholders to see evidence of learning
Parents and students have access to students’ grades using HomeBase™ Parent and Student Portals
Types of Assessment
Teachers assess all content areas using a blend of IB subject area criteria and the content standards defined in the associated North Carolina Standard Course of Study. Assessment is conducted through a balanced system that accurately reflects students’ knowledge of core curriculum standards as well as the ability to collaborate, be creative, communicate, and think critically. Types of assessments include but are not limited to: Socratic seminars, tests and quizzes, written responses, essays and reports, research reports, displayed work, performances (dramatic, musical, role play), portfolios, developmental workbooks, class discussion, projects and self‐reflection, peer and self assessments. All sophomore students working toward a high- school diploma complete the Personal Project as a culminating assignment.
Establish what students already know
Determine the pace of learning
Adjustment of complexity of objectives
Consistent, daily to inform instruction
Allows the teacher to make necessary adjustments to teaching plans and methods
Promotes student reflection on Approaches to Learning
Culminates the teaching and learning process
Students are provided with varying opportunities to demonstrate what they have learned and considers a variety of learning styles
Include comprehensive, written final examinations that count for 20% of the final course grade.
NCDPI End-of-Course Tests (Math I, Biology, English II)
NCDPI Career-Technical Education Tests (various courses)
NCDPI Final Exams (various courses)
Advanced Placement tests (various AP courses)
Pre-ACT (all students who are enrolled in grade 10 for the first time)
ACT (all students who are enrolled in grade 11 for the first time)
CWRA+3 (a sample of 11th grade students in selected schools)
ACT WorkKeys (Students in 12th grade pursuing a CTE Concentration)
WIDA ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 (students who have been identified as English language learners (ELLs)
OECD/PISA4 Test for Schools (a sample of selected 15-year-old students in selected schools)
Assessment in IB Diploma Program Courses
In order to understand excellence, students should be aware of what constitutes high achievement through teachers sharing rubrics and assessment criteria.
IBDP assessment mostly criterion-related. This type of assessment “ judges students’ work in relation to identified levels of attainment, rather than in relation to the work of other students.”5 Assessment often models the formal assessment officially set by IBO.
DP official Internal and External Assessment is undertaken by all Diploma Programme teachers according to the IB DP Handbook of Procedures. Some assessments in IB Diploma are external, such as the official IB exams and are graded externally by IB examiners. Other assessments are internal, graded by the class teacher and sent to IB examiners for moderation.
Internal assessments are required assessments completed during the 11th and 12th grade focusing on skills and subject content. These assessments are graded by the classroom teacher using the IB rubric for the course. The internal assessment scores are submitted to IB for moderation to ensure consistent scores worldwide. Internal assessments can be assessed as classroom assignments inclusive to the students’ school grades as well as assignments that contribute to the students’ IB score for that subject.
External IB assessments are mandatory assessments that are completed during the 11th and 12th grade that are not scored by the classroom teacher. These assessments are IB exams that are administered during the May testing session and essays that are sent directly to IB examiners for evaluation.
INTERNAL MODERATION OF STUDENTS’ WORK
In order to make consistent and reliable decisions regarding students’ assessment, teachers collaborate in developing the course, designing the assessment and, when more than one teacher is involved in teaching the same subject, conducting internal moderation, particularly for the Internal and External Assessment sent to IBO examiners.
Approaches to Learning
Assessment plays a significant role in the development of approaches to learning. Subject assessments encourage students to sharpen their research skills, become more organized, work more effectively in groups, and develop critical problem solving skills. Unit Task assessments help to measure progress aligned to successfully meet North Carolina’s End of Grade Standardized Assessment, IB Approaches to Learning, and each subject area’s learning criteria. Assessment Rubrics contain matrices for measuring student performance.
In an effort to ensure that all learning is relevant and rigorous, assessment information is collaboratively analyzed in and across subject areas so that students are engaged in teaching that is:
inquiry-based—provoking curiosity in order to structure and sustain exploration
concept-driven—planning and teaching through concepts that are transferable to new contexts
contextualized—reaching beyond the scope of individual subjects to establish relevance
collaborative—promoting effective teamwork and purposeful/productive collaboration
differentiated—providing access to learning for a diversity of learners
informed by assessment—balancing assessment of, and for, learning.
The single most important aim of assessment is to support and encourage student learning. To that end, there is an emphasis on assessment processes that involve the gathering and analysis of information about student performance and provide timely feedback to students and parents on student performance. Assessment aims to identify and communicate what students know, understand, and can do different stages in the learning process and to provide a basis for practice.
Candidate performance for CAS and the CP core are reported to IB as required by standards and practices.
The North Carolina State Board of Education directs public schools to use a standard 10-point grading scale for all students in grades 9-12. (State Board Policy GCS-A-016 and GCS-L-004)
Using this scale, letter grades are assigned as follows:
F: < 60
For IB Diploma Programme courses, teacher use annually published markbands for each subject to adjust grades on assessments scored using IB rubrics/markschemes to match the state-mandated 10-point scale.
Grades are reported on report cards and student transcripts as numeric grades, rather than letter grades.
1Garner Magnet High School Grading Plan
2Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) Strategic Plan
3The College and Work Readiness Assessment (CWRA+) directly measures student performance on critical-thinking and written-communication skills, such as analysis and problem solving, scientific and quantitative reasoning, critical reading and evaluation, and critiquing an argument, in addition to writing mechanics and effectiveness.
4Issued by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), PISA tests the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students in mathematics, reading, and science.
5IBO, Guidelines for developing a school assessment policy in the Diploma Programme, 2010.
Adopted: June 18, 2019
Garner Magnet High School