Rocky View Schools outlines details of new student assessment
Rocky View Schools (RVS) is offering students and parents a new way of assessing academic progress designed to help students build knowledge of themselves as learners.
Acting Superintendent of Schools Susan Williams said over the next two years, parents of kindergarten to Grade 8 students will see a new way of assessing their child’s progress in what RVS is calling “Communication of Student Learning Process.”
Williams stated in an email to Airdrie City View the new assessment will provide parents with, “more accessible and timely information about their child’s progress via student portfolios, our PowerSchool Parent Portal and student/parent/teacher conferences.”
The PowerSchool Parent Portal is an online student information system that allows parents to view their child’s Learner Profiles, which are developed by teachers to identify learning preferences and needs.
“Our PowerSchool Parent Portal in particular allows parents on a day-to-day basis to see their child’s progress by allowing them to see their child’s work, comments by their teachers, and in some cases the marks they received on graded assignments,” Williams said.
She added the new assessment will provide a more consistent reporting process across all kindergarten to Grade 8 schools.
Twelve schools are included in the roll out of the new assessment including five Airdrie schools: Airdrie Christian Program, École Edwards Elementary School, Herons Crossing School, Muriel Clayton Middle School and R.J. Hawkey Elementary School.
The new Academic Achievement Reporting Key for kindergarten to Grade 8 includes indicator words that identify the child’s progress. Indicators include exemplary, proficient, satisfactory, basic, emerging and limited.
The Grade 5 to 8 key, however, includes an approximate percentage range along with the indicator word.
The exemplary range is from 90 to 100 per cent, the proficient range is 80 to 90 per cent, satisfactory ranges from 65 to 80 per cent, basic indicates 50 to 65 per cent, emerging is 40 to 50 per cent and limited is less than 40 per cent.
RVS Trustee Sylvia Eggerer is concerned some parents may be upset with the new percentage ranges.
“If my child is getting 79 per cent and gets a satisfactory I think they are doing very well,” said RVS Trustee Sylvia Eggerer.
“But if my child is getting 65 per cent and it’s still satisfactory I don’t think that’s very good.”
She said she knows some of these changes to assessment process are needed but said she’s not sure if this new Communication of Student Learning is cutting it.
“I still need to be convinced,” she said.
One of Eggerer’s main concerns stems from what she is hearing from parents.
“Parents are telling me the need to understand where their child is standing equivalent to the other children in that grade. They are saying, ‘Tell me if my child is working hard or goofing off. And tell me how I can help them.’”
She said in order for this new assessment to work for parents, RVS has to be clear about communication and not get caught up in the education jargon.
Eggerer said parents need to know in this package of assessment where they can go to quickly identify their child’s progress and then if they want to they can delve deeper into the assessment information.
“The problem is not the assessment the problem is the reporting,” she said.
She said parents need to be comfortable with the information.
Williams said this need to communicate with parents is the reason behind RVS providing school-based sessions with parents and teachers to provide information, answer questions and gather feedback.
RVS is also posting full versions of the new assessment at www.rockyview.ab.ca/home/21stC/assessing/report_card/read
Parents and teachers can also send their thoughts and feedback on the new process to
The program will be implemented throughout the district in the 2014-2015 school year.