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Huppertz Elementary Policies


Huppertz Elementary Assessment Policy


Purpose: The purpose of this document is to outline the Huppertz Elementary Assessment Policy. This policy applies to the whole school and is to be communicated to and understood by all continuing and new teachers, students, parents, and administrators.


Assessments are used to hold teachers, students, and parents accountable for the learning process and mastery of standards. We believe students are responsible for self-monitoring, ownership of learning. As such, assessment is important in order for students to reflect upon their current level of skill, areas in need of improvement, and steps necessary for academic improvement. The purpose of assessment is to assess student mastery and growth, and a variety of assessment provides a holistic view of each student. Meaningful assessment provides opportunities for immediate intervention, enrichment, and extension, all of which drive academic success at our campus. 


Philosophy: We believe the role of assessment is to guide instruction based on authentic experiences and to collect data on mastery of IB concepts and mastery of TEKS. We believe best practices of common formative and common summative assessment drives instructional adjustments and builds on strengths and areas of improvement. We believe that assessment must be responsive to student need, varied in context provided, and rigorous so that students are able to apply and synthesize TEKS and IB concepts taught. Assessments are authentic and used to gather and provide data to meet the needs of our students. Upon reflection of data, instructional adjustments are made by the teacher and student to respond to student growth areas.


Assessment Practices: Assessment practices should meet the rigor and delivery of instruction. Assessments should include TEKS, process standards, and IB concepts. A variety of assessment types should be used and data collected from those assessments should be used to plan for student intervention and groupings. In addition, snapshots of student artifacts will be discussed at PLCs for every 3 and 6 week mark. When developing assessments, teachers will follow IB expectations of effective assessments which are: authentic, clear and specific, varied, developmental, collaborative, interactive, and feedback to feedforward. In addition, teachers will follow backwards design when developing assessments to ensure alignment to standards and concepts.


*The chart below outlines to types of assessments that can be used but is not an exhaustive list.

Type of Assessment

Assessment for learning


Also known as formative assessments. These assessments help inform teaching practices and promote student learning.

Assessment of learning


Also known as summative assessments. These assessments verify the learning progress to be reported on.

Assessment as learning


These assessments are also formative in nature and focus on the process of  students becoming self-regulated learners.

Examples of Assessment

-Pre-assessments

-Anecdotal notes

-Observations

-Exit tickets

-Reflections

-Progress monitoring

-Daily checks for understanding (thumbs up/thumbs down, four corners, quick checks, etc)

-Checklists

-Writing samples

-Continuums

-Conferences

-IB unit assessments (transdisciplinary)

-Rubrics

-Reflections

-Exhibition (5th grade)

-Campus benchmark assessments

-Projects (individual and group)

-Presentations (individual and group)

-State mandated assessments

-student self-reflections

-student portfolios

-peer feedback

-student-led conferences

-student goal setting

-student self-assessment

Frequency of Assessment

Beginning of lesson/unit, ongoing throughout lesson/unit, end of a learning experience

End of a unit, end of the PYP programme (Exhibition)

Beginning of lesson/unit, ongoing throughout lesson/unit, end of a learning experience


*In addition to the above assessments, mandatory assessments will still be given. These assessments include: STAAR, MAP, campus wide reading assessments (such as Fountas and Pinnell, Phonemic Awareness, TPRI, or Istation), and CBAs. A Learner Profile Rubric will also be used to assess student progress and development of each Learner Profile attribute at the end of each school year.


Recording: Assessment data will be recorded using trackers, self-checks or self-evaluations, student progress sheets, reflections, photos and video recording. Additionally, student progress will be tracked over multiple grade levels using MAP data, campus wide reading assessments (such as Fountas and Pinnell testing, Phonemic Awareness testing, TPRI, or Istation), CBA data, and STAAR. Student progress and mastery will be reported using student-driven data folders, teacher-kept data binders and/or online platforms (e.g. Google Drive, Dreambox, district provided online platforms), and class data within the classroom. Individual IB binders for each student will also be maintained to record student progress and performance in their units. IB binders should consist of artifacts from the unit (teacher and student chosen), self-assessments, self-reflections, and teacher feedback/scoring. IB binders will travel up with the student each year and students completing the PYP programme will take their work with them.


Reporting: Student data will be reported regularly to students and parents, as well as analyzed and utilized for guidance of instruction during PLCs. Student data will be reported to parents using the following methods: parent/teacher conferences, student led conferences, notes and copies of student work sent home, formal progress reports, report cards, IB showcases, PYP Exhibition, and feedback on student progress and performance at the end of each IB unit. In addition, each grade level will decide how they want to report on growth of the IB Learner Profile throughout the year.


Student data will also be reported to grade level team members and administration at PLCs. Data reporting will consist of student progress and performance. A variety of analyzed data of TEKS and IB concepts should be reported on such as: grade level data, individual teacher data, individual student data, special populations data, campus data, etc.


Resources:

International Baccalaureate Organization (2018). PYP Learning and teaching: assessment. Accessed February 25, 2019 from www.ibo.org



Huppertz Elementary Language Policy


Purpose: The purpose of this document is to outline the Huppertz Elementary Language Policy. This policy applies to the whole school and is to be communicated to and understood by all continuing and new teachers, students, parents, and administrators.


