The main purpose of classroom assessment is to improve student learning. Teachers use a range of assessment methods, applied in a variety of situations, to gather information about student learning.

The information that results from quality classroom assessments provide the most useful and reliable data to base judgments on how best to support your child’s learning.

Quality classroom assessment at the Waterloo Region District School Board is based on the following seven principles:

To ensure that assessment, evaluation and reporting are valid and reliable and that they lead tot he improvement of learning for all students, teachers use practices and procedures that:

1) are fair, transparent and equitable for all students;

A report card grade is based on sufficient evidence to permit confident judgments about student achievement. The grade on the report card represents your child’s achievement based on the curriculum expectations that have been taught or developed during the term.

2)  support all students, including those with special education needs, those who are learning the language of instruction (English or French), and those who are First Nation, Métis, or Inuit;

Classroom assessment tools, methods, setting and/or frequency are changed as needed, in order to meet the needs of all students.

3) are carefully planned to relate to the curriculum expectations and learning goals and, as much as possible, to the interests, learning styles and preferences, needs, and experiences of all students;

Teachers use assessments:
* Prior to instruction to find out what students already know and can do;
* During instruction in order to plan for next steps in teaching; and
* Following instruction so that students can show what they know and can do.

Teachers make the purpose of the assessment clear so that students understand how the teacher will use the information that results from the task.

4) are communicated clearly to students and parents at the beginning of the school year or course and at other appropriate points throughout the school year or course;

Clear learning goals identify what students need to know and be able to do. These learning goals are targets which are based on expectations identified in the Ontario curriculum. Clear learning goals are shared before learning occurs, so that grades are earned by students, not given by teachers.

5) are ongoing, varied in nature, and administered over a period of time to provide multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate the full range of their learning;

Students are provided multiple and varied opportunities to demonstrate what they know and can do. Teachers use paper and pencil tests, but also use conferences, projects and demonstrations to collect information about student learning.

6) provide ongoing descriptive feedback that is clear, specific, meaningful, and timely to support improved learning and achievement;

Assessments are meant to improve student learning, not just measure it. Specific and timely feedback is given to the student so that the student can learn from doing the task, giving the performance, or writing the test. This feedback helps students know what to do differently next time in order to improve.

7) develop students’ self-assessment skills to enable them to assess their own learning, set specific goals, and plan next steps for their learning.

When students assess their own work with teacher guidance and support, they are able to set clear goals for improvement and to consider what steps must be taken in order to improve their work.