It is of vital importance that our students intimately and accurately understand themselves as learners, knowing what skills in which they have become proficient, what is developing appropriately, and what areas need extra attention. It is equally important that parents are aware of how their daughters are doing. Yet, research tells us that traditional letter grades do not promote such self-knowledge, do not promote healthy development, and may in fact have a negative effect. Accordingly, we do not use letter grades in the middle school, substituting the following system of assessment and evaluation:

  1. We involve students actively in understanding the goals and standards of each assignment, and where possible work to differentiate the target standards for each student according to her unique profile, strengths, and needs.
  2.  We provide a great deal of formative assessment as students progress through their work, to help them see strengths and challenges along the way and in the end produce their best possible work.
  3.  We often involve students in self-evaluating their completed work, through rubrics, narrative comments, and/or conversations.
  4. Six times a year, we share formal written progress reports with families which include an assessment of work in all skills covered. These forms were designed with parent input.