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Terms and Definitions


The process of gathering, from a variety of sources, information that accurately reflects how well a student is achieving the curriculum expectations in a subject or course.



The process of judging the quality of student learning that is informed by professional knowledge of curriculum expectations, established criteria, evidence of learning, and assigning a value to represent that quality. 2 Evaluation is the collection of evidence over time from 3 sources: observations, conversations, and student products.3 Evaluation is based on assessments of learning that provide data on student achievement at strategic times throughout the grade/subject/course, often at the end of a cycle of learning.



The process of communicating with parents and students about student learning.


Assessment as learning:

The process of developing and supporting student engagement in the assessment process by monitoring their own learning, using assessment feedback from teacher (and peers and self) to determine next steps, and setting individual learning goals. 4 Students learn how to learn more effectively and how to self-assess their way to future success.


Assessment for learning:

The ongoing process of gathering and interpreting evidence about student learning for the purpose of determining where students are in their learning, where they need to go, and how best to get there. The information gathered is used by teachers to provide feedback and to differentiate instruction appropriately.5 Teachers and students use assessment information during the learning process to adjust what they are currently doing in order to improve the quality of learning taking place. The information gathered is used by teachers to provide feedback and adjust instruction and by students to focus their learning.6


Assessment of learning:

The process of collecting and interpreting evidence for the purpose of summarizing learning at a given point in time, to make judgements about the quality of student learning on the basis of established criteria, and to assign a value to represent that quality.7 Evaluation of learning comes at or near the end of a learning sequence, unit or progression and provides an accurate summary of what has been learned according to clear learning goals or standards. Learning is summarized in the form of a level, grade and/or percentage mark to be communicated to parents in a formal way (i.e. on the report card).


Purposes of Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting

The primary purpose of assessment, evaluation, and reporting is to improve student learning.8

Principles of Effective Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting9

Assessment, evaluation, and reporting of student achievement in the Peel District School Board must be:

·         fair, transparent, and equitable for all students;

·         supportive of all students, including those with special education needs, those who are learning the language of instruction (English or French), and those who are First Nation, Métis, or Inuit;

·         carefully planned to relate to the curriculum expectations and learning goals and, as much as possible, to the interests, learning styles and preferences, needs, and experiences of all students;

·         communicated clearly to students and parents at the beginning of the school year or course and at other appropriate points throughout the school year or course;

·         ongoing varied in nature, and administered over a period of time to provide multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate the full range of their learning;

·         ongoing with descriptive feedback that is clear, specific, meaningful, and timely to support improved learning and achievement;

·         able to facilitate students’ self-assessment skills to enable them to assess their own learning, set specific goals, and plan next steps for their learning.


Assessment Tasks, Tools and Strategies

Teachers design tasks for assessment and evaluation tasks to match different purposes: to promote learning, to measure/evaluate learning that has occurred up to a given point in time and to help students learn how to learn more effectively.  Evidence of student achievement for evaluation is collected over time from three different primary sources –observations, conversations, and student products.10 Teachers also gather evidence of student learning through a variety of means, which may include formal and informal observations, discussions, learning conversations, questioning, conferences, homework, tasks done in groups, demonstrations, projects, portfolios, developmental continua, performances, peer and self-assessments, self-reflections, essays, and tests.11


Learning Skills and Work Habits

Learning Skills and Work Habits allow students to know how to learn more effectively, develop their potential as independent and autonomous learners (student development, interpersonal development, career development) and to take ownership over their own learning. While strong Learning Skills and Work Habits do contribute to a student’s ability to be successful at school, they are evaluated separately from student achievement of course expectations.  The Learning Skills and Work Habits include: Responsibility, Organization, Independent Work, Collaboration, Initiative and Self-Regulation


Learning Skills and Work Habits and Sample Behaviours Growing Success, (p. 11).

Learning Skills and Work Habits

Sample Behaviours


The student:

·   fulfils responsibilities and commitments within the learning environment;

·   completes and submits class work, homework, and assignments according to agreed-upon timelines;

·   takes responsibility for and manages own behaviour.


The student:

·   devises and follows a plan and process for completing work and tasks;

·   establishes priorities and manages time to complete tasks and achieve goals;

·   identifies, gathers, evaluates, and uses information, technology, and resources to complete tasks.

