Assessment: Tongass School students take all of the standardized tests required by the State of Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. These currently include the State of Alaska Benchmark Tests and the Terra Nova. The school integrates student assessment within the teaching process in order to plan the next steps in instruction. Assessment is embedded in the instructional process in order to avoid interruptions to student learning. The school provides a variety of ways for students to show what they have learned and how they have learned it using methods known as authentic and performance assessment. The emphasis is on the continual growth and progress of individual students. Children, along with their parents and teachers, are important partners in evaluating student achievement.
The assessment methods of the Tongass School are based on the following four assessment principles:
In order to have a complete picture of a student’s growth different types of assessments must be used. Assessments should focus on a student’s growth towards a high standard rather than comparing a student’s performance against other students;
There should be a close relationship between a desired student outcome and the means used to assess it;
Assessing what students do with knowledge is as important as assessing what knowledge they have;
Assessment should promote and support reflection and self-evaluation on the part of students, staff and parents.
The Tongass School evaluates and records student progress through:
Continuums of academic growth in reading, writing, mathematics and the sciences;
Personal Creative Interests and Talents Inventories;
Portfolios of progress in major academic and arts areas – including student self-assessment of growth;
Demonstrations/Performances of achievement;
Teacher anecdotal records, evaluative rubrics and narrative reports;
Parent observations and surveys; and
Student-led conferences with parents and teachers.