Philosophy: Language is fundamental for success in learning and active engagement in various social interactions. Language gives children the tools they need to interpret and understand the world around them. Language is ever changing and our role as teachers is to teach academic and social language to adapt to our environment. At Huppertz Elementary, we believe that every teacher is a language teacher and responsible for students’ language development. Language acquisition is best attained when students are immersed in a language-rich interactive classroom with structured academic conversations in the classroom to boost oral language development. Providing students with opportunities to interact with other students will naturally enhance language development/acquisition while also providing the scaffolding needed to increase language acquisition achievement. 


Language is also best acquired as student’s affective filter is lowered. The “affective filter” is a theoretical construct in second language acquisition that attempts to explain the emotional variables associated with the success or failure of acquiring a second language. The affective filter is an invisible psychological filter that can either facilitate or hinder language production in a second language. When a student’s affective filter is low, students become risk-takers as they manipulate language. In addition,

  • Students feel safe in making mistakes without judgement and constant corrections
  • Students feel empowered to interact with their peers and seek out models of language
  • Students feel safe in answering questions and sharing their thinking with peers and the teacher

With this in mind, comprehensible input will be paramount in the construction of a second language. Comprehensible input is language input that can be understood by listeners despite them not understanding all the words and structures in it. It is described as one level above that of the learners if it can only just be understood.


Finally, language development is essential to the development of international mindedness. Valuing and appreciating the mother-tongue of our students is instrumental in respecting and learning about each student’s culture. Families will be encouraged to continue to speak, read and write in their mother-tongue. In addition to learning more about one’s own culture, learning a second language allows our students to appreciate other cultures and broaden their perspectives outside of their own. Teachers shall use language instruction to encourage inquiry, curiosity and opportunities to share local and global perspectives. We base these beliefs on research-based best instructional practices that focus on the social construction of language.  All members of the school community are invested in culturally-relevant instruction that places a significance on highlighting the diversity of our faculty and student population. 


Language of the Host Country (English): We will promote English language learning throughout the school by providing language rich learning environments. The teaching and learning of language will be incorporated into the programme of inquiry by varying the modes of communication. We will encourage students to speak in complete sentences and employ total response signals along with other research-based best instructional practices. We will incorporate all communication skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing, and media literacy) by encouraging students to participate in structured conversations as well as structured reading and writing activities. To promote engagement for all students, practices to enhance teaching and learning will include forms of scaffolding to help immerse all learner types (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, etc.)  The expectations surrounding the areas of writing, grammar, spelling, and referencing will follow grade level expectations outlined by state (TEKS) and the English Language Proficiency standards (ELPS) as well as the Approaches to Learning Skills.


Additional Languages: Students at Huppertz Elementary in 2nd-5th grade will receive Spanish language instruction for 45 minutes per week by a certified Spanish Teacher. In Spanish class, students will learn to listen, speak, read, and write the Spanish language. They will learn about the language (conventions and structures) and explore cultures of Spanish-speaking countries. Students will learn about different locations throughout the world that speak Spanish, such as Spain, Central and South America, Mexico and other Spanish speaking islands off the Caribbean. The school will promote the Spanish language by ensuring that common areas of the school are labeled in both Spanish and English, producing flyers and notes home in Spanish and English, hosting events such as Principal Coffee in Spanish and English, announcements in Spanish and English, and other promotional endeavors.


Supporting Students: A process that can be used to identify the language needs of each learner is by using common placement language tools (TELPAS and LPAC).  Based on the students level of language acquisition, the language teacher will be able to scaffold language support commensurate to students’ linguistic needs. 


The considerations that will be made for English Learners are to provide different forms of scaffolding and to provide extensive opportunities to engage in discussions utilizing the language.


Mother tongues and other languages in the community will be identified and promoted by advertising them, e.g. country and commonly used words, posters, and getting to know our students.


Differentiation strategies will be monitored by continuous assessment (formal and informal).


Parents will be involved in the language learning of their child through family projects and school functions. 


Language Resources: 

Language is promoted in the classroom through a variety of ways such as: 

  • Word walls 
  • Realia 
  • Visual guides and/or infographics
  • English/Spanish word walls
  • Games and social interactions
  • Music
  • Planned, student interactions 
  • Journaling 
  • Speaking stems
  • Writing stems  
  • Body language and gestures to express appropriate words

Sheltered Instruction such as the SIOP Model is a resource that can improve second language acquisition. The Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) Model is a delivery approach composed of instructional strategies grouped into eight components:

  1. Preparation
  2. Building Background
  3. Comprehensible Input 
  4. Strategies 
  5. Interaction 
  6. Practice/Application 
  7. Lesson Delivery 
  8. Review/Assessment

Teachers will continue to receive professional development focused on language instruction from various trainers such as Region 20 specialists, SAISD trainings offered by the Bilingual Department and the World Languages Department, and other sources. We will also network with other IB schools to collaborate on best practices.


Language pathways are in place during parent classes offered by the campus, Coffee with the Principal, IB nights, Literacy Nights, STEAM Night, AVID Nights and other informational nights/classes. Some ideas for these nights/classes may include bringing in an interpreter to discuss career pathways, benefits to acquiring a second language and utilizing language knowledge as a skill.


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