Tagline: Feedback to move forward!
What does it look like?: We let students and their families know how they are progressing with their social and academic goals through informal and formal assessment tools.
What does it sound like?: All students have the opportunity to share with their teachers and peers the knowledge, skills, and concepts that they have learned.
What does it feel like?: We know that we have done a good job with formal and informal assessment when students are able to articulate, in an age appropriate manner, the progress that they are making on their learning goals.
At R.E. Good Elementary, we recognize that teaching, learning, and assessment are fundamentally interdependent. It is the right and responsibility of all learners to have timely and appropriate ways to self-assess their learning. It is the right and responsibility of all those who guide student learning to have timely and appropriate ways to evaluate student progress and reflect on their own teaching practice. Therefore, assessment focuses on the quality of student learning during the process of inquiry and on the products resulting from that learning. The feedback and self-assessment inherent in well crafted assessments foster continuous learning and growth by driving instruction. Feedback is an essential part of the learning and growing process. Teachers provide feedback based on observations, discussions and conferencing, and the evaluation of written tasks. This process is designed to improve student learning and helps to measure the effectiveness of teaching strategies and materials.
Assessment is anchored in authentic tasks, within the scope of the units of inquiry, and is provided through both summative and formative tasks. Students have a wide variety of assessment opportunities such as written tasks, oral presentations, field work, exhibitions, lab reports, performances, examinations, research papers, etc. Self Assessment takes place through Digital Portfolios, rubrics, student-led conferences, and reflections. Self Reflection is an essential process within assessment and indicates understanding over time.
Informal and formal assessments that gauge the progress of students’ acquisition of knowledge and skills inform teaching practice. Teachers will use locally constructed and district created formative assessments throughout the Units of Inquiry. Students and teachers reflect on the results of these assessments in order to best know how to continue learning and teaching in community with each other. The outcomes of these assessments are used to directly inform teaching practice and support teachers when responding to student(s) needs and planning learning experiences.
Assessment should also be summative to assess what students understand, know and are able to do. Teachers will use locally constructed and district created summative assessments throughout the Units of Inquiry. Summative assessments happen at the end of the teaching and learning process and are planned through backwards design. The assessment is designed so that students can demonstrate their learning in authentic
contexts and apply it in new ways. In this way, teachers and students are aware of any unfinished learning that may need to be addressed in the future.
Strategies of Assessment
Teachers understand that assessment and feedback are ongoing, informal or formal, provide direct feedback to and from students, and come in many forms. Some strategies of assessment are inspired by classroom activities, the inquiry at hand, and student action. Other strategies of assessment are created outside of the classroom and are used in more formal manners. There should be a balance of all kinds of assessment in order to give as complete a picture of the learning process as possible.
Observation or Interview: Observation is a direct means for learning about students’ knowledge and skills. This observation can be an informal check of knowledge and skills focused on that day or can be more formal and include a checklist or rubric. Interviewing students allows teachers and students time to consider what choices students made when completing written work. Both strategies allow teachers to plan new ways to meet students’ academic needs. Some examples of formal observation based assessments are: DCFAs for English Language Development, the TELPAS rubrics for listening and speaking, the Math DCFA for K-1, and the Language Arts DCFAs.
Observations about Knowledge and the Approaches to Learning Skills can be made during:
- Independent work time
- Peer interactions
- Reading time/writing time
- Large or small group discussion
- Interviews with students about work or any written assessment that they’ve completed
- Any small group or independent presentation about a topic
Digital Portfolios: Digital Portfolios are collections of student work representing their academic levels of achievement. Every grade level K-5 has a grade-level Digital Portfolio which is a collection of work that reflects student learning. Portfolios at R.E. Good Elementary are digital in nature, with students increasing their independence each year as developmentally appropriate.
Tools for Assessment (0301-05-0200)
Assessment information can be qualitative or quantitative and may be gathered from rubrics, district or state mandated tests, anecdotal records, behavior folders, projects, etc.
Recording and Reporting Assessment in the IB: Information about students’ progress can be recorded and reported to parents through any of the following means: student report cards from current and previous years (including the PYP insertion), photographs, Digital Portfolio pieces, reading records, progress reports, and scores from district and state assessments.
Local school policy requires that per progress reporting period, students be given three formative assessments and one summative assessment. All students at R.E. Good Elementary take all state and locally mandated tests. This includes common unit assessments in core subjects as provided by the local school district. The State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) occurs annually in grades 3-5 in reading, writing, math, science. Students who have Special Needs and/or have Language needs will be assessed to the most appropriate level of criteria, taking into consideration their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and their level of academic English. Students shall be assessed in multiple ways as appropriate to document their achievement of local standards and IB expectations.
