Assessment and Evaluation Policy

Purpose is to Improve Student Learning

  • Assessment & Evaluation is based on the provincial Growing Success document and the curriculum expectations and the achievement levels outlined in the Ministry documents for each discipline.  More information is available at www.edu.gov.on.ca.
  • Assessment is the process of gathering information from a variety of sources that accurately reflects student progress. Assessment for the purpose of improving student learning is seen as both 'assessment for learning' and 'assessment as learning'. As part of 'assessment for learning', teachers provide students with descriptive feedback and coaching for improvement.
  • Teachers use Diagnostic Assessments at the beginning of a unit to plan instruction based on identified student needs.  It does not count toward a final mark.
  • Teachers use Formative Assessment to determine how well the student has understood new material and developed targeted skills.  Teachers may give a short quiz, or listen to/observe/read a student’s work as it is being developed for the purpose of providing feedback on areas that need additional work before the student is evaluated.  Formative assessment helps students learn how to monitor their own progress.
  • Evaluation refers to the process of judging the quality of student work on the basis of established criteria and assigning a value to represent that quality.  In Ontario secondary schools, the value assigned is in the form of a percentage grade.  It includes marks on assignments, demonstrations, projects, performances, and tests.
How Assessment and Evaluation Works
  • Assessment and evaluation is a continuous process that occurs from day one of the course to the last day of the course.
  • 70% of the mark will be based on evaluations conducted throughout the course.  Students will be provided with multiple and varied opportunities to demonstrate course expectations.
  • 30% of the mark will be based on a final evaluation in the form of an examination, performance, essay and/or other method of evaluation suitable to the course content and administered towards the end of the course, usually in the final three weeks.  All students are required to be present for all final evaluations.
  • Learning skills and work habits are an integral part of a student's learning. They will be assessed and reported separately from academic achievement (unless identified as a curriculum expectation in a specific subject).  The learning skills and work habit categories are: Responsibility, Organization, Independent Work, Collaboration, Initiative, and Self-Regulation.

Academic Honesty and Students’ Responsibilities

  • Regular and punctual attendance is linked to successful results and is essential for optimal learning and effective assessment.  It is the student’s responsibility to communicate with the teacher about any absences.  Students are responsible for ALL work missed.
  • Students are responsible for providing evidence of their learning within established timelines, and there are consequences for cheating, plagiarizing, not completing work, and submitting work late.
  • Students are expected to demonstrate academic honesty on all assignments, presentations, tests, and examinations.

Characteristics of Effective, Appropriate Assessment & Evaluation

In order to assure that assessment and evaluation are valid and reliable, and that they lead to the improvement of student learning, teachers use assessment and evaluation strategies that;
  • address both what students learn and how well they learn
  • are based both on the categories of knowledge and skills (knowledge/understanding, thinking/inquiry, communication and application/making connections) and on the achievement level descriptions given in the achievement chart for each discipline.  The names of the categories differ slightly from one discipline to another, reflecting differences in the nature of the disciplines.
  • are varied in nature, administered over a period of time and designed to provide opportunities for students to demonstrate the full range of their learning.
  • are appropriate for the learning activities used, the purposes of instruction and the needs and experiences of the students.
  • are fair to all students.
  • accommodate the needs of exceptional students, consistent with the strategies outlined in their Individual Education Plan.
  • accommodate the needs of students who are learning the language of instruction.
  • ensure that each student is given clear directions for improvement.
  • promote students’ ability to assess their own learning and to set specific goals.
  • include the use of samples of students’ work that provide evidence of their achievement.
  • are communicated clearly to students and parents/guardians at the beginning of the course and at other appropriate points throughout the course.

Assessment and Evaluation Practices

A. Course Work 

  • At the beginning of the semester, students are provided with a written course outline describing the expectations, content and evaluation for each course based on ministry guidelines.
  • Students are informed of the types of assignments and tests that they should expect and are told how their final grade is calculated.
  • Students who are assigned a group task will receive marks which represent their different contributions of the knowledge and skills represented in the product, and which are aligned with the curriculum expectations of the course.
  • Individual effort in creating the product and contributions to the group will be reflected only on the Learning Skills side of the Report Card, unless the ability to work in a group is part of the subject curriculum expectations.

