Primary Assessment and Parent Communication
Authentic assessments are ongoing, anchored by student reflection, feedback from teachers and peers, and revision. Teachers’ every moment with the children involves assessment through observation of activity, viewing written and handmade work, documentation, and frequent conferring. All of this information-gathering informs our next instructional moves.
The ERB (CTP-5) is a standardized test we give to all children beginning in Grade 4. This test is administered by most independent schools. Blue School children are scored and normed against other independent school children at their grade level. Educators and families gather helpful information from the ERB, however we recognize that results show only one facet of the whole child.
Communication with parents is frequent. A rich partnership between families and educators is at the heart of Blue School’s Primary Division. Information from the classroom is delivered through email, blogs, our weekly Community Meeting, invitations for parents to stop in for a chat, and many classroom events. These may include a publishing celebration to share new fairy tales, a gallery walk to admire a display of 2- and 3-dimensional work growing out of a recent field trip to the Tenement Museum, or a family book club through our annual Blue School Reads. Division Directors and other educators present weekly parent Round Tables focusing on specific areas of learning and childhood development. Family Conferences, which occur once a year, invite children to articulate goals, successes, and challenges. Mid Year Reports are written narratives that parents receive in November, describing children’s learning and social/emotional development. These MYRs serve to scaffold ongoing conversation between teachers and parents as the year moves forward. Shortly after receiving MYRs, parents attend a conference with teachers to deepen their understanding of their children at school. End of Year Reports include a skill-based checklist in addition to another comprehensive narrative. Portfolio Day occurs in the spring and is an opportunity for children to publicly reflect on their growth and development, and address comments and questions offered by members of their community.