Ellenvale Junior High School

 

 

SCHOOL COMMUNICATION PLAN

 

 

SCHOOL PLAN FOR COMMUNICATING STUDENT LEARNING

2009-10

Introduction:

Ellenvale Jr. High is committed to providing the best possible education for our students.  As part of that commitment, we value effective communication between school and home.  Accurate and timely information respecting student behavior, attendance, and achievement will facilitate a cooperative effort among parents/guardians, staff, and student to ensure a successful and rewarding junior high school experience.

 

Teachers at Ellenvale recognize that students learn in different ways and demonstrate their learning in different ways.  This has been identified in our school’s mission statement which states:  Ellenvale Junior High school, a dynamic, diversified school, challenges each student to achieve personal and educational excellence, and to develop responsibility and respect with a safe environment in partnership with home and community.

 

The education programs at Ellenvale follow the Department of Education outcomes for each subject area.  These educational outcomes describe the knowledge, skills, and attitudes the students will demonstrate by the end of each grade level.  The assessment and evaluation of students is based on the guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

 

Assessment and Evaluation Methods
Halifax Regional School Board has been moving towards change in the ways we assess, evaluate and communicate student learning.  This Student Assessment and Evaluation policy is based on guidelines from the Department of Education.  Each school must develop a plan to communicate student learning to parents, guardians and the community.  This school plan will explain what we, at Ellenvale, do to assess and evaluate learning and how we will communicate to you our expectations for continued achievement.  In some cases, the communication process may be adapted in order for parents/guardians to be clear on their child’s development.

 

By assessment, we mean the systematic process of gathering information about students’ learning.  Evaluation is the process of analyzing, summarizing and making decisions based upon the assessment information gathered.

 

The teachers at Ellenvale use a wide variety of assessment methods in order to gather information regarding student learning.  Balanced assessment allows teachers to gain a more accurate understanding of what students know and can do.  Although teachers will not use all the methods listed below, they will ensure all students have multiple opportunities to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

 

ü      Class presentations (oral, visual, performance)

ü      Writing experiences (journals, portfolios, stories, essays)

ü      Tests, quizzes, questionnaires, checklists

ü      Interviews, conferences

ü      Charts, graphs, maps

ü      Self and peer assessments

ü      Research Projects

ü      Labs

ü      Rubrics

ü      Daily work samples, homework

ü      Teacher observation

ü      Process assessments

ü      Multimedia presentations

ü      Cultural exchanges (field trips, etc)

 

In evaluating student learning, teachers will synthesize, weigh and balance the information they have collected and use professional judgment to make decisions based upon that information.

 

Planning for students with special needs

Ellenvale Jr. High School supports the learning of all students.  Where necessary, adaptations and IPP’s will be shared among teachers, parents and students.

 

Identification of students with special needs:

Teachers and parents/guardians may initiate and/or assist in identifying students and provide relevant assessment information.  When formal individual assessments are required, they will be conducted by qualified personnel and will be undertaken only after parents/guardians have given written informed consent.

 

Program Adaptations:

Teachers will explore a variety of adaptations based on the characteristics of the learner which are appropriate to his/her needs, age and level of educational achievement.  These adaptations and their effectiveness in assisting students in meeting outcomes will be recorded and the information communicated to parents/guardians on the Program Adaptations Form.

 

Individual Program Plan

The development and implementation of an Individual Program Plan (IPP) follows a process suggested by the Nova Scotia Department of Education.  Parents/guardians will be involved in the process.

 

Protocol for Concerns Regarding Student’s Assessments

Students and parent/guardians have the right to a review of any single assessment, using the following steps:

1)     Students or parents/guardians should first contact the teacher regarding the assessment. 

2)     The teacher will respond to this communication in a timely manner (within three school days of receiving the message, unless circumstances prevent it.)

3)     Following the parent/guardian communication, they may contact the principal to set up a further examination of the assessment, in consultation with the teacher.

4)     The principal will then meet with the parties involved in an effort to resolve the situation. 

 

Methods of assessment and Evaluation

Knowing that students can legitimately demonstrate their achievement of the expected learning outcomes in different ways, teachers at Ellenvale ensure balanced assessment methods, including, but not limited to the following:

ü      Anecdotal reports – used to assess a student’s progress toward achievement of global learning outcomes.  They are also used to communicate student learning to parents of students who are on an IPP.

