All children that attend Greenwood School receive a developmental screening within 6-8 weeks from their start date. Tools used for such screenings vary from classroom to classroom. Teachers, guided by curriculum goals, develop tools that are best suited to assess the range of their student’s abilities; abilities in the domain of sensory, language, cognitive, gross-motor, fine-motor, and social-emotional development. To ensure the validity of these assessments, tools used for the first screening are then used for subsequent evaluations. Results of all assessments are used for the purpose of 1) verifying student progress, 2) renegotiating curriculum goals and 3) making any recommendations to appropriate professionals, if needed. Teachers of all classes will schedule at least one parent-teacher conferences each year; this may be mid-year or at the end of the year, depending on the preference of the teacher. Parents of any class may request a conference at any time. A formal assessment will be sent home to the parents of all children twice a year; one by the end of January and the second in June.
PURPOSE OF ASSESSMENTS
Assessments are intended for:
1) Assessing abilities of each child upon entry to each age group so that any adaptations or adjustments can be made to the curriculum, if necessary.
2) Documenting the natural progression in abilities pertaining to motor, cognitive, and social/emotional development. Failure to note a significant progression in any or all domains of development will result in referral to an appropriate professional.
3) Providing a familiar environment in which to gather information from each child.
4) Providing staff members who will be responsible for gathering and documenting information.
Assessments are not intended for:
1) Use as a sole indicator of present abilities.
2) A predictor of future success or failure.
3) Use to classify/categorize children in the class
4) Use to compare one child to another in the class
SCHEDULE OF ASSESSMENTS
Children enrolled at Greenwood School will receive a developmental screening within 6-8 weeks of their start date. A formal assessment will be sent home to parents/guardian by the end of January. At the end of the school year (June), each child will be formally assessed for a second time and results will be sent home. Teachers in all classes schedule formal parent-teacher conferences at least one time during the school year. Such conferences may be offered mid-year or at the end of the school year, depending on teacher preference. Conferences can also be scheduled at any time throughout the school year, as requested by the parent or teacher. Informal assessments will be made on an ongoing basis by teachers, including aides, and may be conveyed to parents/guardians in writing, or by way of informal conversations.
STAFF-DEVELOPED ASSESSMENT METHODS
Staff is responsible for developing assessment methods for the age of children they teach. Such assessments methods are aligned with curriculum goals to provide an accurate picture of all children’s abilities and progress, are appropriate and valid for their stated purpose, provide meaningful and stable results for all learners (including English-language learners and children with special needs), as well as provide teachers with clear ideas for curriculum development and daily planning. These assessment methods are regularly reviewed to be certain that they are providing the needed information.
* To be determined by each teacher
CONDITION UNDER WHICH CHILDREN WILL BE ASSESSED
Teachers will take certain factors into consideration before assessing a child to insure accuracy in results; factors include the current health of the child and whether the child has had ample sleep. Assessments will take place at the center in an area that is quiet and free from distraction, and will be administered by each child’s teacher to facilitate comfort and familiarity.
ASSESSMENT RESULTS AND USE
Results from assessments should be used to:
1) Assess the cognitive, motor, social/emotional abilities of each child upon entry into each age group.
2) Serve as a base for which to compare subsequent assessment to establish whether there is a progression in abilities, not mastery.
3) Guide the curriculum and establish if there are specific adaptations that need to be made for any child.
4) Refer any child to an appropriate professional, if necessary.
INTERPRETING ASSESSMENT DATA
Teachers will work with families to modify curriculum goals, when necessary. Upon completion of all assessments, teachers look at the goals that are set forth by the school curriculum, for that particular age. In addition, teachers will reflect on any modifications that were made to such curriculum as a result of a developmental delay, special need, language development, or absence from the program. Results of assessments, along with an explanation of any modifications to the curriculum, are discussed with parents.
PROCEDURES TO KEEP RECORDS, ASSESSMENTS, AND STUDENT INFORMATION CONFIDENTIAL
1) All medical forms and legal documentation are kept in a confidential file located in the office. The master copy of all assessments should be kept in an Individual Portfolio that is established for each child until the end of the school year.
2) Individual Portfolios should be developed and maintained by the Lead Teacher. Such portfolio should be considered CONFIDENTIAL, be kept in a closed storage device, and not be accessible by children, parents, or staff not currently working with that child, unless given permission by that child’s current teacher and/or parent.
3) Copies of assessments and any additional information given to teachers by parents should be duplicated; one copy should be placed in the child’s Individual Portfolio, and the other should be placed in the child’s file located in the school office.
4) Each Individual Portfolio, maintained by the classroom teacher, should be given to parents at the end of the school year.
5) Information regarding a particular child, or children, may NOT be discussed with anyone other than that child, or children’s, own parents/guardians and teacher.
WAYS TO INVOLVE FAMILIES IN THE ASSESSMENT PROCESS
Parents are notified about the purpose, process and time line prior to starting assessments via an insert in the Parent Handbook, and also a note going home to parents when assessment time approaches.
EFFECTIVELY COMMUNICATING ASSESSMENT INFORMATION TO FAMILIES
Information gathered from informal and/or formal assessments can be conveyed to families in several ways; an informal conversation via phone or in person, a formal assessment that is sent home in a sealed envelope, a formal assessment that is mailed home to parents, or at a parent/teacher conference.