Independent Work

The student:

·   independently monitors, assesses, and revises plans to complete tasks and meet goals;

·   uses class time appropriately to complete tasks;

·   follows instructions with minimal supervision



The student:

·   accepts various roles and an equitable share of work in a group;

·   responds positively to the ideas, opinions, values, and traditions of others;

·   builds healthy peer-to-peer relationships through personal and media-assisted interactions;

·   works with others to resolve conflicts and build consensus to achieve group goals;

·   shares information, resources, and expertise and promotes critical thinking to solve problems and make decisions.


The student:

·   looks for and acts on new ideas and opportunities for learning;

·   demonstrates the capacity for innovation and a willingness to take risks;

·   demonstrates curiosity and interest in learning;

·   approaches new tasks with a positive attitude;

·   recognizes and advocates appropriately for the rights of self and others.


The student:

·   sets own individual goals and monitors progress towards achieving them;

·   seeks clarification or assistance when needed;

·   assesses and reflects critically on own strengths, needs, and interests;

·   identifies learning opportunities, choices, and strategies to meet personal needs and achieve goals;

·   perseveres and makes an effort when responding to challenges.


Absence of Evidence of Student Achievement

As our Peel Character Attributes in Action demonstrate, we expect all those in our learning community, including students to act in a responsible manner and this includes being responsible for providing evidence of what they have learned or accomplished in the time frame allowed by the teacher. When students do not submit products to the teacher, there is no evidence for teacher to assess. Similarly, when students do not submit products in a timely manner to the teacher, assessing or judging the evidence can be a problem, especially when teachers have deadlines for reporting to parents.


Insufficient Evidence or “I”

Students enrolled in Grade 9 and 10 courses, may receive an “I” to indicate that insufficient evidence is available to determine an appropriate mark.12

If an “I” is given on the final report card; this means that the credit cannot be granted to the student. Students who receive an “I” on a final report card may be considered for credit recovery where in the professional judgement of the teacher, evidence of achievement is available for at least a few overall expectations.13 The Credit Recovery Team will review each student on an individual basis to determine whether credit recovery is an appropriate program in which a student can demonstrate the expectations of the course to earn the credit.14

Teachers use their professional judgement to decide whether using an “I” will be in the best interest of the student. If an “I” is given on the report card, there will be a report card comment explaining the reason for doing so.


Assigning a Zero and Mark Deduction

If students have not provided evidence of their learning before evaluation takes place, teachers may use a zero as a placeholder in their mark book.  A zero provides teachers with an opportunity to discuss with the student and parent the student’s obligation to provide evidence of learning and for the student to be responsible for their learning. A zero may also be used to assign value to student work where the student has plagiarized or cheated until the student has demonstrated his or her learning.


When student assignments are being evaluated, teachers may also use their professional judgement to assign a zero or deduct marks, up to the full value of the assignment.  However, teachers must ensure that the assignment of a zero or mark deduction will not distort or misrepresent a student’s overall or actual achievement on the mark on the  report card and teachers must take all available evidence into account from observations, conversations and student products collected over time.


Plagiarism and Cheating

Plagiarism is defined in Ministry policy as the use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another without attribution, in order to represent them as one’s own original work.15 When a student plagiarizes or cheats, he/she does not provide evidence of  his/her achievement.  Based on the consideration of mitigating factors (age, maturity, number and frequency of incidents, individual circumstances of the student), school teams and teachers will choose from a variety of possible responses/resolutions to plagiarism and cheating including assigning of a zero and/or the opportunity to complete a similar evaluation. As our Peel  Character Attributes in Action demonstrate, we expect all those in our learning community to act in an honest  manner and this includes ensuring that student work submitted for assessment and evaluation is one’s own.

Determining the Grade

Teachers determine students’ report card grades by using their professional judgement. They interpret student evidence of learning and look at the student’s most consistent level of achievement over time and give special consideration to more recent evidence demonstrated by the student. Student evidence of learning includes evidence gathered from observations, conversations and student products collected over a period of time.


Levels of Student Achievement

The following chart is to be used for Grades 9-12 and is based on Growing Success policy.




