Student Progress Reports
Students are evaluated in terms of individual competency. No comparative measures such as letter or number grades or class rankings are used. This is because we are concerned with individual progress as related to potential. Trimester reports rate students’ progress ranging from emerging, minimal, basic, proficient to advanced. Assessment is related to the student’s individual learning rate, allowing each child to develop fully. Students are involved as much as possible in their own evaluation. Parents are welcome at school and are encouraged to make appointments to discuss the progress of their child. Required parent/teacher/student conferences are scheduled twice a year. Attendance by all parents/guardians and stepparents at these meetings is beneficial to the child and their teachers.
Teachers guide a student’s learning by building on the student’s strengths. The goal is to help a student understand how he/she learns and her/his role as a learner. Woodlands believes that learning is lifelong. A student is encouraged to use his/her strength to overcome what is challenging. By reflecting on prior experiences, the learner sets goals and plans for the next day and the future.
Standardized testing is used as one of many evaluation tools. Other assessment tools are used for diagnostic and benchmarking information. Accountability notebooks document student growth from grade to grade over the years a student attends Woodlands. Results are shared with the parents as one component of assessment.
Retention and moving students beyond age appropriate grade levels is not encouraged. In reading, students work at their levels, which are determined by testing during the school year. In math, students work at their grade level and teachers differentiate within the grade level for skill development. Materials will be provided through integration of subjects and collaboration among teachers to meet a student’s needs.
To demonstrate growth over time, students’ work accumulates in working portfolios. Once a year, students review their work to present their achievements and struggles to their parents at the spring portfolio conferences. The goal is to provide a variety of examples of a student’s growth over time.
Eighth grade students use artifacts from their permanent files to demonstrate their growth through the creation and presentation of an exit portfolio. The portfolio highlights concepts that they have learned throughout their time at Woodlands School and is presented to external assessors, often alumni of Woodlands. Much more than a binder of memories, the portfolios truly document their learning and growth at Woodlands School.