Statement of Belief
At Tessa International School we believe that students should be given holistically-designed, developmentally appropriate assessment. At a basic level, we aim to communicate to the students and parents the students’ areas of strengths and improvement. On a broader level, we believe in building a schoolwide assessment culture that focuses on improving learning outcomes for students and instructional processes.
We also ensure that our students are assessed in ways that correspond to the Phases of Learning in the Primary Years Program, The French National Curriculum, and the Learning Standards of New Jersey. For teachers, regular and systematic assessment help them adjust instruction, as necessary, or reteach.
Assessment at the school is designed to address the essential elements of the PYP such as acquisition of knowledge, understanding of concepts, developing Approaches to Learning, and decision to take appropriate action. Teachers utilize a variety of tools and strategies to collect and record assessment data.
Assessment strategies include:
- Performance assessments
- Process-focused assessments
- Open-ended tasks
Assessment tools include:
- Anecdotal records
At the beginning of each learning engagement, teachers assess children’s prior knowledge and experiences before embarking on a new learning journey. Teachers and students continue to build upon what they already know and can do as they progress throughout their PYP journey. The success criterion for each assessment task is a shared responsibility and is managed by both teachers and students.
Formative and positive assessments
Formative assessment occurs throughout the learning process and aims to reach expectations at school level. It is closely related to the daily learning and helps teachers and students to find out what children know, understand and can do already to plan learning and student growth.
The positive evaluation is an evaluation conducted sympathetically, which emphasizes small successes, progress, small or big, testing, participating motivation of the child, the meaning to him and his parents. This is not to compare the achievements or the “performance” of the child with those of others, but to be in a learning path that is drawn by the programs. It is an evaluation that considers the inter-individual differences are not always synonymous with difficulties. These differences, if taken into account by the teacher, must create a dynamic learning.
Beginning Kindergarten, Homework is an important part of a student’s education since it reinforces the work covered during lessons. Helping to ensure that time is set aside and that there is a quiet place to study is of particular importance in establishing good study habits at home.
As not everyone learns in the same way or at the same speed, the school does not set a specific amount of homework for students to complete each week. Homework assignments will be given out at the discretion of the teacher. It is important to note that homework assignments given out to each student in the class may differ at times, to suit the different ability levels and student interests.
To show evidence of learning, the school maintains a student portfolio. The student portfolio is a collection of students’ involvement in learning which is designed to demonstrate success, growth, higher-order thinking, creativity, assessment strategies and reflection.
Both the students and the teachers take responsibility in organizing the student portfolios. The portfolio enables students to reflect with teachers, parents and peers in order to identify their strengths and growth as well as areas for improvement, and then to set individual goals and establish teaching and learning plans.
The student portfolio enables communication with parents, to tell them what is happening in the classroom, but also to individualize the work of the child.
This portfolio is an object “customized” ; the contents of each portfolio differs from one student to another, since the child is supposed to express ideas and tastes (narrative of scientific experience, drawing made from ‘ a snail farm, her favorite nursery rhyme, etc.).
Tessa International School administers four reports per year.
October: Interim assessment with suggested goals by the teacher.
December: Long form report card with narrative comments
March: Interim assessment with suggested goals by the teacher.
June: Long form report card with narrative comments
Our Pre K 2 – KG Report Card is the learning progress report for monitoring your child’s learning. It will begin as soon as they enter Nursery, Preschool or Kindergarten and will be completed throughout it.
It allows you to observe your child’s progress and successes from Nursery to Kindergarten. You will also find observations allowing you to take stock of the progress of their achievements.
This notebook is organized into five areas of learning which constitute the developmental progress in Nursery school, Preschool and Kindergarten. Within each of these areas, you will find the skills expected at the end of Kindergarten.
Children do not all progress at the same speed, so this notebook allows you to show everyone’s progress, at his or her pace. When a skill or item of knowledge is validated, the teacher collects a sample of this acquisition and the date.
It is important to take care of this the learning progress report because it will follow your child until he or she enters first grade. When you receive it , study the progress and discuss it with your child so they can see their progress and successes.
Do not hesitate to ask the class teacher questions if you have any.
It is our policy that parents will also receive reports related to longitudinal assessment of learning. Please see below.
Tessa International School is committed to constant improvement. One way that we do this is to periodically assess our students on various attributes, including academic skills (e.g., math and language skills) as well as creativity, collaborative planning, and innovation. Twice per year our students are assessed on these skills and the scores are recorded, as well as shared with parents. The goal of these assessments is to look at the growth of our students over time, from when they began studying at Tessa, to the moment that they graduate.
In addition, beginning at Kindergarten, Tessa International School implements MAP tests by NWEA. These include math, language, and, depending on the grade, a reading assessment.
Twice per year, Tessa also administers a survey related to your child’s relationship with his or her teacher. This is so we make sure that we are doing our absolute best to care for our students.
Feedback and Reflection
The success of assessments are based on timely feedback and reflection. Teachers are expected to provide ongoing feedback and reflection to students as often as possible. Parents are also provided timely feedback and reflection each week through daily/weekly updates.
Teachers and students are expected to celebrate learning as often as possible in the form of class assemblies or end of the unit celebrations.
The purpose of conferences is to share information to the learning community. Student- Teacher conferences happen very often and are embedded in teaching and learning. Formal parent conferences happen three times during the year. However, teachers and/or parents arrange to meet whenever necessary outside this schedule.
Written reports are seen as a summative record for students, parents and the school itself of a student’s progress and are provided to parents at the end of each term.