Levels of Achievement


Level 4




95 –100%

87– 94%

80 – 86%

Level 4 identifies achievement that surpasses the provincial standard. The student demonstrates the specified knowledge and skills with a high degree of effectiveness. However, achievement at level 4 does not mean that the student has achieved expectations beyond those specified for the grade/course.


Level 3




77 – 79%

74 – 76%

70 – 73%

Level 3 represents the provincial standard for achievement. The student demonstrates the specified knowledge and skills with considerable effectiveness. Students achieving at level 3 can be confident of being prepared for work in subsequent grades/courses.


Level 2




67 – 69%

64 – 66%

60 – 63%

Level 2 represents achievement that approaches the provincial standard. The student demonstrates the specified knowledge and skills with some effectiveness. Students performing at this level need to work on identified learning gaps to ensure future success.


Level 1




57 – 59%

54 – 56%

50 – 53%

Level 1 represents achievement that falls much below the provincial standard. The student demonstrates the specified knowledge and skills with limited effectiveness. Students must work at significantly improving learning in specific areas, as necessary, if they are to be successful in the next grade/course.


Final 30% Evaluation


In Grades 9-12, failure to complete a 30% Final Evaluation does not automatically result in the loss of a credit. Final decisions around granting a credit are made by the principal/vice-principal in consultation with the subject teacher.




In Grades 9-10, the code “I” may be used to indicate that insufficient evidence is available to determine a letter grade or a percentage mark. The report card comment indicates the reason for assigning an “I”.


In Grades 9-12, the code “W” indicates that the student has withdrawn from the course.

*Schools can establish and use mid-points for marks to promote equity and fairness in grading practices.


Assessment and Evaluation in Grades 9-12

For Grades 9 to 12, a final grade (percentage mark) is recorded for every course. The final grade will be determined as follows:


Seventy per cent of a secondary student’s grade will be based on evaluation conducted throughout the course. This portion of the grade should reflect the student’s most consistent level of achievement throughout the course, although special consideration should be given to more recent evidence of achievement.16


Thirty per cent of a secondary student’s grade will be based on a final evaluation administered at or towards the end of the course. This evaluation will be based on evidence from one or a combination of the following: an examination, a performance, an essay, and/or another method of evaluation suitable to the course content. The final evaluation allows the student an opportunity to demonstrate comprehensive achievement of the overall expectations for the course. 17


Missed Summative Assessments - Term

Students who know ahead of time that they will miss an assessment are to discuss the situation beforehand with the subject teacher and should be prepared to complete any missed assessment on the first day of return to school or as negotiated with the teacher.

Students who are absent on the day of the assessment for reasons such as illness, field trip or suspension are responsible for:

     ·    the work covered and assigned during the class.

     ·    the handing in of assignments at a time negotiated with a teacher.

     ·    the writing of any missed tests at a time negotiated with the teacher.


After a legitimate prolonged absence (more than two days) the student is to make arrangements with the subject teacher immediately upon returning to school to arrange an alternative date to complete the missed assessment.

Students who miss an in-class summative assessment for an unauthorized reason may lose the opportunity to complete the task.  If such is the case, the teacher will record an "I" ("Incomplete") in the mark record.


At reporting time, the teacher will use professional judgement to determine if the student has missed key evaluations or too many evaluations. If there is insufficient evidence of achievement to validate a passing grade, the credit will be in jeopardy.  An assigned grade of 0 to 30% will indicate a failing grade and loss of credit.


Missed Final Evaluations

Under the Ontario Secondary School policy, students must have the opportunity to complete a final evaluation in each course worth 30% of the final report mark. Students will not have the final evaluation schedule altered due to job training, work, vacation plans, appointments, etc. If in doubt, contact your alpha Vice-Principal. Students who miss a final evaluation will receive a mark of 0 (zero) on their final evaluation.


For medical or compassionate reasons, a decision about the timing of an alternate final evaluation will be made by the administration. There are no exemptions from completing the final evaluation of a course. Students who miss an arranged alternate final evaluation will receive a mark of 0 (zero) on their final evaluation.


Following is a summary of consequences for missed final evaluations:


Reason for Missing

Final Evaluation


  1. Medical reason-note provided indicating date of illness.
  2. Family emergency- documentation of the emergency provided.
  3. Suspension from school.
  4. Circumstances out of the control of the student.

