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AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT

Authentic assessment practices evaluate and communicate what students know, understand, and can do to a variety of audiences. All too often, traditional grading practices lead students to frame their learning as transactional - in exchange for suffering, students get good grades. Read more about how The Hatch School will re-envision assessment at a variety of levels to encourage learning that is joyful, relational, and meaningful.

In the Classroom

In the Classroom

End of Term Reports

End of Term Reports

Transcript & Portfolio

Transcript & Portfolio

A movement has been growing to move towards high school transcripts which describe what skills students have mastered, rather than just listing what courses students completed. The Mastery Transcript Consortium is leading the way among independent schools to devise alternative ways to communicate student learning to colleges and beyond.

Transcripts from The Hatch School will include a list of courses completed each year, without grades. They will also include a list of skills which students have been able to demonstrate mastery, and include evidence for each student's progress. While The Hatch School is one of the first independent schools in the Seattle area to move to competency based transcripts, the movement is well on its way. Colleges have already received and interpreted these new transcripts - many admissions officers even prefer them - and students have gained admissions at a college of their choice with a competency based transcript.

As part of the Mastery Transcript, students are required to provide specific evidence of how they’ve met each of HATCH’s learning goals. Taken together, this work creates a portfolio of each student’s individual achievements over the course of their high school career. Students contextualize their work, own their process, and have a tangible record of their growth. This type of long-term assessment: promotes communication between students and teachers; requires learners to regularly self-evaluate their work resulting in increased motivation and feelings of self-efficacy; allows for a more individualized demonstration of progress; and holds students accountable for tangibly meeting learning targets.

Students don't always master content on the same timeline. The following principles will guide teachers' assessment practices within the classroom:

  • Teachers will provide specific and timely feedback to each student about their progress towards mastering the learning objectives.

  • Students will have multiple opportunities to demonstrate mastery of learning objectives, and students are encouraged to approach learning as an iterative process.

  • A variety of assessment types will be used in each course, and students will be able to show what they know in multiple ways. Students will be given opportunities to demonstrate mastery using modes that are comfortable for them, and will also be challenged to show their progress using modalities which aren't their preference.

At the end of each trimester, students and teachers craft narratives reflecting on the progress made toward meeting course learning goals. As part of this process, students provide evidence (assignments, assessments, etc.) that specifically demonstrates where they are on their path to mastery. This information is communicated using a Mastery Transcript, a student-centered report that puts learners in the driver’s seat of their education.

Through this comprehensive process, students are required to think deeply and critically about what they know, understand, and are able to do, and this reflection has been shown to boost student learning over time.

At HATCH we believe that removing the traditional carrot / stick approach to grading allows teachers to build stronger, more supportive relationships with students. Teachers serve as coaches instead of judges, working in partnership with learners as they navigate their individual educational journeys.