Assessment Policy

Purposes and Principals of Assessment

Assessment is an important part of the Hill-Freedman program. It provides necessary feedback for students to develop their skills as thinkers, and in doing so, assessment helps students continuously reflect on their own strengths and weakness, and become active participants in their own growth and development as lifelong learners. In addition, and more importantly, good assessment itself is a learning opportunity for students which allows them to take prior learning and apply it to new contexts.

At Hill-Freedman World Academy, it is understood that:

  • Assessment is varied in type and purpose.
  • Assessment is criterion-related, which “judges students’ work in relation to identified levels of attainment.”
  • Assessment provides opportunities for students to apply what they know to demonstrate deep understanding.
  • Students should be allowed multiple opportunities to demonstrate understanding
  • Clear criteria should be given to students prior to an assessment
  • Assessment feedback should be timely
  • Opportunities for reflection on assessments should be provided
  • Assessments are differentiated and modifications are made when necessary to meet the needs of all students
  • Teachers should use common assessments that use the structures and rubrics provided by the IB

Assessment Practices

Assessment at Hill-Freedman includes a combination of formative and summative assessment. According to the IB, formative assessment “represents the process of gathering, analyzing, interpreting and using…evidence to improve student learning.” Summative assessment is “concerned with measuring student performance against Diploma Program assessment criteria.”

Formative Assessment Characteristics & Examples

  • Allows teachers to monitor students’ progress towards meeting IB standards
  • Gives feedback to students as they are learning to show them how they can improve
  • Allows students and teachers to identify strengths and weaknesses

Formative assessment includes reading check quizzes, discussions, and daily classwork.

Summative Assessment Characteristics & Examples

  • Judges the level of student understanding at the end of learning
  • Requires students to apply their learning to a new context
  • Is evaluated using IB rubrics, criteria, and predicted scores

Examples of summative assessment include essays and tests, presentations, and creative projects.

Summative assessments take place at the end of every unit; formative assessments happen a minimum of two times a week. Summative assessments in the MYP program are assessed using the appropriate level MYP Criteria for each course. Summative assessments in the DP are scored using the individual subject criteria.

Exams

School Exams: Students in the MYP and DP will have midterm and final exams, which will be cumulative and will require students to show their knowledge and understanding in new contexts. Exams of students in the DP will be structured in the format of IB examinations to provide students with practice and build their familiarity with the IB requirements.

IB Exams: IB exams are conducted in strict accordance with IB regulations. The IB Coordinator informs students and their parents about exam rules and policies, which are posted on the school website. Exam invigilation is performed by the IB Program Coordinator and carefully selected and trained school personnel.

IB Exam Access Arrangements

As per the IB guidelines, the Hill-Freedman Diploma Coordinator will request appropriate accommodations on exams. “Additional time may be authorized for written examinations according to the candidate’s assessed needs. The amount of additional time given to a candidate is directly linked to the degree of the access requirement.”

In addition, “Candidates who require inclusive assessment arrangements to access writing may be authorized a scribe, word
processor, word processor with spell checker/speech recognition software and transcripts. Candidates who require inclusive assessment arrangements to access reading may be authorized a reader or reading software.”

To request this additional time, Hill-Freedman will submit the most recent copies of the student’s IEP and their psychological evaluation. Parents of students with special needs will receive a request to review and authorize the release of these records to the IB.

Assessment Requirements

In addition to school-based exams, students will participate in the following required district, local, and state exams.

STAR: Reading & Math Diagnostic
Students in grades 6-12 will participate in the STAR Diagnostic to predict student performance on state exams and provide information about students’ reading and math levels.

PSAT/SAT: All students in grades 9-12 will sit for either the SAT or the PSAT.

District Benchmarks: Students in grades 6-8 take ELA & Math benchmarks; students in grades 9-12 take Algebra 1, English 2 & Biology. Benchmarks are aligned to state standards.

State Keystone Exams: Students in grade 8 sit for the Algebra Keystone; students in grades 9-10 sit for English 2, Algebra 1 & Biology Keystones.

State PSSA Exams: Students in grades 6-8 sit for the Math, Reading & Science PSSA exams.

Assessment Expectations

The IB requires the submission of both internal and external exams. To facilitate this process, the following expectations are in place:

IB Coordinator

  • Create and a calendar of internal and external assessment deadlines that distributes due dates evenly
  • Work with teams to communicate consistent formatting and submission requirements for all assessments
  • Create and maintain ManagBac classes for the submission of student assessments
  • Work with the Personal Project and Extended Essay coordinators to ensure proper and timely scoring
  • Create and maintain systems for the reporting and collection of all scores
  • Create and submit all required forms and scores for internal and external assessment

Teachers

  • Adhere to internal and external assessment deadlines
  • Use a variety of assessment tools
  • Teach students the skills needed for assessments and break them down into scaffolded, manageable tasks
  • Share assessment criteria, rubrics, and samples of work for each assessment in advance
  • Return work quickly with constructive feedback and post grades in Infinite Campus
  • Communicate with parents regularly and immediately in case of concern
  • Collaborate with colleagues to ensure that assessments are distributed fairly for students
  • Submit and upload student internal assessment information by the deadlines to ManageBac and IBIS

Students

  • Meet all deadlines and submit all work on time
  • Use the criteria, rubrics, and work samples provided by teachers to achieve their best work
  • Honor academic integrity at all times

Parents

  • Communicate to students the importance of meeting all deadlines for work
  • Follow student’s progress on Infinite Camps and contact the teacher with any concerns
  • Attend all report card conferences and school meetings

When more than one teacher is involved in teaching the same subject or scoring Internal and External Assessments, subject teams will participate in internal moderation of student work to ensure that the IB criteria are being assessed accurately and consistently. This happens once a quarter in weekly departmental meetings at both the high school and middle school levels.