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Assessment and Evaluation Policy

The Brooklin High School Assessment and Evaluation Policy is available in pdf by clicking here.

In May 2010, the Ministry of Education released the document entitled "Growing Success". The "Growing Success" document sets policy and recommends practice in regard to assessing student work to inform teaching practice, evaluating student work and reporting on student progress.

The purpose of the "Growing Success" document is to promote fair, transparent, and equitable assessment, evaluation, and reporting practices in Ontario schools with the aim of maintaining high standards, improving student learning, and benefiting students, parents and teachers. The changes outlined in the "Growing Success" document are intended to lead to more consistent assessment, evaluation and grading practices. The Durham District School Board has set out regulations and standards for quality in the assessment, evaluation and reporting of student achievement that aligns with “Growing Success”.

The primary purpose of assessment and evaluation is to improve student learning.

Assessment and evaluation are based on the provincial curriculum expectations, known as content standards, and the achievement levels, known as performance standards. Marks/grades should reflect only a student’s achievement relative to the curriculum expectations.

Successful assessment and evaluation policies and practices are contingent on a "partnership among and the shared responsibility" of the school, the students, and the parents/guardians. Parents will receive feedback regarding school, board wide, and provincial student achievement, and the methods of assessment, evaluation and reporting.

All students taking grade 11 and 12 courses will be subject to a Full Disclosure policy. If a student is in a course five school days after the midterm-reporting period the course will appear on the transcript, even if it is dropped. Colleges and Universities use this information for making admission and scholarship decisions.

The percentage grade represents the quality of the student’s overall achievement of the expectations for the course and reflects the corresponding level of achievement as described in the achievement chart for the discipline. Achievement charts are organized into four broad categories: Knowledge/Understanding, Thinking/Inquiry, Communication, and Application/Making Connections. Weighting of categories will vary slightly to reflect the nature of the discipline/subject, consistent with Board and Provincial policies. Final Grade: Seventy percent of the grade for all courses will be based on evaluations throughout the course. Thirty percent of the grade for all courses will be based on final evaluation tasks administered towards the end of the course.

In addition to course expectations, students are to demonstrate learning skills and work habits in each of their courses. Teachers assess student progress in six learning skills and work habits: Responsibility, Organization, Independent Work, Collaboration, Initiative, and Self-Regulation. Learning Skills and Work Habits are not part of the student’s marks, except in specific cases where they are embedded as a curriculum expectation. Learning Skills and Work Habits are reported on the Provincial Report Card separately from the achievement of course expectations.

Teachers will provide students with a course outline during the first week of classes. It is the student’s responsibility to share this information with their parents. The course outline will include information on assessment and evaluation. Teachers report student achievement through a variety of formal and informal reporting methods such as, the Provincial Report Card, interviews, conferences, phone calls, mark updates and letters to parents. The school will host a formal parent-teachers’ conference session each semester.

In order for teachers to evaluate the achievement of curriculum expectations, a number of assessment and evaluation opportunities are provided and must be completed by students. Assessment refers to summative and formative tasks about which students receive descriptive feedback, in order to succeed on evaluations. Evaluation refers to the judgement of students work.

The Durham District School Board has set out regulations on late and missed assignments for implementation at the school level.

It is the teacher's responsibility to post assignments and due dates. It is the responsibility of the student to seek assistance from the subject teacher when he/she is unable to complete the assignment(s) on time. Where possible this should be done in advance.

Deadlines are critical to the learning process as they: impact on the student’s ability to absorb new classroom material and/or understand course expectations (ultimately affecting the student’s credit); are part of normal workplace life; are a reasonable workload management strategy for students and teachers; bring closure to the unit of work; and allow the class to move forward in the curriculum and address other expectations.

Students are responsible not only for their behavior in the classroom and the school but also for providing evidence of their achievement of the overall expectations within the time frame specified by the teacher, and in a form approved by the teacher. Students must understand that there will be consequences for not completing assignments for evaluation or for submitting those assignments late. Students must negotiate with their teacher when submitting late and missed assignments.

Where in the teacher’s professional judgment it is appropriate to do so, a number of strategies may be used to help prevent and/or address late and missed assignments. These progressive strategies include:

    • asking the student to clarify the reason for not completing the assignment;
    • helping students develop better time-management skills;
    • planning for major assignments to be completed in stages, so that students are less likely to be faced with an all-or-nothing situation at the last minute;
    • maintaining ongoing communication with students and/or parents about due dates and late assignments, and scheduling conferences with parents if the problem persists;
    • referring the student to the Student Success team or teacher;
    • taking into consideration legitimate reasons for missed deadlines;
    • setting up a student contract;
    • using counselling or peer tutoring to try to deal positively with problems;
    • holding teacher-student conferences;
    • reviewing the need for extra support for English language learners;
    • reviewing whether students require special education services;
    • requiring the student to work with a school team to complete the assignment;
    • providing alternative assignments or tests/exams where, in the teacher’s professional judgment, it is reasonable and appropriate to do so;
    • deducting marks for late assignments.

