Assessment Practices at Yokohama Christian School
Why is assessment important?
Assessment is important in determining whether the stated goals of a curriculum are being met. Parents, perhaps, are most familiar with paper tests, both teacher-developed and standardized, however, teachers are assessing students in many other ways.
How are students assessed at YCS?
In early childhood education programs, paper tests can’t be used. However, teachers are still assessing students. In all subjects at YCS, formal, paper testing does not occur until kindergarten.
For students from ages 2-4, most assessment is either verbal or observational. For example, does a child respond correctly to familiar questions? Can a child balance on one foot? Can a student write/recognize his/her name?
At age 4, YCS conducts the ACSI approved Fox-In-A-Box Pre-K Mathematics and Literacy skills assessment. The assessment is given once in the Fall and once in the Spring. The initial testing is only to determine what knowledge the child is bringing to the classroom. The second round of testing is to determine what the child was able to learn throughout the school year.
From kindergarten, students begin taking paper tests in some subjects. Much of assessment is done through teacher observation and verbal assessment, but can be bolstered by written testing. Like Pre-K students, K-3rd grade students are given a mathematics and language arts Fox-In-A-Box assessment in the fall and spring. These assessments allow Homeroom teachers to structure their teaching to best fit student needs throughout the year. The results of these assessments are kept on file and can be referred to from time to time. Parents also receive a summary of the information gathered from the assessments.
From Fall 2017, YCS will be using the WiDA assessment, which is an assessment of a student’s academic English language level. All students from kindergarten will be assessed using this method.