Communicating Student Achievement
“We must constantly remind ourselves that the ultimate purpose of evaluation is to enable students to evaluate themselves. Educators may have been practicing this skill to the exclusion of learners; we need to shift part of that responsibility to students. Fostering students’ ability to direct and redirect themselves must be a major goal….or what is education for?” -Costa, 1991
A key principle of Palouse Prairie Charter School is the sharing of student achievement in a variety of ways, most of which feature students as the key communicators. The focus is for students to be engaged and active participants in their own learning and throughout the assessment process. Students are given the individual responsibility to collect, analyze and share their achievement at student-led conferences. Our goal is that they can speak to their own strengths, struggles, goals and processes of learning. In doing so they are preparing themselves to be life-long leaders of their own learning.
Recently, I had a school community member (grandparent of a student) come to me because she had heard a parent wondering about her child’s success at school. In the conversation, the parent felt her child had a great student-led conference, but she wanted the perspective of the teacher, not just the student. The grandparent then went home and asked the question to her family, “Do you feel like you know how your child is doing at school?” This question was posed in front of the parent and child. The child said, “You can ask me, I know how I am doing at school.” This created a great conversation and the family felt satisfied with the explanation. This reflection is a great example of how we strive to surpass more traditional forms of communicating student achievement. We want the assessment process to be active and on-going for the student. We move beyond the focus of teachers as the key communicators and students passively finding out about their achievement from grades on report cards. However, at any point in the year families are encouraged to set up a meeting with their child’s classroom teacher if they have any questions or concerns.
Not only do we provide structures and opportunities for students to share their achievement to their families, we provide other ways to communicate achievement. Achievement reports, progress reports, and google classroom are other ways which provides families communication about students’ progress towards a set of long-term learning targets (not just retrospective grades). Teachers provide students with multiple opportunities to make and show progress towards long-term targets. These documents reflect the student’s current level of proficiency with skill and content rather than an average (in line with Principles from Standards Based Grading). Habits of Scholarship are graded separately than academic content. Our Achievement Reports are guided by standards based grading and reporting. Below is a table that shows the different forms of communication of student achievement along with approximate dates.
Two ways you can learn more about our approach:
Consider Reading “A Repair Kit for Grading; 15 Fixes for Broken Grades by Ken O’Connor.
EL Education Class: March 31st from 5:30-6:30 where Jeneille Branen, Director of Curriculum and Instruction and Martha Martin, EL Education Consultant will provide additional information about our approach, student-led conferences and passages.
The PPCS Annual Enrollment Lottery will be on March 25th @ 10:00am. We have open seats available for the 2016-2017 school year, and we would appreciate help in filling those spots! At PPCS we want to ensure that we are providing a quality education to a diverse group of students in and around Moscow. At PPCS we view as a gift and strength of our school community. We strive to have our school represent the mosaic of the City of Moscow. To help us out, please talk about the great things your students have been doing and learning at PPCS with your co-workers, friends and family. Encourage those interested to attend one of our school tours, and please remind them at our school is public and free to all. For those that can not make one of tour dates or times, they can always call our main office at (208) 882-3684 to schedule a tour at their convenience.
Tour Dates: February 16th, March 4th from 8:30-9:30 (Spread the word!)
Intent to Return Forms:
Intent to Return forms went home in your students' backpacks on Friday, February 5th. They are due back in the office this week, by Friday, February 19th at the latest! The intent to return form insures that your student is guaranteed a seat for next year. If your child will not be returning we appreciate your letting us know so we can open his or her seat up to new incoming students.
If you will be volunteering to drive students on an Adventure or Fieldwork, we must have a current driving volunteer form and copy of your driver's license and proof of insurance on file. Information from the previous year does not carry over. Please make sure we have all this information before the morning of the event!