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International Baccalaureate (IB) » James R. Watson Elementary PYP Assessment Policy

James R. Watson Elementary PYP Assessment Policy

Statement of Belief

At James R. Watson Elementary, we believe that assessment is a continuous process which guides teaching and learning and contributes to evaluating the effectiveness of the Primary Years Program.  Assessments are used to communicate to students and parents areas of strength and areas of needed growth. Teachers use regular assessments to help gather information needed to adjust instruction or to reteach for continued learning.  


Formal Assessment Practices

  • As an Indiana public school, James R. Watson is required to participate in the ISTEP+ state assessment for grades 3-5 and the IREAD state assessment for grade 3.  These assessments measure student achievement levels according to the Indiana Academic State Standards. The results of these assessments are shared with teachers and parents.

  • District-wide common assessments in grades K-5 are used at James R. Watson in the Fall, Winter, and Spring to measure student growth and achievement, to set student learning goals, and also to inform instruction.  These assessments include:
    • Kindergarten - NWEA Reading, NWEA Math, Letter ID, Name Assessment, Reading Benchmark, High-Frequency Words, Hearing and Recording Sounds in Words
    • 1st-2nd Grade - NWEA Reading, NWEA Math, Phonics Assessment, Reading Benchmark
    • 3rd-5th Grade - NWEA Reading, NWEA Math, DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency, Reading Benchmark

Assessment in the Classroom

Both formative and summative assessments are used within individual classrooms. These assessments include, but are not limited to:

  • Pre-Assessment - Student’s prior knowledge should drive the instruction within the classroom.  Simple pre-assessments are included in each of our planners through oral discussion, use of charts or other graphic organizers, or through the provocation activity.  

  • Formative Assessment - Informal assessment is done constantly throughout the grading periods.  This can be accomplished by the use of running records, anecdotal notes, checklists, completion of graphic organizers, quizzes, etc.  It can also be accomplished through regular student reflection, both oral and written. Formative assessments in relation to the lines of inquiry are developed as common assessments.  Grade levels may also utilize common formative assessments in reading, writing, and math.

  • Summative Assessment - Summative assessments are given to gauge the student’s progress in major concepts or areas of instruction.  They include the summative assessments focused on the central idea of each planner. They also include the end of quarter tests for our math program.  Fountas and Pinnell reading assessments are used to assess word accuracy and comprehension in our reading program.

Assessment and the Program of Inquiry

Assessment through the planners revolves around both formative and summative assessments.  Common formative assessment tasks are developed by teams to assess student learning related to the lines of inquiry.  Common summative assessments are developed by teams to assess student learning and understanding of the central idea. These assessments can include simple question and answer formats, oral responses, graphic organizers, rubrics, checklists, and presentations.They can also be modified to address specific student needs.  Teachers work in teams to decide the criteria needed to determine the student’s knowledge of the concept, then devise a task and tool for evaluation. This often includes a type of rubric which can be used in advance by students to understand the criteria for assessment.


Students in 5th grade will participate in Exhibition, the culminating experience of the PYP.  Students will be expected to demonstrate all aspects of the Learner Profile, participate in an in-depth inquiry, and take action based on their learning.


Assessment Recording and Reporting

At James R. Watson the recording and reporting of assessment information includes, but is not limited to:

  • Student data cards
  • Student data notebooks
  • Quarterly mid-term reports
  • Quarterly grade cards
  • Parent-teacher conferences
  • Student-led conferences

Access and Review of Assessment Policy

Agreed upon assessment practices at James R. Watson have been compiled and stored in a common location accessible to all stakeholders.  Our assessment documents are reviewed annually by the staff and revised as our assessment practices continue to evolve.