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The Pembina Trails School Division is committed to educational excellence for all students.  Our Assessment and Learning Committee, a group of classroom teachers and administrators from all levels, has reviewed a vast body of emerging research on assessment practices. 

One important finding which emerges consistently from the research is that a classroom with a strong focus on assessment for learning and assessment as learning has a positive impact on the achievement of all students and that such a focus is especially helpful in assisting struggling learners to close the gap.

 Assessment for learning is assessment in which information is used to shape instruction rather than to evaluate and grade students.   This is demonstrated in such practices as: using rubrics and criteria, having clear learning targets, using descriptive feedback, sharing observations, conferencing with students, and it is evident in the kind of guiding and coaching that teachers do everyday in the classroom.

Assessment as learning is assessment which is shared with the learner and requires the learner to reflect on and take responsibility for her/his own learning.  This is demonstrated in such practices as: setting and clarifying goals with students and providing opportunities for student self-assessment .  It ensures students know the next steps on their journey to meet curricular outcomes.

Assessment of learning happens after the learning has taken place. At the end of a specific time period or unit of learning, teachers gather information and may transform it into evaluation for report cards. The purpose of the report card is to communicate student achievement against outcomes in the provincial curricula.  This enables teachers, parents, and students to share a common understanding of the student’s learning in relation to provincial outcomes at a particular point in time and to plan for and support future learning needs.


Assessment in today's classrooms looks very different than the pencil and paper tests of years ago that we used to use to sort and rank students.  Today, the demands for an educated workforce are higher than ever before.  Not just a few students are destined for post-secondary education - all students can and must keep learning and aspire to high levels of achievement. 

For this reason, assessment is about finding out what students know,  what they still need to learn, and  bridging that gap. 


PTSD assessment and Learning Beliefs

MECY Re-thinking Classroom Assessment with Purpose in Mind

MECY Reporting and communicating student learning

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