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Assessment Agreements

Our shared beliefs around learning are:

  • All students can learn and succeed regardless of background.
  • All students and staff should aim for the highest standards of performance.
  • Students construct knowledge through inquiry-based learning and reflection.
  • School staff, parents, and community members are all vital partners in the work of educating our students.
  • The best education reflects the most current research.
  • Learning happens in a safe, responsible, and respectful environment. 
  • Educational success can positively affect self-esteem, attitude, motivation, and access to opportunity.

Assessment Philosophy

We recognize that children learn in different ways, at different rates and at different times. The teaching and learning cycle includes assessment. We aim to support and promote effective teaching and learning in the classroom by using a variety of assessments. Assessments should be a supportive and positive process. Assessment also serves as a framework for curriculum planning, self-reflection, and collaboration. RMMS faculty will gather evidence and information from assessments, summative assessment tasks, previous summative records and portfolios, parent consultations, and the student as a learner to determine appropriate curriculum goals.

The aim of this assessment policy is to inform, instruct and guide all members of the learning community (students, educators, and parents) in their knowledge and understanding of recording and reporting student progress. It outlines a common, collaborative understanding of why and how we assess, record, and report on a student's progress. Our goal is to clarify the assessment process pertaining to:

  • Testing and reporting
  • Self-reflection
  • Grading
  • Homework   

Characteristics of Effective Assessment 

Assessment is aimed at determining the learners' level of knowledge and understanding. It is essential that teachers determine from the beginning the types of assessment that will allow learners to demonstrate understanding. 

Pre-assessment (assessment for learning): Occurs before new teaching to uncover prior knowledge and experiences of each student. It helps determine a starting point for teaching, and reveals what students know or think they know. 

Formative assessment (ongoing, assessment through learning): Provides students and teachers information on the progress of learning. This is used to help identify learning needs and adjust teaching in order to build understanding or skills and guide discussions regarding student goals. 

Summative/Post assessment (assessment of learning): Aims at determining a student's achievement level, generally at the end of a unit of work. 

Examples of assessment tasks:

Tests Group work/class activities
Unit tests/exams Short exercises/Dialogue
Quiz Portfolios
Lesson reviews Homework
Investigations Standardized testing
Essay Practical/experimental work
Research projects Performances
Journal writing/design Artwork
Oral presentation  


RMMS Assessment Expectations/ Essential Agreements of the Learning Community

Students should/agree to:

  • Understand the learning goal and how it is measured.
  • Receive clear timely feedback regarding assessments.
  • Meet deadlines for assignments and know that a late assignment could result in lower grades on effort and/or the assignment.
  • Reflect to identify challenging goals for their own social and academic learning.
  • Keep track of their own performance and learning goals.
  • Understand that making mistakes is a part of learning.
  • Build a growth mindset, especially with ideas and actions that are new, difficult or complicated. 
  • Use feedback to strengthen their learning. 

Teachers should/agree to: 

  • Use student performance to adjust and plan instruction.
  • Provide advance notice of assessments that require preparation to both students and parents.
  • Communicate student performance on common assessment benchmarks
  • Provide parents and students with information about the amount of support/guidance that is needed for assignments.
  • Be aware that assessments can be culturally biased, and therefore, use a variety of strategies assess.
  • Engage in reflection of their own practice in order to enhance effectiveness.
  • Seek input from families on ways to support their child's learning and assessment. 
  • Create a classroom atmosphere of trust and confidence with opportunities to challenge themselves.
  • Acknowledge and celebrate perseverance.
  • Provide specific feedback to students regarding their progress and learning
  • Share performance expectations via rubrics, checklists, or examples

School should/agrees to:

  • Use Connecticut Core State Standards and other standards adopted by our state.
  • Provide common assessment benchmarks for each grade level.
  • List a summary of schoolwide assessments.
  • Administer benchmark assessments and Smarter Balanced Assessments as required by Connecticut state law.

Parents should/commit to:

  • Attend goal setting and parent conferences in order to be knowledgeable about goals, expectations and progress.
  • Encourage children to try their best, persevere and respectfully advocate for themselves.
  • Celebrate learning and student accomplishments.
  • Attend celebrations of learning in order to be knowledgeable about their child's learning.
  • Provide opportunities for their child to learn outside school.
  • Encourage students to meet the assignment due dates.
  • Provide time, space, and support for children to complete homework.
  • Support student learning by encouraging healthy habits such as good nutrition, regular exercise and enough sleep.
  • Support all RMMS policies.
  • Communicate with teachers about factors that might impact their child's learning.
  • Ensure that their child arrives on time and stays all day in order to support learning.
  • Contact the school in a timely manner if there are concerns about learning.

Communicating with Families about Student Progress


Conferences provide the opportunity to discuss the student's progress as documented by a variety of assessment and learning goals, and students are encouraged to guide the discussion around their portfolio of selected work. Teachers also discuss the school's learning program and the district standards-based measures with parents. 

Goal Setting Conferences: Students, parents/caregivers and teachers meet prior to the opening of school to set goals for the year and to establish ways to assess those goals.

Student-led Conferences: Two formal conferences with parents/caregivers, students, and teachers are held per year, in fall and winter. Students' participation with their parents/caregivers in the conference is an expectation. Conferences provide the opportunity to discuss the student's progress as documented by a variety of assessments and learning goals, and students are encouraged to guide the discussion around their portfolio of selected work. teachers also discuss the school's learning program and the district standards-based measures with parents. Parents and newsletters/blogs, emails, and phone calls as necessary. 

Progress Reports:  Progress reports are sent home at the end of each semester. Teachers include written comments that inform parents and caregivers of the learning goals and outcomes in their classrooms during the time period.

Student Portfolios: Samples of student work will be retained in a student-work portfolio. In the 2018-19 school year, we will be developing our student portfolio practices. 

Other Forms of Communication: Parents and teachers communicate regularly through informal means such as meetings, classroom newsletters/blogs, emails and phone calls as necessary.