Philosophy and Structure
St. Bartholomew School believes that developmentally appropriate testing is an essential tool for both students and their families, as well as for their teachers and the administration. Testing, in order to be most effective, should not only be designed to help a student learn to manage school assessments, but also accurately determine if a child is learning and how to improve that learning process. Most importantly, a student should feel that he or she is able to learn, and will be able to show that in a way that is developmentally appropriate.
Teachers use a variety of informal formative assessments throughout each unit to assess student progress and guide instruction. The assessments range in scope and type depending on the ages of the students and the subject matter.
Younger students are assessed with tools as simple as worksheets. Testing progress in the lower school to include quizzes and unit tests in major subject matter, such as vocabulary and spelling tests in Language Arts. Upper School students continue the assessment progression and learn to take unit exams, as well as midterms and finals. This preparation at middle school grade levels helps students transition to high school exam taking, and teaches them to manage long term projects.
MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) testing is used as a benchmark assessment tool two to three times a year to assess students' math and reading knowledge. This process is helpful for many reasons:
Testing assesses a student's current knowledge/level. Individualized results help us get to know each student's ability and place them in the best working group for academic instruction.
We observe overall trends among classes and adjust teaching emphasis and methods accordingly.
We observe and analyze progress throughout the year to ensure that students have reached the ADW goal by the end of the year.
We ensure that each student has reached their own personal growth goal by the end of the year. Students that are above grade level are given advanced instruction to increase their knowledge. Students who are at or below the district expectation are given reasonable goals to achieve to remain at grade level.