R.E. Good Elementary has a testing coordinator who meets with all relevant parties to ensure that all local and state level requirements are met and that students are evaluated using all appropriate metrics and according to established timetables. Together with teachers, the testing coordinator ensures that the rights and responsibilities of the school community are understood by all participants.
Review of Assessment Policy
This policy shall be reviewed by all stakeholders each year to ensure continued alignment with IB and local district expectations. Newly hired teachers shall be trained about required assessment practices throughout the first semester of their teaching contract. Parents and students shall be made aware of this policy through normal communication channels at the beginning of each semester. In addition, each grade level conducts a Family Curriculum Night to inform parents of assessment policies.
Tagline: Every Gator is my Gator
What does it look like?: Students of all learning and social abilities are part of our learning community.
What does it sound like?: Students and teachers use learning supports seamlessly and students see them used without comment or derision.
What does it feel like?: We know that we have joyfully welcomed all learners into our classrooms when students feel welcome and teachers are confidently able to use any support a student needs.
The purpose of an inclusion policy is to remove or reduce any disadvantage that may occur due to a student’s learning support requirements. This inclusion policy also reminds faculty and staff that all students should feel a part of the learning community; this feeling should come from faculty and staff as well as from peers in social and academic settings. We value and welcome all students to be their fullest selves so that they can learn to their fullest potential.
It is the right of all students to receive an appropriate education in the least restrictive environment possible. It is the responsibility of all faculty to support student’s academic and social success in that least restrictive environment. Once enrolled, it is the responsibility of all faculty and staff to meet students’ learning needs, including provisions of access to learning and teaching with suitable inclusive access arrangements. This access begins as soon as students are identified to have any additional needs. Teachers recognize that they are teachers of all students, regardless of classroom placement. In accordance with IB philosophy, R.E. Good Elementary includes all students in the Primary Years Program.
All students who have the intellectual ability to meet all curriculum and assessment requirements of IB have educational minutes in the general education program and are therefore considered to be IB students and participate in the PYP. All such students are expected to engage with the IB Philosophy and learn and demonstrate Learner Profile Attributes, global-mindedness, and service in action. Students are not excluded from IB because of a disability. There are no financial issues with supporting special needs in the IB program. It is a district initiative to ensure that all buildings are physically accessible to all students. We are an open admissions school- this means that our students come from our neighborhood as well as from other geographic areas within the district by parent request.
This includes but is not limited to:
- Safeguarding the interests of all students;
- Actively seeking to remove barriers to learning and participation;
- Providing an appropriate education that allows students to achieve their personal potential;
- Embodying an environment that is welcoming, healthy and child-friendly.
(Adapted from Learning Diversity in the International Baccalaureate programmes: Special educational needs within the International Baccalaureate programmes, Published January 2016 Updated December 2018, March 2019, May 2020)
Legal Requirements for Students with Special Education Needs
Special education needs refers to students with individual learning, physical, sensory, behavioral or social needs who have the intellectual ability to meet all curriculum and assessment requirements of IB, and who require accommodations to demonstrate their level of achievement. This may include students eligible for special education services requiring specially designed instruction, as well as students served through Section 504. R.E. Good Elementary uses Child Find, SNAP committees, and/or the ARD committee to identify possible student need.
Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD has a Child Find obligation to locate, evaluate, and identify students, birth through 21 years of age, with a disability as eligible for special education services. Any teacher concerns about a student’s academic or social progress are brought to the campus based SNAP (Safety Net Acceleration Plan)committee. The committee consists of: heads of school, teachers, counselor, instructional facilitator, and content mastery teacher. Teachers collaborate to complete SNAP meetings for students to ensure that needs are identified before a learning gap occurs. The committee makes suggestions to close learning gaps and support the student and teacher in the general education classroom. If this is not successful, students are then moved to the ARD committee. In the State of Texas, an Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) Committee reviews evaluation data, determines eligibility for special education services, and puts an Individual Education Plan (IEP) in place. The IEP is a legally binding document. After the initial placement, an ARD committee will reconvene every three years to monitor student progress. The ARD committee consists of the parent, classroom teacher, heads of school, and appropriate diagnosticians. The written IEP includes assessment criteria, information about supplemental aids and services, and appropriate accommodations for students to help them succeed in the general curriculum. It is based on the outcomes of placement tests, teacher observation, and parent input. These accommodations are required for all undertakings, including the IB Primary Years Programme, in which the student participates. Students with the following special needs participate in IB PYP: Speech and Language Impairment, Learning Disability, Auditory Impairment, Visual Impairment, Autism, Orthopedic Impairment, Emotional Disturbance, and Other Health Impairment.