B. Due Dates

  • Students do not have an automatic right to submit work late. Students are expected to submit work on the established due date, since deadlines exist in the world of work. Students and teachers require deadlines as a reasonable management strategy to balance everyone's workload.
  • The teacher may choose, as a last resort, deduct up to a maximum of the full value of the assignment.
  • Teachers will clearly state the following regarding late assignments and the assignment of a mark of “zero” to all students i.e.: if seeing a marked assignment would give another student an academic advantage, then a late assignment may not be submitted after the marked work has been returned to the rest of the class.
  • Assignments that are ‘time sensitive’ – work that must be completed before the next section of the course begins – or assignments that adversely affect the progress of other students if not completed – presentations to a class or group – are examples of cases where the deadline for an assignment is an ‘absolute’ one.
  • If an assignment is handed in after the assignment is marked and returned to students – the teacher will not accept it.
  • Students and/or their parents/guardians must inform the school ahead of the due date if a request for accommodation of religious beliefs, practices and observances requires a rescheduled submission of student work.

C. Missed Assignments and Tests

  • Students who miss a test and/or alternative assessment without prior communication to the teacher shall receive a mark of zero on that evaluation.
  • In the event of absence for extenuating circumstances, students will be required to provide a valid note upon return to school.
  • All students should develop better time-management skills to avoid mark deductions.
  • If several evaluations are missing, and there is no evidence that the student has achieved a number of curriculum expectations the missing or incomplete evaluations will affect the 70% grade and could lead to a failing grade. 
  • All students will not be penalized for their first late assignment. A second late assignment will result in the following consequence:
  • Grade 9 and 10; 5% deduction of the first day, 5% additional deduction on the second day.
  • Grade 11 and 12; 10% deduction on the first day.
  • A family vacation is not considered a valid reason for missing any type of assessment.  It is expected that students and their families prioritize the importance of education by scheduling vacations during non-school times
  • Students and their families who go on vacation during regularly scheduled school time must realize that students are responsible for all work missed and they may not be able to complete evaluations that have been scheduled during the absence.

D. Missed Culminating Evaluations

  • Culminating activities take place in the last 3 weeks of each semester. In performance based courses, these culminating activities constitute the final 30% of the mark.  Students must be present for all final evaluations.
  • Students who miss a final evaluation/culminating activity without a valid reason shall receive a mark of zero on that assessment and it will be calculated into the final grade.
  • Leaving early for a family vacation or summer job will not be considered a legitimate excuse for missing these evaluations.
  • Should a student be too sick to complete an end-of-course evaluation, the student must provide documentation of the illness.  A physician must verify that the student was too ill to participate in the evaluation for a specific medical reason.  The documentation must be submitted to the office within one day of the missed evaluation.  Until this documentation is provided, the student will receive a zero.
  • When the documentation is submitted as outlined above, the Vice-Principal will arrange for the student to complete the end-of-course evaluation at the earliest opportunity.

E. Extra Time

  • Extra time will be provided only for ESL students, special needs students and students with other special circumstances requiring school permission.  Extra time considerations will be arranged through cooperation with the Special Education Department, Student Services, Administration and the classroom teachers.

F. Moratoriums

Moratoriums are defined as days where there should not be any excursions or any activity that has assessment based on the 70% of the course work connected to it.  Moratorium days include four days prior to the scheduled January/February and June exam/evaluation days.
The following should not occur on any moratorium day:
  • in-class tests or quizzes of any length;
  • group work where assessment takes place;
  • presentations;
  • major assignment due dates;
  • dismissal of students to spectate at sports events.

Exceptions to a Moratorium are as follows:

  • in-class formal scheduled assessments;
  • sports teams participating in events that are already scheduled or become unavoidable – as in play-offs or championships; early dismissals, however, will be avoided if possible;
  • It is important for both students and parents to understand that evaluation is a continuous process from semester start to semester end.  In particular, the months of January and June are critical months during the school year.  Evaluations will be ongoing throughout these months and student attendance for all types of evaluations is required.

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