ü      Checklists – used to record a student’s completion of homework, understanding of a concept and completion of assigned classroom work.

ü      Observations – used to assess group dynamics and to make students accountable to their classmates.

ü      Peer Assessments – used to assess group dynamics and to make students accountable to their classmates.

ü      Performance – a demonstration of student achievement before an audience.

ü      Portfolios – a collection of student’s work selected for a particular purpose.

ü      Projects – in depth research on a chosen topic and/or demonstrate application of knowledge/skills.

ü      Questioning – an informal method used for immediate feedback allowing teachers to check for understanding, initiate discussion, and encourage participation.

ü      Rubrics – used to assess presentations, reports, visual displays, essays, labs, assignments, portfolios and other items.  Aspects of the work are evaluated based on a pre-determined marking scheme.

ü      Self-Assessment – used to allow student to communicate their perceived level of competence on certain outcomes.

ü      Tests – used to assess a student level of competence based on the learning outcomes for a specific unit of work.

ü      Written assignments – used to assess a student’s ability to demonstrate extended learning, such as research skills, making connections between concepts and analyzing information.

 

While individual teachers may not use all the methods listed above, every teacher at Ellenvale will ensure a balanced approach to assessing student learning.


 

Important School Dates

The calendar below includes curriculum evenings, reporting dates, teacher professional dates, and school closure dates.  There may be teacher-parent/guardian contact at times other than specific reporting dates.  Contact may be made by phone, interviews, and/or written notification about child’s progress.

Wednesday August 26                    Late Registration Day

Tuesday September 1                     First Day of School – Organization Day (no classes)

Wednesday September 2                First Day of Classes for Students

Monday September 7                       Labour Day (no classes)

Thursday September 10                  Stand Up Against Bullying Day

Friday September 25                       School-Based Professional Development Day (no classes)

October                                            Interm Reports

October 5-9                                      Gr. 7-9 Common Literacy Assessment

Monday October 12                         Thanksgiving Day (no classes)

October 19-22                                  Gr. 7-9 Common Math Assessment

October 20-22                                  Gr 8 CAT Assessment

Friday October 23                            NSTU Provincial Conference Day (no classes)

Wednesday November 4              Early Dismissal for Parent/Teacher Interviews (1-3 pm)

Wednesday November 4                 Take Our Kids to Work Day

Thursday November 5                  Evening Parent Teacher Interviews (6-8 pm)

Wednesday November 11               Remembrance Day

Monday November 23                      Bus Cluster #3 Professional Development Day

Friday November 27                        Assessment & Evaluation Day P-9 (no classes)

Friday December 4                          Term One Ends P-9

Monday December 7                       Term Two Begins P-9

Monday – Thursday                         December 7-10 Report Cards Home P-9

Friday December 18                        Last Day of Classes - Christmas Break

Monday January 4                            Schools Re-Open

January                                            Interm  Reports

Jan 19-20                                         Gr 8 CAT Assessment

Monday February 1                          Registration for 2010-2011 Begins

February 8-12                                  Gr 7-9 Math Common Assessments

Friday February 19                           Bus Cluster #3 Professional Development Day

February 22-25                                Junior High Literacy Assessment

Friday March 12                               Last Day of Classes—March Break

Monday March 22                             Schools Re-Open

Friday March 26                               Assessment & Evaluation Day P-9 (no classes)

Friday March 26                               Term Two Ends P-9

Monday March 29                             Term Three Begins P-9

Friday April 2                                    Good Friday (no classes)

Monday April 5                                  Easter Monday (no classes)

Monday – Thursday April 12-15       Report Cards Home P-9

Monday – Friday April 12-16            Common Literacy Assessments

Wednesday April 21                       Early Dismissal for Parent/Teacher Interviews (1-3 pm)

Thursday April 22                           Evening Parent Teacher Interviews (6-8 pm

May 3-6                                            Math Common Assessment

Friday May 7                                     School-Based Professional Development Day (no classes)

Monday May 24                                Victoria Day (no classes)

Monday June 28                               Assessment & Evaluation Day P-12 (no classes)

Tuesday June 29                             Last Day of School

*Please note – A monthly newsletter is distributed to all students.  This newsletter provides pertinent information on parent/teacher interviews, school events and related school activities.

ASSESSMENT CODES FOR REPORT CARDS

JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL

 Description of Report Card

The Department of Education and the HRSB recently implemented a new report card.  There will be three reporting periods (December, April, and June) rather than two.  The grade 7 & 8 report cards will have A-D letter grades but the grade 9’s will have numerical marks.

