Rigorous Academics

Assessment

The ultimate goal of assessment at Mercy is for students to take ownership of their learning and growth.

Mercy Faculty employ research-based strategies for classroom instruction and assessment to enhance student motivation, learning, and achievement. Our aim is for students to develop self-awareness and understanding of their own work and mastery. By practicing self-assessment skills, students grow in confidence and advocate for themselves and their learning.

A focus on formative assessment - providing feedback during the learning process instead of after - fosters communication and increases motivation, confidence, and self-analysis. Students also learn that knowledge builds upon itself, and that struggling is natural and necessary in the learning process.

Assessment by Design

  1. Teachers clearly identify learning targets at the start of each lesson and unit, and outline the requirements for students to demonstrate mastery
  2. Target topics get practices based on frequent checks for understanding
  3. Evaluation is based on clearly defined expectations and target goals

Assessment in Practice

With the intention of eliminating busywork and undue anxiety, teachers create assignments with intention. Throughout each class period, teachers check in with students on exercises and their comfort level with the material. At Mercy, feedback is coaching in nature, rather than evaluative.

Minor assessments such as homework, quizzes, discussions, and classwork, build skills and provide opportunities for self-evaluation. Major assessments are infrequent, such as tests, in-class essays, and projects. Many teachers allow a limited number of retakes, as long as students are able to demonstrate their growth and that they are taking the opportunity seriously.