As part of R.E. Good Elementary school culture, we invest in the necessary support personnel and technology to support all students’ learning success. Technology is used to release academic and social talent in line with each student’s IEP as determined by the ARD committee. We use culturally responsive circles, identify students who show leadership qualities, regardless of classroom assignment, through the Learner Profile Attributes, and use classroom incentives to celebrate student successes.
R.E. Good Elementary ensures that students with disabilities are educated to the maximum extent appropriate with their non-disabled peers. Students are educated according to their IEP with the goal to provide access to the general curriculum and educate students with disabilities in a general education classroom with supplemental aids and services to the maximum extent appropriate for each individual student’s needs. Classroom teachers collaborate with faculty and staff who are knowledgeable about students’ needs and IEP requirements to ensure that students can access the content, knowledge, and skills.
Some principles of providing differentiated instruction include:
- Valuing and affirming the language, culture and identity of each student
- Knowing and using students’ prior knowledge to build new understandings
- Scaffolding instruction with small groups, use of mother tongue, or visual aids
- Extending the learning through interaction with rich materials in their cognitive tasks
At the start of each school year, the R.E. Good Elementary staff participates in professional development activities on special education, inclusive practices, and the use of accommodations for students with disabilities. (0301-02-0300) (0301-02-0200)
Inclusion Policy Review
This policy is evaluated every two years by the Head of Schools, IB Coordinator, Director of Advanced Academics, Special Education Department Chair, and Special Education teachers. It is the responsibility of the IB Coordinator to ensure the success of the special education needs policy review. (0301-02-0100)
Tagline: Students at R.E. Good Elementary will learn language, learn through language, and learn about language.
What does it look like?:
At R.E. Good Elementary, we honor and value all of the languages used to communicate, whether verbal or nonverbal. This practice looks like students and staff speaking different languages for different purposes throughout the day.
What does it sound like?:
Faculty, staff, and students feel confident using their Mother Tongue in various settings through the school. While we use English for instruction in most settings, students do have a World Language class once a week.
What does it feel like?:
By honoring, appreciating, and sharing each others’ various languages, we feel respected and valued. At R.E. Good Elementary, we know that speaking multiple languages enables you to be a part of multiple communities, broadens your understanding of perspective, and deepens your knowledge of the world.
Purpose of a Language Policy
IB recognizes that language is central to learning as it develops critical thinking, intercultural awareness and global citizenship. Language study, including English, modern languages and mother tongue languages, reinforces cultural identity, enhances personal growth and promotes effective communication. All teachers are teachers of language, all parents are essential contributors to the language learning process and all students are language learners. Language instruction in the Primary Years Programme values students’ multiple learning styles and individual growth. The purpose of creating a language policy is to ensure that all students can embrace the opportunities and resources to develop the language skills needed for life-long learning. (From From Language and Learning in IB programmes, 2014) (0301-04-0100)
School Language Policy
Language is used prominently for communication, both locally and globally. The language of instruction for all students is English. All students in grades K-5 are exposed to the Spanish language and culture through an additional language class, taught by a specialist teacher.
Our aim is to embrace, encourage, and support the development of all languages spoken in our school community, while using English as the language of instruction. All students’ mother tongue(s) enhance the value and effectiveness of their learning experiences within the taught curriculum, whether it be a dialect of spoken English or a different language. Multilingualism is a right, a reality, and a resource for both teachers and students. For this reason we have written and reviewed this local language policy, aligned with IB language policy guidelines, to promote personal growth and academic achievement through the learning of language.
Practices of the Language Policy
Written in conjunction with the PYP “language Scope and Sequence”, 2009, updated 2018
All teachers value home languages and cultures as adding depth and complexity to the beauty of our learning community. The first of the five essential elements in the PYP written curriculum is knowledge. We affirm that all students come to school with prior knowledge of language. We develop this prior knowledge into a deeper understanding of what language is and increase the skills needed to continually communicate in an ever changing global society. Much of our population do not speak English as their Mother Tongue, even if it has become a personal or school based language. We use best practices to extend Academic English for all students, but especially those students who are learning English as an additional language while mastering the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in academic and professional life.
Mother Tongues at R.E. Good Elementary are honored when students and teachers bring their cultures and languages to Restorative Circles, during specific months of the year, during pre-planned celebrations and gatherings which include the community, as well as through ongoing classroom based conversations. Our librarian adds titles, as they become available, to the collection which reflect the languages spoken by our learning community.
