Student Reports & Assessments
Student progress is reported through parent/teacher conferences held twice a year for students in Kindergarten - Fifth Grade and Portfolio Reviews for students in Sixth-Eighth Grade, as well as through written reports sent out twice per school year. Parent/Teacher Conferences are held in the fall and in the spring to communicate student progress to parents. Portfolio reviews occur in the middle and at the end of the year. Teachers will contact parents in a timely fashion if concerns arise regarding a student’s progress in school. It is essential for parents to inform teachers of any changes in a child’s life that might affect their performance in school.
Teaching in all schools, including a Waldorf school, involves the presentation of subjects and content and the development of skills and competencies. Conceptually, the skills and competencies are built as subjects and content are taught in a creative and imaginative way that engages the students in meaningful activity. The Waldorf approach to education seeks to develop the whole human being and values a wide array of capacities equally, not preferencing traditional “academic” content over practical and artistic skills, physical abilities and social and emotional development. However, in Waldorf teaching it is still essential to know both the content and the skills being worked on and to track and measure student progress, particularly given the integrated approach to teaching. At Wasatch Charter School, student progress is regularly assessed and tracked in a meaningful way in order to demonstrate growth and to provide supports and interventions, as needed.
COMPREHENSIVE APPROACHES TO ASSESSMENT
SCOPE AND SEQUENCE OF CONTENT
Wasatch presents information in alignment with a traditional scope and sequence used in Waldorf schools. This sequencing is at times ahead of and at times behind the state core standards for grade; however, all core standards are taught over the progression from Kindergarten to the Eighth Grade. This information is reported to parents during the middle and end of the school year and through class newsletters and emails during the school year.
COMPLETION OF ASSIGNED WORK
Completion of main lesson and practice work is another aspect of student assessment and content work. This is a way of learning the content areas more deeply and demonstrating understanding. All main lesson work is assessed and teachers look for quality of work, mastery of content, demonstration of standards-based skills, behavior and effort. This work is reported on report cards on a semester basis.
- Standardized Tests
- Accadience (Reading and Math in Grades 1-3, given 3 times annually, can be used for progress monitoring with smaller assessments in between. Required by the State of Utah.)
- NWEA Maps (Used for English Language Arts and Mathematics formative assessments in Grades 4-8. Should be given 3 times annually to check progress.)
- RISE (Administered in Grades 3-8 at the end of the year, as required.)
- Class Assessments and Tests
- Dictations (spelling, grammar, handwriting)
- Reading Groups
- End of Block Tests (in upper grades)
- Math Quizzes
- Spelling Tests
- Main Lesson Block Assessments (as described above)
- Paying Attention with Intention (teachers notice particular students in particular areas on particular days and take brief notes on skills and abilities demonstrated)
- Grades Readiness Assessment (kindergarten students)
Teachers report to administration on the progress of their students throughout the year and work with our reading, math, and student support teams to identify students in need of additional support. Reports to parents occur at least quarterly through conferences or report cards, providing a time to assemble data and observations collected through various formative assessments.
As a public school, WCS will administer all state required assessments. WCS believes that assessment can provide valuable information on student progress, but is also limited in its scope. Our school seeks to recognize and promote the development of children as full human beings, placing in equal importance with academic growth social and emotional, artistic and musical, and physical and kinesthetic development. Testing is approached as one of many sources of information on student development within the school year, and administered in an environment of genuine concern and caring.
Testing can be a time of great anxiety for students. Teachers are encouraged to consider strategies that will lessen anxiety, such as: discussing tests as one measure of student progress, encouraging students to take time and stick with tests, providing adequate exposure and preparation related to the method of administration and language of testing, going over practice questions in class, providing breaks for students within the testing period, working with parents to provide breakfast at school on testing days, etc.
Wasatch Charter School (WCS) participates in a nation-wide and State-mandated assessment called Acadience Reading and Acadience Math three times a year. The Acadience assessments include measures that help teachers and schools determine how students are performing on foundational reading and mathematics skills. Acadience assessments provide “indicators” of the student’s overall reading and mathematics proficiency. The indicators help guide teachers and our interventionists towards instructional needs to better serve your child.
As a Waldorf school, we are aware of many dimensions of your child’s development; we contextualize any standardized testing data within the fuller picture of who your child is and how they are growing, particularly in determining whether additional support or interventions are needed. We also augment the data collected through Acadience Reading and Acadience Math with our observations and other assessments of each child.
In addition, WCS’s scope and sequence for the introduction of certain concepts may vary from that of other schools, particularly as we teach language and math from the whole to the parts. Consequently, in all grades we pay particular attention to student growth in Acadience Reading and Acadience Math to ensure that students are developing skills over time, more than worrying about reaching an arbitrary pre-designated proficiency level. Acadience Reading and Acadience Math should never be used to grade your child or for decisions about grade retention. It is important to note that the difficulty and content of Acadience Reading and Acadience Math increases over the course of the year, so progress is important to notice, even if a child’s proficiency level does not change.
NWEA MAPS DETAILS
Wasatch Charter School (WCS) administers NWEA MAPS assessment three times a year. NWEA MAP is Wasatch’s own internal measurement of student’s growth in English Language Arts and in Math. NWEA MAP is a computer-adaptive test and highly respected national assessment platform.
As a Waldorf school, we are aware of many dimensions of your child’s development; we contextualize any standardized testing data within the fuller picture of who your child is and how they are growing, particularly in determining whether additional support or interventions are needed. We also augment the data collected through NWEA with our observations and other assessments of each child. In addition, WCS’s scope and sequence for the introduction of certain concepts may vary from that of other schools. Consequently, in all grades we pay particular attention to student growth in NWEA to ensure that students are developing skills over time, more than worrying about reaching an arbitrary pre-designated proficiency level. Please note that MAP Growth scores are just one data point that we use at WCS to determine how a student is performing. NWEA MAP scores should never be used to grade your child or for decisions about grade retention.
At WCS, teachers, interventionists, SPED teachers and staff use the data to inform their instruction, differentiate student learning and monitor growth of individual students. MAP Growth produces a RIT scale instead of a score. The RIT scale accurately measures what students know, regardless of their grade level. It also measures growth over time, allowing you to track your child’s progress throughout the school year and across multiple years. In addition to RIT scores, MAP Growth provides specific learning statements showing what each student is ready to learn. The learning statements are directly aligned to Utah Common Core State Standards. These specific learning statements and RIT scores are also interwoven into programs that we use for students to practice identified skills, including Newsela and Map Accelerator Khan Math which automatically differentiate instruction for your student to work on their needed skill level.
Wasatch Charter School (WCS) participates in State-mandated assessment called RISE at the end of each year. RISE assessments include English language arts (3-8), mathematics (3-8), science (4-8), and writing (5-8). Because this is a summative assessment at the end of the school year, RISE data is not used to track progress or support curriculum or instructional design.
SCHOOL ASSESSMENT DATA
Historic data on school assessments is available in our school's annual reports.