IB Policies

Assessment Policy

Philosophy

At Cameron Elementary School, we believe that assessment is an ongoing process that informs all stakeholders about  students’ knowledge, understanding and development as a learner.   We believe that reflection is a key component to assessment, allowing students the opportunity grow through further inquiry.  We believe that varied and differentiated assessments inform teachers of individual student needs and guide future practice and instruction.  

At Cameron Elementary, we use assessments to help students develop the five essential elements of learning:  the understanding of concepts, the acquisition of knowledge, the mastering of skills, the development of attitudes and the decision to take action.  

Information

Purposes for Assessment

The purposes for assessment in the Primary Years Program are to promote student learning, inform students, teachers, parents and administration about student learning, and to contribute to implementing a successful programme of inquiry.  Effective assessments identify student needs, and in turn, inform teacher planning and practice.  Within the PYP, assessment.promotes student reflection, deepens understanding and allows for further investigation and inquiry.

 

Why do we assess?

  • To check for student understanding of concepts and skills
  • To measure progress
  • To drive instruction and strengthen teaching practice
  • To differentiate instruction
  • To evaluate the effectiveness of the program

 

What do we assess?

  • Student progress and performance in all subject areas: language; mathematics; social studies; science; the arts;technology; and personal, social and physical education
  • 5 Essential Elements: Knowledge, Concepts, Skills, Attitudes and Action
  • Demonstration of the attributes of the IB learner profile

 

When does assessment take place in a PYP school?

Assessment is a continuous process that allows teachers, parents and children to identify areas of strength and areas that need improvement, as well as, the effectiveness of the program.

Pre-Assessment assesses a student’s strengths, weaknesses, knowledge, and skills at the beginning of a unit and prior to instruction.  Information from pre-assessments guides guides the learning experiences within the unit of inquiry.

Formative assessment occurs throughout a learning unit or process and is interwoven into daily learning experiences. The goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by instructors to improve their teaching and by students to improve their learning.

Summative Assessment takes place at the end of a learning unit or process. It allows for students, teachers and parents to evaluate progress and demonstrate what has been learned over the course of time.  

 

What are the characteristics of effective assessments in the PYP?

  • Meaningful
  • Promote reflection
  • Differentiated
  • Targeted
  • Varied
  • Immediate
  • Use rubrics or criteria
  • Able to measure progress over time
  • Non-threatening
  • Provide feedback
  • Provide evidence of student growth

 

How do we collect and record data?

  • Rubrics
  • Checklists
  • Benchmarks
  • Anecdotal records
  • Portfolios
  • Reflections
  • My Access
  • Accelerated Reader
  • Student work/writing samples
  • Illuminate
  • Lexia
  • SIPPS
  • DIBELS
  • CAASPP
  • CELDT
  • Oral presentations
  • Unit tests
  • Mastery Tracker/gradebook
  • Progress reports and report cards

 

When do we analyze and share data?

  • Grade level meetings
  • Collaboration meetings
  • Staff PD meetings
  • Parent teacher conferences

all the info

Language Policy

Philosophy

Language Philosophy

At Cameron Elementary School, we believe that language reflects the beliefs, values, and ideas of those who use it.  Through language, our students acquire knowledge and develop their ability to think critically, as well as, develop social skills and peer relationships.  We believe that all teachers are teachers of language instruction, facilitating a language program that is transdisciplinary in nature and supportive of all students.

Information

LANGUAGE INSTRUCTION PRACTICES

To facilitate language instruction, our teachers…

  • Provide explicit phonics and phonemic awareness instruction, including blending and segmentation practice
  • Provide students with opportunities for oral language development through discussion, presentation, recitations, read alouds, and choral reading
  • Are dedicated to helping students become fluent readers at all grade levels through fluency instruction and practice
  • Provide students opportunities to make connections as they write across the curriculum
  • Use Thinking Maps and Write From the Beginning and Beyond to support students writing and reading skills
  • Incorporate technology as a means to increasing literacy
  • Use strategies including Guided Reading, Mix-Pair-Share, literature circles
  • Teach academic vocabulary
  • Provide varied opportunities for writing, including focused journal writing, personal response, and writing with a transdisciplinary approach
  • Use visual aids and manipulatives to support comprehension and language development
  • Provide reading support and intervention to K-3 students through the district-wide implementation of the the K-3 Reading Initiative

MOTHER TONGUE SUPPORT

The student body of Cameron Elementary consists of 495 students and  is represented by approximately 75% Hispanic or Latino students.  The remaining 25% is comprised of white, African American, Filipino, Asian, American Indian, or Pacific Islander origin.  Approximately 11% of our student population are English learners, the majority of whom speak Spanish as their first language.  Other first languages include Mandarin, Cantonese, and Tagalog.

At Cameron School, we provide support for the mother tongue by:

  • Providing 30 minutes of ELD instruction to our EL students
  • Provide bilingual aide support to our Beginning and Early Intermediate EL students
  • Encouraging students and to speak their mother tongue language at school
  • Encouraging parents to speak speak their mother tongue language at school
  • Providing translators at parent conferences and workshops
  • Increasing the number of books available in our library that are written in the mother tongues of our students
  • Using SDAIE strategies and realia
  • Using visual aides and labels in the classroom
  • Sending home written communication in English and Spanish
  • Using Path to Proficiency as scaffolding tool for writing
  • Use of Rosetta Stone
  • Modeling and repetition

 

LEARNING A SECOND LANGUAGE

At Cameron Elementary School second language instruction in Spanish is provided to all students in kindergarten through grade 5.  Students currently receive instruction for 45 minutes twice per week.  Through instruction, students will learn basic communication skills in Spanish.

At Cameron, we provide support for learning a second language through the use of:

  • Oral language practice
  • Labels and word walls
  • Music
  • Role playing
  • Use of technology and visual aids
  • Connections World Language teacher instruction and grade level units of inquiry

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR STAFF AND FACULTY

The staff and faculty of Cameron Elementary participate in on-going professional development that supports language learning and teaching. In addition, the teaching staff hold BCLAD or CLAD Certification, or EL and SDAIE Authorization to support the language development of the students.

Professional development for staff and faculty includes, but is not limited to:

  • IB Primary Years Programme Level I, II and III training
  • Thinking Maps
  • Write From the Beginning and Beyond
  • Capturing Kids Hearts
  • Judy Keeney-building reasoning, critical thinking and expression through math
  • K-3 Reading Initiative
  • Ongoing PD to support PYP practices and philosophy provided by PYP coordinator
  • Bi-weekly grade level collaboration for planning and reflecting on units of inquiry
  •  

REVIEW OF ASSESSMENT POLICY AND PRACTICES

At Cameron School, language is assessed for different purposes using varied strategies and tools, as stated in our Assessment Policy.  Assessment tools include, but are not limited to:

  • Rubrics
  • Benchmarks
  • Anecdotal records
  • Portfolios
  • My Access
  • Accelerated Reader
  • Student work/writing samples
  • Illuminate
  • Lexia
  • SIPPS
  • DIBELS
  • CAASPP
  • CELDT
  • Oral presentations

 

References:

  • Guidelines for Developing a School Language Policy; IBO (2009)
  • Learning in a language other than mother tongue in IB programmes; IBO (2009)