Of course, we do not condemn all summative assessments. Major class projects always culminate in a showcase of student work. At the end of each quarter, Ampersand School hosts an exhibition of student projects to which parents and friends of the school are invited. Displaying their work for public appreciation boosts students’ confidence and gives them a tangible sense of contribution.
AssessmentsAn assessment is a tool to determine what a student knows. It serves to map out the territory of a student’s knowledge and its limits for both the teacher and the student himself. At Ampersand School, we don’t wait until the end of a unit or even the end of a chapter to assess a student’s progress. Because our student-teacher ratio is so low, we’re continually able to do evaluations. We engage in dialogue with our kids both in and out of class, and in doing so we learn how they are progressing as students and, more importantly, as individuals.