Understanding The Marking Process
One of the biggest changes from elementary school to junior high is the way assessments and marks are done. There are four terms, roughly two and a half months in length throughout the year. Report cards are sent home at the end of each term.
There are no paper progress reports in between these reporting periods. However, we strongly encourage parents to routinely check in on their child's progress by logging onto the Parent Portal for Maplewood, which is our online markbook and student information system. On this website, which is accessible 24/7 from any device with Internet access, parents can view in real time attendance and academic progress. You can obtain your login username and password from this link:
Once you have your login info, you can use the link on the left side of our website for "Online Markbook" or use this link and bookmark it for easy access:
Students will also have their own username and password, which they obtain from their homeroom teacher. We also will be encouraging students to develop good habits of responsibility by checking their progress frequently.
With the Parent Portal to Maplewood, you will see much more detail in how your child is assessed in each subject. In viewing these details, there are some explanations of how marks are obtained that may be helpful for you to understand your child's progress. First, marks are determined on a running format, which means that each term builds on the previous work and adds new (as opposed to the more traditional style of each term being its own separate mark and then each term averaged at the end). So, Term 1 is all work from Term 1, Term 2 is all work from Term 1 and 2, Term 3 is comprised of Terms 1, 2 and 3, and culminating in Term 4 taking into consideration all work for the year.
Class work recorded in the mark book are broken down into three main categories - Formative Assessments, Summative Assessments and the Final Exam category.
Formative assessments are activities which provide information to be used as feedback to modify the teaching and learning activities of the unit in progress. These in-class and homework assignments can be seen as the practice opportunities before the major projects and unit testing happens. It allows the teacher to gauge the student's readiness for a unit evaluation and provides feedback to the student on what they should do to improve and prepare for the unit final evaluation. Items in the Formative category are weighted at 0, which means they are not calculated into the term mark. This is because they are practice, done with teacher help, in pairs or as a group. It is a school district mandated policy that each teacher include the use of Formative Assessments, all weighted at 0 in their course planning. While these assessments are not part of the term mark, it is still important that students complete these to the best of their ability as the practice and feedback on these will directly prepare them for the summative assessments in the unit. (Think drills in hockey practice - they don't affect your season stats, but if you don't take your practice seriously and do your drills, you won't do well in the game, and that will affect your stats - as well as probably get you kicked of the team!).
There is no set number of formative assessments that should be administered during a unit of instruction. It depends on the outcomes being addressed and the length of the unit.
Formative assessments will normally be marked on a 5 level rubric letters with specific feedback given to the student verbally and/or written on the assignments. Each of the letters correspond to a description of work quality. These 5 letters and categories are common to all grade 7 class at Father Mercredi.
Some examples of formative assignments might be maps, questions after a reading, drawings after reading or viewing material, diary entries, letters, graphic organizers, etc. Depending on the subject area, there are many varieties of formative assessment.
Summative assessments are assignments, tests and projects done towards the end of a unit as an indication of the students mastery of the outcomes addressed within that unit. These assignments, tests and projects are where the report card mark comes from.
There will normally be one to three summative assessments completed in a unit.
Summative assessments will each be marked either using the 5 level rubric numbers. Each of the numbers correspond to a description of work quality. These 5 numbers and categories are common to all grade 7 class at Father Mercredi.
In some complex cases, for example essay writing where there are a number of requirements and things being assessed, and assignment may have a more detailed and specific rubric to that assignment. Students should closely examine the rubric or requirements for marking for each summative assessment before taking on each task. Students are always able to ask to see a rubric of how their work will be assessed, before during and after and assessment is assigned.
Some examples of summative assessments might be essays, creative short stories, multiple choice tests, diary entries, letters, posters, digital presentations, etc. Depending on the subject there are many varieties of summative assessments, however there will be a consistent focus on preparing the students for format of the district exams in June.
Rubric For Assessments
This rubric explains the scoring of assessments that don't have a more detailed specific rubric. Each individual assignment will have specific criteria and/or requirements depending on the skills and knowledge being addressed.
In June, students will complete course final exams. These exams are created by a committee of teachers and consultants within the district. The format varies depending on the subject. Also, the weighting of the final exam mark in the consideration of the final year mark on the student's report card is determined on a district basis, common to all Junior High students within the district.
Please consult the subject specific pages for more information on the format of the June exam and weighting for the core subjects of Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies.
If you have any questions or would like clarification on a specific piece of work or the overall marking process feel free to email us or your child's other teachers. We will be happy to provide any assistance we can. This is a new way of communicating to our parents and students, which we hope will provide more opportunities for the success of each child. We look forward to helping you get acquainted with this new system and making it work for your child!
Student Success - Whatever It Takes!!