At Great Hearts Harveston, we seek to educate the whole person—mind, body, heart, and soul. We believe that education is a profoundly humane task that cultivates intellectual excellence, physical excellence, and moral excellence. When students are viewed in this way, it is clear that scores on standardized assessments could never provide a complete picture of their academic progress. Standardized tests are only one element of our ongoing, organic, and holistic approach to student evaluation rooted in teachers’ qualitative assessment of students’ sense of wonder, depth of inquiry, and participation during lessons. Nevertheless, formal, standardized assessments do provide valuable information to our teachers and administrators on our students’ academic progress, how we might be able to make our exceptional instruction even richer and more effective, and where we may be able to provide individual students additional supports.
At Great Hearts Harveston, we prepare our scholars for standardized tests by filling their minds with beautiful thoughts, their imaginations with beautiful images, and their hearts with beautiful habits. The first priority of this school community is our exceptional course of study and our students’ long-term development as life-long learners, not results on a test. We ask that you join us in helping your child view the world, their studies, and their accomplishments in this well-ordered way. Rather than emphasizing test performance with your child, we encourage you to do the following:
- Focus on what your child is learning about,
- Focus on what your child is reading, and
- Focus on what your child is discussing in class with their friends and their teachers.
DIBELS (or Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) is a series of tasks that scholars are asked to complete under the guidance of a teacher to assess their early reading abilities. It is administered one-on-one through an electronic platform called Amplify mCLASS. DIBELS is administered three times a year to all students in Kindergarten through Second Grade, during the time when it is most crucial for students’ reading fluency to be progressing. Beginning in 3rd Grade, DIBELS is administered on an as-needed basis. DIBELS provides vital information to our teachers in identifying students who may need extra supports to grow in their reading as well as what kinds of supports will be most helpful.