Assessment is a key component of effective education because it lets us know we are on track with lessons, and students are learning what they need to know. We assess students at Rainshadow in a variety of ways and throughout their time with us. Students are assessed everyday, through journal writings, discussion, written work, quizzes, and tests. Students at Rainshadow also participate in the state and district mandated standardized tests.
All of these assessments are brought together with the creation of student portfolios. Students at Rainshadow are expected to complete a portfolio of their work. This allows for additional learning and self-reflection. There are specific assignments that must be completed for each grade, and these assignments become artifacts in the portfolio. Portfolios also include the projects that students completed, journal writings, quizzes, tests – everything that demonstrates personal learning and growth. All students are required to present their portfolios, and seniors are required to present during an open house.
At Rainshadow, we believe that student growth must be assessed everyday. We also believe that assessment tools must be flexible to reflect the needs of the student. The use of projects and the portfolio allow students to personalize their education, while still learning important skill sets in preparation for life beyond high school.
Rainshadow follows the procedures for periodic reports on the progress of the charter school to parents/legal guardians, school district, and the State Board of Education pursuant to NRS 386.520. This will include:
- A) Regular conferences with teachers and students regarding progress in the academic core, independent study, and beyond regular school learning. These conferences will take place during class time, before school, or after school.
- B) Quarterly conferences (face-to-face or by telephone) between Rainshadow teachers and parents/guardians.
- C) Quarterly reports to parents/guardians and students regarding credit for academic work. Parents/guardians will be supplied with copies of all assessments and self-assessments to be included in the permanent record of student achievement.
- D) Periodic reports to the Washoe County School District, northern Nevada community, the Nevada Department of Education, and the Nevada Legislature as required and as requested. In addition to the usual records of attendance, Rainshadow will submit reports of credits granted to students, and promotion and success rates.
- E ) Public demonstrations and displays. A standard part of every academic semester is a week of demonstration and display. At a minimum, this will include one “open house” at the school where students display their project work for that semester. The Rainshadow faculty will also actively seek other venues for public display of student work, depending, of course, on the topic.