It is expected that teachers and school teams will use a variety of strategies, as described above, to ensure that students submit their assignments for evaluation and meet timelines. Late and missed assignments for evaluation will also be noted on the report card as part of the evaluation of a student’s learning skills and work habits. When appropriate, a student’s tendency to be late in submitting, or to fail to submit, other assignments (including homework) may also be noted on the report card as part of the evaluation of the student’s learning skills and work habits.

Some deadlines are negotiated; some are absolute. A parental and/or doctor note may be requested as part of the negotiation process. If a student chooses not to submit/complete work either on a negotiated or absolute deadline then that work may not be assessed or evaluated. In those cases, the student may receive a mark of zero or it may be deemed incomplete.

For Grades 9 and 10, the code “I” (incomplete) may be given as a mark to indicate that insufficient evidence is available to determine a percentage mark and the credit may be in jeopardy.

It is the responsibility of the teacher to inform the student in advance of test dates. Major test dates are to be posted at least three school days in advance. It is the responsibility of the student to know test dates, to prepare, and to write the test on the set date. If a test is missed due to illness, or other legitimate reasons, it is the responsibility of the student to provide a note from his/her parent and/or doctor to the subject teacher indicating the reason for the absence and the awareness that a test was missed.

There are times when previously approved commitments conflict with scheduled tests, for example, extra-curricular activities. It is the responsibility of the student to make alternate test date arrangements prior to the test with the subject teacher. A student may face progressive discipline if he/she skips the class on the day the test was administered.

Final course evaluations are compulsory. Students absent from final evaluations and/or examinations may receive a grade of zero or incomplete, as there would be insufficient evidence to base a mark/grade. There will be only one set of formal examinations in each semester. These exams are 1-2 hours in length. Since examinations may represent up to 30% of a student’s final mark, all students are expected to write examinations.

If a student is absent for an examination, he/she must prove that the absence was unavoidable. In the case of illness a doctor's statement is required stating the student was medically unfit for exams. If necessary, the school will arrange alternate examination settings for illness or a family tragedy. In the case where the absence is deemed to be invalid, the exam mark shall be zero and incomplete. The report mark shall reflect its impact and the credit jeopardized.

The examination periods are clearly marked on the school calendar. Students are expected to write exams during these time periods. Alternate exam settings will not be arranged to accommodate family vacations, employment or other personal activities – the exceptions noted above. The school calendar is posted on the school website.

It is the responsibility of the student, or the parent to request alternate arrangements for missed tests, examinations or assignment deadlines, prior to the student’s return to school. It is the responsibility of the teacher, based on individual student circumstances, to accommodate these requests.

Academic integrity is expected from all students.

Cheating and plagiarism are serious concerns. Plagiarism and/or cheating may result in a mark of zero or incomplete. Brooklin High School has set out clear guidelines which outline student expectations to prevent academic dishonesty. Students are expected to be honest and commit to academic integrity.

Plagiarism is defined as the use of the thoughts or ideas of someone else by a student without crediting the source. If you use part or all of any other person's book, essay, magazine article, chart drawing, diagram or any other piece of work in any of your assignments without proper acknowledgement, you are plagiarizing. Even with proper accreditation information must be paraphrased and reworded. Direct quotations should be used sparingly and must appear within quotation marks. If you submit an assignment written by anyone else (e.g., a relative, friend, or another student) or if you buy an essay or present information taken from the Internet as your own, you are plagiarizing. Plagiarized assignments may be given a mark of zero or incomplete and parents will be notified.

Plagiarism decisions will reflect the following four factors: the grade level of the student, the maturity of the student, the number and frequency of incidents and the individual circumstances of the student. Plagiarizing a final summative assignment may incur a more serious consequence than a term assignment.  A record of the cheating/plagiarism incident will be forwarded to school administration for record keeping and possible additional progressive discipline.

A student will be placed on the Brooklin High School Honour Roll if the student has an overall average of 80% or higher in the required number of credits during the regular academic calendar.
Grade 09 A student’s average is calculated on a minimum of 8 credits
Grade 10 A student’s average is calculated on a minimum of 8 credits
Grade 11 A student’s average is calculated on a minimum of 8 credits
Grade 12 A student’s average is calculated on a minimum of 6 credits