Philosophy
Homestead Middle recognizes that assessment, learning and teaching are intertwined and interdependent. Our teachers deliver instruction that is designed to fit the individual learner and diverse learning styles of our students here at Homestead. To accomplish meeting the needs of all of our students learning styles assessment at Homestead takes on many forms.

 

As outlined in the International Baccalaureate, learning and assessment at Homestead Middle School is criterion-referenced. Students are assessed through formative and summative assessments tasks. The student’s performance is evaluated using criterion included in the IB MYP subject guides. Students are made aware of a rubric that outlines what they need to do to obtain mastery.

 

The primary purpose of assessment and evaluation at Homestead Middle School is to support and improve student learning. Assessment is the process of gathering information from a variety of sources to gauge student progress against curriculum expectations, to provide feedback to guide future instruction and learning. As all students have different learning styles, experiences, and abilities, so the assessment and evaluation of their learning must be fair to all students

 

Reasons for Assessment and Evaluation

 

To provide feedback to students
  • on their own learning
  • about how they are performing against the criteria outlined by the school and IBO

 

To provide feedback to teachers
  • about knowledge, understanding and/or skill development of the
student
  • To determine future class placement

 

To provide a grade for reporting understanding and progress to parents

 

Types of assessment to choose from include, but are not limited to: Class discussions, Socratic seminars, Essays, Group and individual oral presentations, Multimedia presentations, Multiple-choice style quizzes and tests, Portfolios, Short and extended responses, Sketchbooks, and Skits and performances.

 

To ensure students’ understanding of the work they are expected to master, appropriate examples and models are provided for each level of achievement against criteria to assist them in understanding how to achieve mastery. Students are also involved in the assessment process by learning how to self-assess their own work, assess their peers and set goals for improvement, and then by completing self and peer assessments during formative assessment.

 

Assessment Practices

 

Formative assessment represents the process of gathering, analyzing, interpreting and using evidence to improve student learning. It is integrated into the curriculum, woven into the daily learning process and is an integral part of instruction. It provides teachers and students with information about how learning is progressing. It helps the teacher to plan the next stage of learning for their classes. Students are involved in the formative assessment of their own learning and that of their peers through feedback and discussions.

 

Summative assessment occurs at the end of a teaching and learning cycle when students are given the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned by applying their knowledge in new and authentic contexts. Summative assessments are a means to gauge student learning relative to the standards communicated to students prior to and during formative assessment. Summative assessment is generally used as part of the grading process. The timing, type, scope, and format of each summative task should be clearly communicated to the students ahead of time, and rubrics, examples and practice assessments are distributed and discussed.

 

Homework is given to either support learning in each class and can consist of formative and summative assessments. Only the minimum amount of homework necessary to achieve the goals of the class will be given.

 

When does assessment take place?

 

·         Formative assessment is ongoing throughout the year.

 

·         State and district mandated testing happens at times prescribed for all public schools.

 

·         All units of study include a summative assessment at the end of a unit.

 

How and When do we report on assessment?
  • Teachers record grades in an electronic grade book that can be accessed by the student and parent at any time.
  • A Miami-Dade County Public Schools Interim Progress Report and a Student Grade Report are issued once in each nine week period.
  • IBMYP reporting is conducted twice a year, once at mid-term and then at the end of the school year.

 

Process and Purpose and Review
This document was produced to provide consistency in teaching and learning at HMS and to align assessment practices with the IB philosophy and expectations. Ideas and feedback were collected from many sources including the IB teachers, the IB Coordinator and the Department Chairs.  This process was repeated several times before the final version of the assessment policy was produced.