● Student will be responsible for arranging to do the evaluation.

Alternate arrangements may include:

    ·   Evaluation missed Sem. 1 to be written in June.

    ·   Evaluation missed Sem. 2 to be written in September.

  1. Student vacation.
  2. Student forgets exam time.
  3. Student chooses not to write exam.

● Student will receive a mark of "0" out of 30% for the final evaluation in the calculation of the mark for the course.


Special Education / Identified Exceptional Students


The assessment and evaluation of students identified for the Special Education program may vary in type according to individualized needs.  Accommodations made on final evaluations will be consistent with those in the student’s Individual Education Plan.


ESL Students

ESL students are permitted to use of a language dictionary and additional time on evaluations as needed.


Reporting and Communicating Student

Academic Progress and Achievement

Formal reporting of student achievement to parents/guardians takes place twice during each semester and in some cases three times.


1) Early Progress Reports are sent home approximately six weeks after the beginning of each semester for students who are deemed to be at risk of not being successful in particular courses.

2) Mid–Semester Report Cards are issued to all students. Parents and Guardians are invited to Parents’ Night to speak individually to teachers at this time.  All parents/guardians are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to discuss their son's/daughter's progress.

3) Final Report Cards are issued at the end of a semester showing final marks in each course studied. These final report marks are based on 70% term work and 30% final evaluation.

In addition, teachers will alert parents/guardians of ongoing and potential problems at any time during the semester, so that early remedial action can be taken.


Parents/Guardians are encouraged to contact teachers if they have any questions or concerns.

Roles and Responsibilities of Stakeholders in the Assessment and Evaluation ProcessGrowing Success 2010




· are responsible for providing evidence of their learning within established timelines, and that there are consequences for cheating, plagiarizing, not completing work, and submitting work late. p. 42

· must understand that the tests/exams they complete and the assignments they submit for evaluation must be their own work and that cheating and plagiarism will not be condoned. p. 42

· are responsible not only for their behaviour in the classroom and the school but also for providing evidence of their achievement of the overall expectations within the time frame specified by the teacher, and in a form approved by the teacher. p. 43.

· must understand that there will be consequences for not completing assignments for evaluation or for submitting those assignments late. p. 43.


· create environments in which all students feel valued and confident and have the courage to take risks and make mistakes. p. 8

· Show students that they care about them (students), and model a love of learning that can deeply influence their lives. p.8.

· Professional judgements are at the heart of effective assessment, evaluation, and reporting of student achievement. p. 8.

· Will exercise professional judgement, acting within the policies and guidelines established by the ministry and board, is critical in determining the strategy that will most benefit student learning. p. 46.

· Ensure that student learning is assessed and evaluated in a balanced manner with respect to the four categories, and that achievement of particular expectations is considered within the appropriate categories. p. 17.


· Champion the importance of assessment for learning by ensuring a consistent and continuous school-wide focus on student learning and by using classroom, school and system data to monitor progress. p. 36.

· Play a key role in developing these procedures, which should be designed to create the conditions for student success by ensuring that parents have the information they need to interpret their child’s report card and to work with teachers to improve their child’s learning. p. 8.

· Encourage continuing professional development among staff and by fostering a school-wide collaborative learning culture based on the sharing of knowledge and on a sense of collective responsibility for outcomes.

·  Will ensure that teachers will benefit from leadership by the principal so there is a common understanding among all staff about the process for determining the final grade. The principal will work with teachers to ensure common and equitable grading practices that follow ministry policy and board guidelines. p. 39.



·  have an important role to play in supporting student learning. Studies show that students perform better in school if their parents or guardians are involved in their education. p. 8.


[1] Growing Success, page 143

2 Growing Success, page 144

3 Growing Success, page 39

4 Growing Success, page 143-144

5 Growing Success, page 144

6 Growing Succes, page 144

7 Growing Success, page 144

8 Supporting Your Child’s Learning Through Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting, page 8

9 Growing Success, page 7

10 Growing Success, page 39

11 Growing Success, page 28

12 Growing Success, page 42

13 Growing Success, page 42

14 Growing Success, page 84

15 Growing Success, page 151

16 Growing Success, page 41

17 Growing Success, page 41



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