Harry R. Hamilton Elementary

Communicating Student Learning Matrix

Harry R Hamilton Elementary School Plan
For Communicating Student Learning

At Harry R Hamilton School we believe that children are most successful when teachers, parents/guardians and students are all working together to promote learning. This plan for Communicating Student Learning explains assessment and evaluation of students’ learning and ways in which that learning is shared and communicated to parents/guardians and other members of the school community.

School Wide  Events to  Communicate Student Learning to Parents

Curriculum Night
September 29th
Parent/ Teacher Conferences
December 1st (afternoon & evening)
April 5th (Evening)
April 6th (Afternoon)
Christmas Concerts
December 13th, 14th, 15
Report Cards
November 23rd
March 30th
June 30th
Family Literacy Day
January 27

Teachers use a variety of methods and tools on a continuous basis to collect, record and assess student learning:

Anecdotal notes
Teacher observations
Oral Presentations
Oral Reading
Response Writing
Parent input/feedback
Performance tasks
Daily work
Self Evaluation
Assistive Technology

Report Cards

Teachers are directed by the Nova Scotia Department of Education, in conjunction with the Atlantic Provinces Education Foundation to teach specific learning outcomes. 
Students at Harry R Hamilton School receive report cards three times a year to document student progress across curriculum areas.  Report cards indicate the level of understanding your child has accomplished of the learning outcomes taught during a specific school term.  Primary students receive a report card that includes a Learner Profile and anecdotal comments.  Students in grades one to five will receive a report card that includes a Learner Profile, anecdotal comments and letter grades for specific learning outcomes. Reporting codes are used to describe how well a student understands the material covered and how well they can apply concepts and skills in relation to the learning outcomes for each subject area.
Primary-Three students will not be receiving comments or marks for Physical Education or Music in first term.  Health, Science and Social Studies comments will be integrated into Math and Language Arts as part of the new “Streamlined Curriculum”.  The Learner Profile will be using different codes for Pri-3 report cards.

What is the learner profile?

The learner profile describes the development of social skills and work habits.
A developmental scale is used to describe students’ progress as they acquire social skills and work habits.

What is the developmental scale?

A three part scale used to describe a student's academic and social development on the Learner Profile and in Music and Physical Education. The codes used are:
(WD) Well Developed
( D) Developing
(ND) Needs Development

Teachers review their assessment data and determine which level bests describes the student’s learning at that point in time.

Report Card Letter Codes

The student demonstrates a thorough understanding and application of concepts and skills in relation to the expected learning outcomes.
The student demonstrates a good understanding and application of concepts and skills in relation to the expected learning outcomes.
The student demonstrates a basic understanding and application of concepts and skills in relation to the expected learning outcomes.
The student demonstrates a limited understanding and application of concepts and skills. The student has not met expectations.
Not applicable at this time.
Insufficient evidence to report on achievement.

Teachers assess student progress on an ongoing basis to determine the “next steps” in their teaching.  Parents are an important source of information.  Do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher to discuss your concerns, questions or knowledge as pertaining to student learning. Teacher professional development has a strong emphasis on assessment practices.

How do we Communicate student learning to parents?

Phone calls home
Report cards
Notes home
Curriculum Night
Curriculum events
Class presentations
Primary Orientation
Weekly Reminders/Notices
Parent /Teacher Conferences
Communication books
Homework or Home Activities
Work displays
Student Recognition Assemblies

Please know that you are welcome to contact the office and make an appointment any time during the school year to talk with your child’s teacher about his/her learning progress.

Assessment is the process of gathering, from a variety of sources, information that accurately reflects how well a student is achieving the learning outcomes in a subject or course. The action that is taken in response to an assessment determines its formative or summative nature.

Assessment for Learning/Formative Assessment involves the ongoing process of gathering and interpreting evidence about student learning for the purpose of determining where students are in their learning, where they need to go, and how best to get there. The information gathered is used by teachers to provide descriptive feedback and adjust instruction and by students to focus their learning. Assessment for learning is a high impact instructional strategy that takes place while the student is still learning and serves to promote learning.

Assessment of Learning/Summative Assessment is the process of collecting and interpreting evidence for the purpose of summarizing learning at a given point in time, to make judgments about the quality of student learning on the basis of established criteria, and to assign a value to represent that quality. The information gathered may be used to communicate the student’s achievement to parents/guardians, other teachers, students themselves, and others. It occurs at or near the end of a cycle of learning.

Assessment Types are the ways in which information about student achievement is collected. Assessment information may be gathered in three ways: through observations of student performance, conversations had with students, and products that students create.

Assessment Tools are the instruments that teachers use to gather information about student achievement. Examples of assessment tools include but are not limited to work samples, presentations, tests/quizzes, debates, portfolios, labs, demonstrations, and anecdotal notes.
Descriptive Feedback is specific information (e.g., oral, written, exemplars, rubrics) that helps students understand what they are doing well, understand what they need to do next in order to improve, and to think and talk about their own learning (metacognition).

Learning Outcomes are the outcome statements prescribed by the Department of Education, or a student’s Individual Program Plan, that indicate what teachers are required to teach and students are expected to know, be able to do, and value for each grade level, course and/or program. These outcome statements are the general and specific outcomes that make up the written curriculum and reflect the “big ideas” and process skills in each subject area or individualized plan.

Evaluation is the process of analyzing, reflecting upon, and summarizing assessment information and making judgments and/or decisions based upon the information gathered (e.g. to determine student achievement of the learning outcomes for the purposes of grading and reporting).

Professional Judgment is judgment that is informed by professional knowledge of learning outcomes, context, evidence of learning, methods of instruction and assessment, and the criteria and standards that indicate success in student learning. In professional practice, judgment involves a purposeful and systematic thinking process that evolves in terms of accuracy and insight with ongoing reflection, collegial collaboration and practice. When teachers gather information in various contexts from all three assessment types (conversations, observations and products), it is referred to as triangulated data. When evaluation is based on triangulated data, teacher professional judgment is more reliable.

Grading is the process of using summative assessment evidence of student achievement of the learning outcomes to determine the report card grade.