“We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes who were born different from us. We don’t like to think of them as relatively ordinary people who made themselves extraordinary.”
Carol S. Dweck
How Do We Measure Growth and Proficiency?
Student Progress and Growth Monitoring
Our school uses a variety of tools to measure and determine students’ academic growth and proficiency of grade level standards. These tools range from informal observed assessments to formal and mandated assessments such as the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA). In addition, through the implementation of students' learning goals and assessments, staff identify the needs of the students and adjust instructional strategies to meet the needs of their students. We encourage not only individualized academic growth, but also cooperative academic growth through the use of cooperative learning groups and group projects.
Our Assessment Plans are based on Assessments for Learning and Assessments of Learning:
for Learning are formative assessments that happen while learning is
occurring. They are used to diagnose student needs, plan instruction, and
provide students with feedback they can use to improve their learning. For example, a quiz given during a unit measures a student's progress
towards the identified learning targets. This type of in-process assessment allows the teacher to modify
instruction where needed. Each grade level administers STAR Enterprise 360 assessments monthly in reading, math and science to inform instruction and
diagnose student academic needs.
Assessments of Learning are summative assessments used to sum up achievement at a particular point of time. These occur after learning has happened. These assessments are used to measure achievement status at a point in time for the purpose of reporting and accountability. End of a unit tests and the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA-III's) are examples of Assessments of Learning. The results of the MCA-III's are reported to the state and are used as an accountability measure for schools across the state as part of the No Child Left Behind law.
Our assessment calendar informs you of the testing windows or specific assessment dates for testing. There are three main assessment seasons: fall, winter, and spring. District assessments such as the STAR Enterprise 360 (Renaissance Learning) are used to monitor student growth throughout an academic year and from year-to-year. The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) are required for all students in Minnesota to determine student proficiency of academic standards.