York Region District School Board

Executive summary

Like many other school boards, the schools of York Region District School Board, York, Ontario are very much in the public eye. They have a large, diverse population to support and, because of their positive contribution to education, are very much part of the education conversation globally.

Connect2learning worked with education professionals from the District through different points in their careers, supporting those professionals to continue implementing power classroom assessment processes and strategies first within their classrooms, then their schools, then throughout the school board.

The power of triangulation of evidence was demonstrated as superior to testing as a source of meaningful evidence of learning.

The opportunity

York Region District School Board presented a unique opportunity to embed change with educators at various points of their career and have them bring their knowledge and processes into each new role.

The commitment

York Region District School Board was very much in the public eye, facing a great deal of scrutiny and pressure to perform – test results and student achievement mattered a great deal.

It wasn’t possible to implement system-wide change in one fell swoop as classroom assessment initiatives needed to balance the provincial testing program as both were important sources of information.

As professionals at different levels adapted the classroom assessment ideas, strategies and commitment to all students learning and being successful, change happened. And, as individuals grew in their expertise and experience, they accepted the challenge of new jobs and titles in the District. And, as they did so, they used the assessment practices in the service of adult learning, school learning and system-wide learning. As a result, the power of classroom assessment – assessment in the service of learning – impacted learning district-wide.

The journey

The York Region District School Board journey can be illustrated in the journey of one educator – Beate Planche.

Planche was introduced to connect2learning’s classroom assessment methodology while still a teacher. In that role, she began to see the power of concepts like triangulation of evidence and partnering with students to assess learning.

Planche continued to champion classroom assessment-based instruction when she became a principal and then a superintendent. As she and her colleagues worked together, they were able to make the methods, ideas and strategies their own. They worked together in support of others on their journey to implementing outcome-based instruction, assessment and evaluation.

Today, the assessment in the service of learning has been internalized – complete with unique terms like co-planning, co-teaching, co-debriefing and co-reflection! Classroom assessment has been integrated into the Board’s policies and formal goals for student learning are set by teachers.

The learnings

  • Assessment for learning is acknowledged to be a key contributor to increased learning and achievement.
  • The key to success with assessment for learning is absorbing the methodology and making it your own.
  • Teachers who succeed with assessment for learning spread the methodology organically as they move to new roles in their careers.
  • Once enough teachers, principals and superintendents have expertise – once they intuitively understand how the methodology works – dramatic changes result.

Special thanks

connect2learning is privileged to work alongside the educators of the York Region District School Board as they support the learning of all students.

 

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