GRADING AND ASSESSMENT PRACTICES
REPORT CARDS AND THE QSI EVALUATION SYSTEM
Report cards are issued five times a year at the end of each reporting period (Quintile). The primary purpose of a report card is to provide information to students and parents about the performance of a student at school. These status reports are sent home every seven weeks, or more frequently, if needed. Twice a year, narrative reports are sent home.
Report Cards for 5-year-olds through 12-year-olds classes will be issued at the end of each quintile. In addition, Parent–Teacher conferences will be scheduled to discuss progress The purpose of these conferences is to review the overall performance of the student. Standardized testing is administered in February each year for students aged 8 through Secondary IV. The results will be shared with the students' parents.
The QSI evaluation system is different from most conventional grading systems. It is designed to support the school’s educational mission and philosophy and reflects our performance-based approach to learning. All students are expected to achieve mastery of individual units of study. Each unit of study is assigned a grade. Teachers use special rubrics to evaluate students and assign grades.
“A” All essential parts of the unit were mastered at an appropriately high level. The student consistently demonstrated noteworthy achievement of high quality, particularly in the higher order thinking and performance skills. The student shows mastery “above and beyond” expectations. (Please note that an “A” at QSI does not necessarily correspond to an “A” in a more traditional grading system. Because of our emphasis on higher-order thinking skills, it is often more difficult to qualify for an “A” at QSI.)
“B” All essential parts of the unit were mastered at an appropriately high level in which the student successfully engaged in higher order thinking or performance skills.
“P” The student has not yet mastered the unit; it is “in progress”.
“H” The unit is on hold for a legitimate reason. The student has started the unit but is currently not pursuing it. This unit will not count towards graduation. The student will have to decide to complete this unit at a later date or choose another unit to complete.
“D” The student has not made a reasonable effort and is therefore “deficient” in attaining mastery of a unit. This unit will not count towards graduation, and the student will have to make it up at a later date.
“E” ‘Exposure’. The student made a reasonable effort in the unit and attained a level of mastery consistent with his/her abilities. An “E” is only available in elementary classes but not in the areas of mathematics, reading, or language arts.
“W” The student has “withdrawn” from this unit. This unit will not count towards graduation
Carnegie Unit: In the Secondary Program, students are granted one credit for each unit mastered. Ten such units correspond to a “Carnegie Unit” used by many secondary schools in the United States.
PLACEMENT, PROMOTION, AND RETENTION
In most cases placement/promotion of each student to the next grade is routine. When difficulties are encountered, parents will be contacted and the concerns discussed. Remedies to assist the student will be explored and implemented. Parents will be part of the decision-making process in any retention. If parents and teacher cannot come to a conclusion, the director will make the final decision.
SAFETY NETTING (12 Year Olds and above)
The school’s curriculum is rigorous and demands hard work. If a student appears to be experiencing difficulty with academics or with behavior, the school will intervene to provide an appropriate “safety net.” The purpose of safety netting is to help a student develop study habits and discipline that will enable him or her to be successful. Safety-netting procedures are generally outlined below. Students 12 years old and older will be allowed to continue work in a subsequent unit even if they have not mastered a preceding unit in accordance to the following steps:
Step One: Upon a student having one outstanding or incomplete unit in any given course, the teacher will notify the parent in writing by means of an office form that will be sent home. Students twelve years old and older will be allowed to continue work in a subsequent unit even if they have not mastered a preceding unit.
Step Two: Upon a student having two outstanding or incomplete units in any given course, both of the following will come into effect simultaneously:
I. The school administration will place the student in the Academic Monitoring Program. Details of the Monitoring Program, including student responsibilities, will be shared, in writing, with the parents.
II. The teacher will develop a Remediation Plan for the student. The parents will be informed in writing and will receive a copy of the Remediation Plan. Each Remediation Plan includes a description of all remedial work the student must satisfactorily complete and an agreed-to deadline for successful reassessment of the academic material. This form is signed by both the student and the teacher. Parents will be apprised that the Remediation Plan can only be effective if the student makes the necessary efforts to improve study and work habits. Parent support is essential.
Step Three: Upon a student having three outstanding or incomplete units in any given course, the school administration will have the student placed under an Academic Contract signed by a school administrator, the student, and a parent or guardian of the student. The academic Contract will include an outline of the remedial work that needs to be completed and clearly state that the student will be removed from the course if, and when, a fourth outstanding or incomplete unit is reached in the course. Only a school administrator may place a student under an Academic Contract. Academic Contracts include an outline of the terms under which the student will be removed from the class if progress is not made in the course, and the imminent possibility of the student being withdrawn from the course.
Step Four: Upon a student having four outstanding or incomplete units in any given course, the student will be removed from the course. In the case of secondary students, withdrawal from a course will negatively impact graduation; withdrawal may require a modified graduation plan and possible change of graduation date.
ACADEMIC MONITORING PROGRAM (12-Year-Olds and above)
The Academic Monitoring Program is designed for students twelve years old and older. The Academic Monitoring Program includes a standard form (weekly reports) which includes an outline of the student’s courses with corresponding columns in which each teacher may indicate the student’s academic performance. There is also space for each teacher to write a short narrative if they so choose. This form will be filled out each week by each of the student’s teachers of academic courses and made available by the office to the student’s homeroom teacher for the counseling period each Friday so opportunity is given for the student’s homeroom teacher to review, discuss, and comment on the student’s progress before leaving school. The office will send the completed form to the parents. Parents are encouraged to utilize the Monitoring Program in the following ways:
- I. Reward and give positive feedback to their son or daughter when there is an improvement in academic success as reflected in the Monitoring Program form;
- II. Be apprised on continued areas of challenge the student faces in academic performance and make adjustments in support the student may need as reflected in the Academic monitoring Program form.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR THE MONITORING PROGRAM
A student is placed under the Monitoring Program if one or more of the following apply:
- By faculty consensus;
- Upon parental request;
- Upon coming under Step Two of the Safety-Netting Policy.
The primary purpose of the Monitoring Program is to provide help and structure for students who need to improve study habits. In due course, most students are removed from the Monitoring Program and continue to do well without this extra supervision. A student may be taken off the Monitoring Program once the terms under which they were placed under the program are no longer of concern. All records of the Monitoring Program are kept on file in the students file in the office.
QSI schools use the Measures of Academic Performance™ (MAP) tests to determine student progress. MAP tests are administered twice yearly to all students in levels 8 through Secondary III. This instrument is one of many assessments used to determine how well our students and school are performing. Individual results are shared with parents.
MAP is given to students twice each year. We give students MAP tests to determine your student’s instructional level and to measure academic growth throughout the school year, and from year to year in the areas of Reading, Language Usage, and Mathematics. Student take the tests on a computer.
MAP tests are unique in that they adapt to be appropriate for your student’s level of learning. As a result, each student has the same opportunity to succeed and maintain a positive attitude toward testing. And with MAP tests, we can administer shorter tests and use less class time while still receiving detailed, accurate information about your student’s growth.
We are truly excited to begin a new era that focuses on every child’s individual growth and achievement. Partnering to help all kids learn, parents and teachers can have a profound positive effect on the lives of our children. For more information on resources for parents, a Parent Toolkit is available online. A hard copy is available in the office or it can be emailed to you as a PDF file.