The South Portland School Department (SPSD) believes assessment is an opportunity for students to show what they know and can do in regards to the essential learning required to be successful in life and work. In addition, SPSD considers the process of assessment to be an integral part of a continuous cycle of inquiry involving curriculum and instruction.
Purposes of Student Assessment System
The purpose of the SPSD Student Assessment System (SAS) is to provide information that will be used to guide and enhance classroom instruction and monitor student progress with respect to the school system curriculum, which is comprised of Common Core State Standards and Maine’s Learning Results.
· to guide teaching and learning,
· to set student goals and monitor student progress toward gaining proficiency on essential learning targets,
· to promote communication regarding student progress toward gaining proficiency on essential learning targets,
· to support curriculum implementation accountability,
· to evaluate program effectiveness,
· to inform professional development, and
· to support responsible and effective allocation of resources to better meet students’ needs.
Principles Underlying Student Assessment System
The following general principles apply to the SPSD Student Assessment System.
· Assessments are aligned to the content standards of the Maine Learning Results.
· The SAS will use multiple measures of student learning. The assessment measures shall be developmentally appropriate.
· The SAS is intended to provide for a fair and equitable opportunity for students to demonstrate knowledge and understanding.
· The SAS will include at a minimum classroom, district, and state levels of assessment. Regional and commercially produced tests may be used, but commercially produced tests may not carry a majority of the weight in determining student performance. Similarly, state assessments may not be the only measure of student achievement.
· Efforts shall be made to ensure that testing information contributes to the learning process.
· Accommodations may be made in an assessment based on the needs of a student as established in the student’s Individualized Education Plan, his/her Section 504 plan, or, as is typically employed within classroom instruction.
Opting Out of State Assessments
South Portland utilizes all assessment data to help inform our practices at the district, school, classroom and individual levels for our students. Although we encourage students and parents to participate fully in our assessment program, it is important to note that parents/guardians may opt their child out of state testing. If you are interested in doing so, please reach out to your child’s principal to complete the required form.