Evaluations

God gives each child different gifts. We believe that it is our responsibility to help each student discover what those gifts are and develop them to the best of their ability.

The emphasis on student evaluation should evolve as students go from primary grades to middle school, high school, and beyond. It is important for elementary school-aged children to develop the habits that will make them successful life-long learners: good work and study habits, the ability to focus and concentrate on a task, the ability to work with other people, organizational habits, self-discipline, desire to learn, resiliency to adversity, adaptation to change. In the early years of formal education, grades on schoolwork and tests are symptomatic of whether the above habits are developing.

Evaluating the development of the above qualities is more of an art than a science. Teacher or publisher-created tests on content, knowledge acquisition, provide only part of the picture on a child’s growth. Teachers use classroom observations and their experience with children and curriculum to make additional assessments that may be of equal or greater significance than tests. The elementary-aged student who develops good habits and attitude toward learning will become the high school student and college graduate who masters the content, the knowledge and skills required to succeed in the career of their choosing.

Evaluation in each area is based on multiple factors:

1) Academic Achievement – Meeting the requirements of the course by completing assignments, satisfactorily passing tests, and participating in class discussion as required.

2) Work Habits – paying attention in class, staying on task, completing assignments on time, presenting neat and careful work, keeping desk and materials organized, returning notes, forms, and papers from home.

3) Social Development – following classroom procedures and schedule, working and playing cooperatively with others, and accepting and respecting authority.

We make every effort to assist students individually, so that each student has an opportunity to succeed and to be challenged academically.

We make formal assessments of classroom progress four times per year. Our report cards, or progress reports, measure students’ academic achievement, work habits, and social development. Letter grades are used to evaluate student progress for academic subjects at most grade levels. Less formal markings are used for most other subjects.

Grade Promotion
Students whose academic progress does not meet minimum standards at any grade level may be promoted for social and emotional reasons. However, the school may determine for a variety of reasons that a child would benefit from repeating a year at the same grade level. All areas of child development are taken into consideration including social and emotional growth, academic achievement, and physical development before a decision is made. Successful retention requires a consensus of support from parents, student, and school staff.

Standardized Testing
All students from grades 2-8 take a battery of standardized tests during the spring of the year. Students in Grades 3, 5, and 7 also take an ability test. The achievement and ability tests provide a reference for evaluating student progress. They assess a child’s ability to process and retain information and knowledge over a long period of time. They are also used to help us to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses in our program and materials and to identify areas requiring more attention for individuals or groups.

The Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) is a standardized test. Scores from students are compared with others around the country and normal or standard values are derived from this and other data.

Grade Promotion and Graduation Requirements
Students whose academic progress does not meet minimum standards at any grade level may be promoted for social and emotional reasons. However, the school may determine for a variety of reasons that a child would benefit from repeating a year at the same grade level. All areas of child development are taken into consideration including social and emotional growth, academic achievement, and physical development before a decision is made. Successful retention requires a consensus of support from parents, student, and school staff.