Avila Beach mural

Assessment is defined as the methodology utilized by educators in the evaluation of student performance within the offered curriculum. It incorporates both qualitative and quantitative inventories and observations. Our teachers use a variety of formative, diagnostic, and formal assessments along with less formal subjective assessments of student performance, based on educator experience and Bellevue-Santa Fe philosophies and guidelines (see examples below). The tools we use for evaluating student learning and academic progress are woven throughout daily teaching and help form the foundation of differentiated instruction. Data derived from the assessment of individual learners drives our educational program. The focus on continual assessment practices shapes the academic program for all our students.

The following represents some examples of assessment protocols used:

  • Integrated Diagnostic Assessment — This form of assessment is woven into the daily educational experience and acts to monitor learning in an interactive, real-time way.
  • Observational Assessment — This form of assessment is based upon teacher observations of student work and behavior in the classroom. A checklist or notes are often used to record observational data.
  • Formal / Summative Assessment — This form of assessment is used for larger units of study. Teachers use this kind of assessment to monitor student learning at the end of a unit of instruction.

Students receive Common Core Standards-based report cards twice a year. Parents, students, and teachers participate in conferences held three times a year (fall, winter, spring). Other forms of progress status are provided throughout the year as needed and directed by the classroom teacher (mid-term progress reports, corrected work, tailored feedback for growth, etc.).

In years past, Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR testing) was administered annually for students in second through sixth grades. The test was comprised of items that were developed specifically to assess students’ performance on California’s content standards. Second through sixth grade students were administered tests in English Language Arts and Mathematics. Fourth grade students also received a writing test and fifth grade students took a science section. Results were reported as a part of the Academic Performance Index (API) and scores were analyzed annually to help inform instruction and set classroom, grade level, and school-wide goals. Bellevue Santa-Fe’s score on the Academic Performance Index for the 2012/2013 school year was 929, among top ten percent in the state. (The API performance target for all California schools is 800 out of 1000.)

For the 2015/2016 school year, BSFCS students in grades three through six participated in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) in place of the STAR testing (2013/2014 students participated in the Field Test for the SBAC). The California Department of Education defines SBAC as “a multistate consortium working collaboratively to develop a student assessment system aligned with a common core of academic content standards for English language arts/literacy and mathematics. As a Smarter Balanced governing state, California is a decision-making member. Smarter Balanced assessments are designed to measure student progress toward college and career readiness.” Get more details from the CDE website or directly from the SBAC website.

Examples of Assessment Methods
Integrated Diagnostic Observational Formal, Summative
work samples anecdotal records STAR/SBAC testing
writing rubrics social interaction w/ peers unit projects
self-assessments teacher observations chapter/unit tests
reading fluency classroom presentations periodic writing prompts
running record peer observations grades
comprehension responses report cards