Information about Assessments

This letter is from the MODG Founding Director Laura Berquist about the new assessment process.

Dear Families,

We hope you are doing well!  As most of you know, we have been streamlining and simplifying our assessment process at Mother of Divine Grace School. We want to make the process of submitting assessments and receiving feedback more uniform and easier for you. By updating the technology we use, but keeping the rubrics and standards the same, we hope to make it more convenient for you to submit and track all assessment assignments.

Here is how it will work. The assessment assignments are clearly identified in the online-syllabus, as well as in your personalized weekly list on the family site. They are also collected into one easy-to-use page, sorted by subject, on your child’s student page on the family site. When you complete one of the assessment assignments, just go to the new assessment page on your family site, and upload the assessment. No more having to track down missing assessments at the end of the year!  As has been the case in the past, if there is any reason that the particular assessment assignment is not available, you can upload a clearly identified alternative; in that case you will want to let your consultant know that is what you are doing.

For some courses we have developed online assessment tests. Those of you who use the Learning Support classes for Latin and math will be very familiar with this system. We are now able to make our online tests available as assessments to all our students. Online tests are now used in many of our math, Latin, and grammar courses as well as some of our science and history courses, as appropriate. Some courses are assessed through a combination of online tests and uploaded assignments. All assessments including these online tests will be found on the student’s personalized assessment page and can be completed directly from that page. For those who are new to online tests, we have short videos available on the family site. Students can preview the tests and will able to retake them if necessary.

If you are using an approved text that is non-standard in our program, there will be specific directions for online tests in mathematics, Latin, and grammar, and alternative quarterly assignments in other subject areas.

As you know, we care very much that the student be allowed to show his best work. We are a mastery learning program. The online tests are arranged so that you, as the parent, can allow your child to retake the test. Additionally, if you think the test does not adequately show your student’s mastery of the material, there will be an upload box that you can use to include additional written work that is more accurate. All assessments correspond to the syllabi that your consultant has uploaded for your student. For example, if your 5th grader is taking a 6th grade math course, or a 4th grade English course, the assessment assignments will correspond to the course grade level, rather than a generic 5th grade assessment.

Similarly, any accommodations made for a student can be documented via a checklist available from consultants. This form can be used by students enrolled in Special Services to govern their assessments, and is also available for use by any student for individual assessments, if necessary.

The formative quarterly assessment assignments in both middle school and high school are, as before, drawn from the particular course assignments. However, our summative “end-of-year” assessments for 3rd-8th Grade, which used to be generic, have been revised and broken up into more manageable segments that are made available quarterly. That way you do not have to schedule a long period of time for assessments at the end of your school year. Furthermore, you will get feedback on how the student is progressing throughout the year.

To help achieve these goals we are hiring assessors, experienced MODG teachers and consultants, to provide objective assessments of the assignments. They are highly qualified, from their years of experience within the MODG community, to evaluate your students’ work, and are using the same rubrics your consultant has used in the past. They are applying MODG’s methodological and content goals, as the consultants have since we instituted assessments. Further, they will be working in close collaboration with each student’s consultant.

The assessor provides a valuable element of support to the consultant’s regular review of student work. The consultant will review student work alongside the assessor and will, as she has always done in the past, make use of those assessments to help you tailor future educational plans to the unique needs of each student. The additional assessor feedback will provide both you and your consultant with more helpful information in selecting texts and adapting the classical curricula to this child. Our assessment program was developed in the first place to foster and support the regular and vital conversations in our parent and consultant conversations, as well as provide essential verification of student progress. We think that with this new, easier, and more timely system all these goals will be even more easily met!

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Laura Berquist

Founding Director, MODG