District seeks feedback on new student assessment policy

Nanaimo school district officials are seeking feedback on a proposed new policy around assessment.

Nanaimo school district officials are seeking feedback on a proposed new policy around assessment that calls for use of  common tools across the district.

The continuous improvement of instruction and assessment is one of three goals outlined in the district’s strategic plan, which trustees approved last December. The other two goals are to meet each student’s needs, and to enhance facilities for learning, the latter of which resulted in development of a 10-year facilities plan that is in the public consultation stage.

Jamie Brennan, school board chairman, said the policy, which trustees decided to send out for public comment at last week’s board meeting, calls for implementing more system-wide assessments in district schools that would be administered on a regular basis.

“We need to know throughout their education how [students] are doing,” he said.

Brennan said there are some common assessments used already for specific grades, but the district wants common tools throughout the grades and use of different types of evaluations.

For example, assessment for learning is used by teachers to provide feedback to students for improved learning, to adjust teaching strategies and confirm what students know and are able to do.

Donna Reimer, school district spokeswoman, said the policy is significant because it is the first time the district has laid out the different types of assessment and how they are used.

The current assessment policy requires each school to assume the responsibility for developing and maintaining a policy on evaluating and reporting student achievement, whereas the proposed policy is comprehensive and includes parameters for teachers and schools.

To view the proposed policy, please go to www.sd68.bc.ca/Board/boardpolicies.asp and click on the link for notices of motion. Comments must be submitted by June 23 to ckelt@sd68.bc.ca. The board will make a decision on June 26.