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AP 240: Student Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting


To improve student learning and inform instructional practice, Northern Lights Public Schools uses a comprehensive approach for student assessment.


  • The primary purpose of assessment is to gather information about student progress in order to improve teaching and learning.

  • The primary purpose of evaluation of student achievement is to measure the extent to which curricular outcomes are being met.

  • The primary purpose of reporting is to provide students and parents with accurate communication of student achievement and performance in relation to the learning outcomes.

Where students are served according to an Individualized Program Plan (I.P.P.) or where curricula have been specifically adapted and/or modified for an individual student, assessment standards shall be set in relation to the outcomes and time frames identified in the I.P.P. and approved by the parent or guardian.

Similarly, the Division is committed to ensuring the best possible education for all students supported by a comprehensive, consistent approach to student  assessment. Through Student Learning Assessments,  Provincial  Achievement  Tests and Diploma Examinations, Alberta Education provides support for student evaluation to school authorities. These assessment/evaluation instruments complement the on-going evaluation of student achievement by teachers, who assess results in a variety of ways to maintain and further improve the quality of education provided to students in Northern Lights Public Schools.


Formative Assessment: Shall refer to assessment that informs teaching and learning. The purpose of formative assessment is to elicit evidence of learning and to inform the teacher and student of next steps to move the learning forward. Formative assessment includes assessment for learning and assessment as learning:

Assessment for Learning: An ongoing process of receiving from and giving information to students with respect to their progress towards a clearly specified learning destination(formative assessment).

Assessment as Learning: Allows the student the opportunity to self-assess and peer assess in relation to relevant criteria. Assessment as learning offers students the chance to set personal goals and advocate for their own learning.

Summative Assessment: Shall refer to assessment that provides additional information which helps teachers make professional judgments about student achievement at the end of a period of instruction. Summative assessment may also be referred to as assessment of learning.

Guiding Principles

  1. Assessment for learning shall inform instruction.
  2. Student involvement in on-going assessment for learning is essential.
    1. Students shall engage in self-assessment and goal setting activities.
    2. Students shall participate in formal and/or informal conferences.
    3. Students shall be involved in the co-construction of  assessment  criteria when appropriate.
  3. The principles of effective assessment shall be taken into account.
    1. In order to assign as few zeros as possible, each school shall develop  a Reluctant Zero Policy that takes into account missing assignments, tests, absenteeism, etc. that is consistent with assessment for learning and best assessment practices.
    2. Scoring guides, rubrics, benchmarks, exemplars, written feedback and checklists that guide improvements are examples of effective feedback.
    3. Triangulation of evidence is important to ensure validity and reliability  of overall achievement.
    4. Teachers will provide multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning on summative assessments when appropriate.
    5. Students should be provided with a variety of ways to demonstrate their learning.
  4. Grades shall only reflect academic achievement based on curriculum outcomes. Learner attributes (ie. effort, participation, attitude, behavior, work habits, etc.) shall be reported separately.
  5. Assessment will include clear and timely communication between parents, students, and teachers.
    1. Students and/or parents will be provided with an overview of the  learner outcomes being assessed, the criteria for and methods of assessment and how this assessment information will be used.
    2. This overview is provided to students and parents within the first four weeks of the start of the school year /term/semester.

Reporting Procedures and Guidelines

The reporting of student achievement shall adhere to the following:

  1. Regular communication between home and school is based on the ongoing assessment of each student’s progress.
    1. The report card is one form of communication about a student's achievement.
      1. The school division requires at least three summative reports per school year.
      2. School-based administrators shall review and sign report cards before distribution.
      3. Report card comments regarding student progress will outline student areas of strength, areas for growth and next steps.
    2. Teachers will provide evidence of communicating student learning on an on-going basis.
    3. Each school will make provision for at least two parent-teacher conferences during each school year, which may include a student-led conference during each school year. 

Additional Information on Assessment and Reporting: Assessment and Reporting