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Assessment
The School Curriculum:

4. ASSESSMENT

Assessment, both formal and informal, will be a key component of SVRCS. A menu of assessment instruments, both standardized and non-standardized will be utilized to perform the following:

1. Ascertain students' learning styles

2. Refine the validity of learning expectations and outcomes at predetermined checkpoints

3. Measure students' progress along a continuum of goals set forth by each student's HELP and revisions made during benchmark periods in the student's career.


Assessment will be on-going. It will be utilized not only to course correct instructional goals and assist in educational planning but to assist in the attainment of those goals by measuring student progress against predetermined co-authored goals, as set forth and monitored in the HELP. A broader representation of student achievement will result, giving a clearer indication of the level of mastery achieved by the student.

Assessment instruments developed by the school will be both student and instructor generated. Primarily, assessment of student achievement will be determined by the person with whom the student works most closely, the advisor or "education specialist". In this relationship, the first indication of a student’s progress will be determined by student self-assessment occurring in a format agreed upon by both student and "specialist"; preferably, documentation will be discussed before learning/instruction units begin, for example, in a journal of reactions kept by the student on concepts introduced in the course of study.

Secondly, a portfolio of student achievement will serve in assessing pupil progress. Because the learning taking place is student driven, it becomes natural that demonstration of achievements attained form the basis of assessment. To this end, a portfolio of documentation will be constructed throughout the student's career at SVRCS. This portfolio can be modified as frequently as necessary during learning segments or at specific intervals (but not less than once per 9 week period), so that, upon completion of course work, a tangible collection of student work which satisfies expectations/standards is available for assessing student's over-all achievements.

Thirdly, students will participate in any or all of the activities developed by the school or advisor/specialist. As the focus of the student's education becomes more globally oriented, learning environments will begin to shift from in-school classroom instruction to an increasingly expanded sense of "community as school", emphasizing experiential educational activities. Such activities will include community service projects, field trips, and extended field study and excursions. The advisor will have the flexibility to select from among a variety of instruments in order to assess students in this area.

MASH will provide an assessment device in addition but not limited to, the following instruments/indicators: proof of demonstration of mastery in project completion or trip/activity participation; written documentation in the form of essays or research papers; traditional examinations; documentation of hours completed in community service projects, videotapes, and letters from
community members with whom the student has worked. Additionally, the advisor/specialist will consider the student's growth in non-academic areas throughout the instructional period. These areas will include maturity and self-discipline, risk-taking, personal responsibility for his/her own learning, confronting obstacles and seeking solutions, and participation in school and community improvement and/or development.

Upon entering the final year at SVRCS, college entrance exams will be made available. Beyond traditional preparation for entrance exams, students will receive college preparatory skills in campus life, independent living, and self-directedness. Students will receive assistance both in completing college applications and in communication with the prospective college or university.

If, at any point during their tenure at SVRCS, a student cannot demonstrate attainment of a learning expectation during an assessment, the necessary time and attention will be given by the student, staff, and advisor/specialist to assure competence in that outcome.

The goals of assessing student progress centers on gathering sufficient evidence that the student has mastered all goals, objectives, and expectations as determined the SVRCS; that the information gathered represents assessment from a wider variety of evidence that what conventional public education
requires; that the end result is not a pass-fail judgment but demonstrated, documented proof of attainment. Assessment will be altered and developed along with SVRCS in order to produce the finest adult life-long learner possible.

 

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