Instruction and Assessment

Benchmark Assessments

Benchmark assessments are standards-based, administered and used throughout the year to gauge student progress through the curriculum and Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. Students are assessed 3 - 4 times a year in each grade level/content area.  Teachers use remedial skills lessons and other resources for continued reteaching for struggling students.  

Instruction and Formative Assessment

Progress Monitoring is used to track student data and provide recommendations for reteaching. For students who need additional instruction, each skill lesson has a related remedial skill lesson that can be assigned at any point in the year. Progress toward standards mastery is ongoing  throughout the school year.  Formative assessment is embedded in instructional activities, including:

  • Discussion/Student Participation
  • Running Records
  • Annotations
  • Q & A
  • Reading quizzes
  • Vocabulary Activities
  • Writing Samples
  • Entry/Exit 
  • Rubrics
  • Progress Monitoring Assessments
  • Daily work
  • Discussion/Student Participation
  • Entry/Exit Work
  • Quizzes
  • Dipsticks
  • Student Response to Feedback

Standards-Based Report Card

A new standards-based report card for Northbridge Elementary School have been revised to align grading practices for students in grades K-5.  Standards based grading is an intentional way for teachers to track their students’ progress and achievements while focusing on helping students learn and reach their highest potential. It is based on students showing signs of mastery or understanding various lessons and skills. Instead of the all-or-nothing, percentages-and-letter-grades system, standards-based approaches consider evidence of learning and the data it produces in different ways. 

The Purpose of the report card is to clearly, fairly and objectively communicate how a child is doing in school.  Standards-Based Report Cards help students better understand what is expected of them in each subject area, provide teachers with a more specific tool to report what each child should know and be able to do and give parents a more detailed understanding of the academic expectations in each content area.  Students are not expected to be proficient or exemplary before the end of the school year as many of the standards reflect end of year expecatations.

Standards-Based Report Cards places more empasis on learning and less comparisons among students because students are evaluated against the standards rather than eachother.  Across the district, we have worked diligently to align our curriclum and instruciton to state and federal standards for what children should know and be able to do.  Standards-Based Report Cards will help all of us work more effectively toward sustained academic improvement.