Narrative Assessment

A creative, respon­sive curricu­lum merits mean­ing­ful, authen­tic assess­ment. Waverly teach­ers use many tech­niques for measur­ing and sharing student progress. They check for under­stand­ing and growth on a daily basis through obser­va­tion and eval­u­a­tion of written and spoken expres­sion. Students may create projects, write papers, or present research either indi­vid­u­ally or as part of a small group. Teacher feed­back comes as detailed written sugges­tions on an assign­ment or as verbal responses in the context of a class discus­sion. Teach­ers guide self-reflec­tion and peer review, as well. While teach­ers may occa­sion­ally use quizzes or tests to eval­u­ate under­stand­ing, testing is not the ulti­mate measure of ability, knowl­edge, or performance.

Waverly believes that a focus on letter grades distracts students from the most impor­tant elements of their educa­tion. Here, the empha­sis is on indi­vid­ual acad­e­mic progress rather than grades. Teach­ers write narra­tive analy­ses of student work and cumu­la­tive progress reports to provide more insight into the intel­lec­tual devel­op­ment of each student than can be indi­cated through letter grades. Students receive the narra­tive assess­ments at the end of each semes­ter. These reports high­light strengths and areas for growth. Because of our consis­tent empha­sis on the impor­tance of posi­tive, caring rela­tion­ships, Waverly is a safe envi­ron­ment to offer and receive construc­tive feed­back. Addi­tion­ally, because of the small student-to-teacher ratio, teach­ers are able to confer with one another frequently to discuss the acad­e­mic, social, and behav­ioral needs of the students.

For the purposes of 9th grade course place­ment, letter grades are recorded on a cumu­la­tive tran­script for 8th grade students in Algebra I, Geom­e­try, and Spanish I. If students apply to high schools other than Waverly, these grades will be made avail­able and sent as part of the student’s transcript.