Explanation of Letter Grades for grade 7 & 8:

The student’s achievement is evaluated in terms of expected learning outcomes established by the Department of Education for each grade level and for each subject, or individualized outcomes developed by the student’s Program Planning Team.  The following letter grades are used to summarize the student’s performance over the course of the term and in relation to these outcomes.

 Letter Grade

Description of Student Achievement on Expected Learning Outcomes

A

The student consistently demonstrates achievement of the expected learning outcomes addressed during the current reporting period.  The student’s work may exceed program expectations.

B

The students demonstrates achievement of most of the expected learning outcomes addressed during the current reporting period.  The student’s work meets program expectations.

C

The student demonstrates achievement of some of the expected learning outcomes addressed during the current reporting period.  The students work approaches program expectations

D

The student rarely demonstrates achievement of the expected learning outcomes addressed during the current reporting period.  The students work does not meet program expectations.

 Explanation of Codes for grade 9

 Code

Description of Student Achievement on Expected Learning Outcomes

90-100%

The student demonstrates excellent or outstanding performance in relation to the expected learning outcomes for this course.

80-89%

The student demonstrates very good performance in relation to the expected learning outcomes of this course.

70-79%

The student demonstrates good performance in relation to the expected learning outcomes for this course.

60-69%

The student demonstrates satisfactory performance in relation to the expected learning outcomes for this course.

50-59%

The student demonstrates minimally acceptable performance in relation to the expected learning outcomes for this course.

Below 50%

The student has not met minimum requirements in relation to the expected learning outcomes for this course.

 

 

Educational Terminology

It is important that the school community understand what is meant by the various terms related to issues of assessment and evaluation.

Balanced Assessment                                             using a variety of assessment strategies

Individual Program Plan (IPP                                requires extra planning with changes to the Public School Program outcomes and/or the addition of individualized outcomes.  It may include any or all of the following:

·     deletion of curriculum outcomes

general curriculum outcomes at significantly different specific outcome levels

·     addition of new outcomes; may include behavioral or social outcomes.

Multiple Intelligences                                             explains how different individuals learn: verbal, logical, visual, bodily, musical, interpersonal, interpersonal and naturalist.

Assessment                                                               the systematic process of gathering information on student learning.

Evaluation                                                                 the process of analyzing, reflecting upon and summarizing assessment information, and making judgments and/or decisions based upon the information gathered.

Outcome                                                                   the statements that articulate what a student is expected to know and be able to do and understand as a result of a learning experience.

Portfolios                                                                   a collection of samples of student work that is used for evaluation, reflection, and celebration.

Rubric                                                                        specific criteria that is set for an activity or piece of work against which the product is measured.

Self-assessments                                                     students assess their own levels of competence in certain outcomes and/or criteria.

Peer                                                                            students assess their own levels of competence in certain outcomes and/or criteria

PSP                                                                             Public School Program as prescribed by the Nova Scotia Department of Education

Essential Graduation Learning (EGLs)               the foundation for all curriculum development that describes the cross-cultural knowledge, skills, and attitudes expected of all students who graduate from high school.

Key Stage Curriculum Outcomes                        statements identifying what students are expected to know and be able to do by the end of Grades 3, 6, 9, and 12.

General Curriculum Outcomes                            the foundation for all curriculum guides and key stage outcomes.

Specific Curriculum Outcomes                             are statements that identify what students are expected to know and be able to do at a particular grade level in each subject.

 

Review of Plan for Communicating Student Learning

We recognize that the school community is a dynamic environment.  Therefore, the school’s plan for communicating student learning will undergo periodic review.  There are several options for revisiting the plan.  Members of the school community may submit a written request for a review of the school plan to the principal.  The school plan will be reviewed annually to meet the needs of the community in consultation with staff and SAC.

 


 

 

School Improvement Plan

Our School Improvement Plan has been developed with input from students, parents/guardians, staff and community members.  It is a living, breathing changing document that can be accessed on the HRSB website.

 

Sources of Information

Community members and Canadian Parents for French (CPF) parents wishing to access relevant documentation may borrow some from the school.  Many of these documents are also available at the following websites:

http://apef-fepa.org

http://www.hrsb.ns.ca

http://www.ellenvale.ednet.ns.ca