Oral Language: listening and speaking
Oral communication enables students to construct meaning through the process of articulating thoughts in a variety of ways. Oral communication encompasses all aspects of listening and speaking that allow students to relate to those around them. In the area of oral communication, students will learn to:
- improve fluency and accuracy when speaking to share thoughts and feelings
- ask and answer questions, retell information, persuade others, and contribute to discussions in a range of formal and informal situations and in large or small groups
- recognize the perspective of the audience leads to more effective and appropriate communication
- Identify key ideas in spoken language and synthesize them to create their own understanding.
- communicate orally in more than one language.
Written Language: reading and writing
Reading is constructing meaning from text by making inferences and interpretations. The process of reading is interactive and involves the reader’s purpose for reading, the reader’s prior knowledge and the text itself. Writing allows us to develop, organize and communicate thoughts and information in a visible way. In the area of written language, the students will learn to:
- read and write for enjoyment, instruction and information using a variety of strategies
- recognize and appreciate a variety of perspectives about how people think, feel and act as we synthesize information and reflect on what they know.
- understand and apply a variety of literary techniques (including structure, mechanics, syntax, and voice) into their own written communication, in order to help others understand and appreciate it.
Visual language: viewing and presenting
Viewing and presenting means interpreting or constructing visuals and multimedia presentations in a variety of situations and for a wide range of purposes and audiences. They allow students to understand the ways in which images and language interact to convey ideas, values and beliefs. Visual images engage viewers while giving instant access to information so that learners can begin to interpret the data in useful ways. In the area of visual communication, student will learn to:
- understand, critically analyze and communicate information and ideas through a variety of visual media.
- Select the most suitable form of visual presentation to express ideas and images
- Understand that interpreting visual texts influences our judgement about the intent of the message
- Recognize techniques in visual texts that allow us to interpret presentations and create our own visual effects.
R.E. Good Elementary complies with the national and state requirements for ELL students. Upon entrance into the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District, all students complete a Home Language Survey (HLS) to determine the mother tongue. In response to the results of the HLS, students complete a language assessment to determine the level of proficiency in the mother tongue. A Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC) classifies each student according to the language in which the student possesses primary proficiency. If test results indicate the student needs assistance in development of the host school language, the student has the opportunity to participate in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program. The Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC) regularly reviews the decision to change a student’s educational language placement.
Annually, all ELL students are assessed with the TELPAS (Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment Scales) to ensure growth in listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. K-2 students at LCE will also be assessed using an interview and observation based English Language Development rubric. Depending on their TELPAS scores, students in grades 3-5 may also be assessed this way. Finally, since most ELL students are taking regular courses, most teachers have their state certification in English as a Second Language requirement.
The ESL program is an intensive immersion program consisting of instruction in English from teachers trained in recognizing and dealing with language differences. The ESL program considers the students’ learning experiences and shall incorporate the cultural aspects of the students’ background. The English Language Development Program supports all learners’ language growth, but is especially helpful for students learning English as an additional language.
Limited English Proficient (LEP) students participate fully with English-speaking students in regular classes provided in all subjects including the arts and physical education. Part of the ESL teacher’s role is to be an advocate for the student in the classroom and in the community. ESL teachers invite active inquiry in their classroom while supporting language acquisition. In addition they monitor students’ progress in regular classrooms, collaborate with classroom teachers to create meaningful learning engagements, assist in test modifications, and stay in contact with parents. Teachers assigned to ESL programs must obtain appropriate certification by the state as well as maintain yearly requirements for district mandated staff development. At R.E. Good Elementary, ELL students receive instruction in English vocabulary development and continued practice in reading and writing skills in order to support continuous high academic achievement for these students. (0301-04-0400)
Second Language Instruction
One of the requirements to be an authorized IB World School is that students receive regular instruction in a language other than their native tongue. At R.E. Good Elementary all grades PK-5 receive 50 minutes of Chinese instruction on a weekly schedule. The purpose of this instruction is not for students to develop mastery of speaking another language, but rather for students to be exposed to other cultural perspectives, using language as a “doorway” to these perspectives. The second language instructor, Yim Tsui, receives students in her room and teaches oral speaking as well as word recognition. Students use Chinese each day on the Gator News Network (the student presented school announcements system).
Language Policy Review (0301-04)
This policy is evaluated every two years by the Head of Schools, IB Coordinator, Director of Advanced Academics, CFB Bil/ESL Director, and ESL and language teachers at the campus. It is the responsibility of the IB Coordinator to ensure the success of the language policy review.