Each e2 student has a faculty member who acts as their advisor for all four years of the program. A student’s advisor liaises with all the teachers the student has, as well as with the student and his or her family. The advisor tailors the support offered to each student based on that student’s individual needs.
The academic program is rigorous and involves students in accurate self-assessment, and individualized goal setting that emphasizes challenge, achievement, and accountability. Self-evaluation and self-assessment are the responsibility of the student, supported by teachers and the student’s advisor. In addition, the faculty evaluates students’ work in a wide variety of ways including testing.
The most important goal of assessment is for each student to have a clear understanding of their strengths, their challenges, and how to improve themselves. Students are provided a learning environment that constructively assists them in knowing themselves as a learner. As such, assessment is used for learning and as learning. What this means is that assessment is used as an opportunity for the teacher to communicate feedback to promote improvement, but also as a key opportunity for the student to be coached in the valuable process of independent self-assessment, self-monitoring of progress, and goal setting. Through this process, students become independent and autonomous learners. This manner of assessment for learning heightens both student engagement and commitment.
Assessment is embedded through each unit and guided by a variety of modes including: direct instruction, discussion, seminar, individual and group research, oral presentations, problem solving, peer evaluation, formal evaluation and feedback.
Success criteria are described in specific terms at the beginning of a course in order that students have the opportunity to effect and understand the criteria used to assess their learning and develop an understanding for what evidence of learning they will need to demonstrate. The success criteria are designed so that students can recognize the purpose of the assigned work. Often the criteria are provided in the form of a rubric. Oral and written feedback is used throughout the course in order that students receive guidance specific to their own strengths and challenges. This one-on-one dialogue provides for assessment that is meaningful and guided by their personal abilities and potential.
The final course grade is reflective of the student’s achievement of the course expectations. The instructor considers all evidence by way of observations, conversations, and student products (assignments, projects, tests). Seventy per cent of the grade will be based on evaluation conducted throughout the course in the following four of categories:
Thirty per cent of the grade will be based on a final evaluation administered at or towards the end of the course. This evaluation will be based on evidence from one or a combination of the following: an examination, a presentation or performance, an essay, and/or another method of evaluation suitable to the course content. The final evaluation allows the student an opportunity to demonstrate comprehensive achievement of the overall expectations for the course.
The most important goal of assessment is for each student to have a clear understanding of their strengths, their challenges, and how to manage these challenges. It is essential that students know themselves well and are comfortable with themselves when they graduate and move onto their postsecondary pursuit.
The weekly schedule balances the delivery of curriculum content with independent work periods. IWP is a tool to help our students to develop their own time management skills, their self-advocacy skills and also to do some in-depth study. There is a clear expectation that the students are working during IWP but which project they choose to work on is up to them. For those who need support to know what to work on, directing them to their agenda often helps them to recognize the work that is before them and also reinforces the use of their agenda as an important time management tool. Often, but not always, the amount of homework that the students have is closely related to how effectively and efficiently they use their IWP, an interesting point for self-reflection that can be the catalyst for change. IWP is a time when students are free to choose which work they would like to work on. Freedom, however, comes with accountability.
The adults are available to the students during IWP, which provides the students with the opportunity to recognize any support they need and seek out that support, an important life skill. For those who are developing their self-advocacy skills, IWP provides the adults with a time to seek out the students who we feel need further support or clarifications and to provide individual and small group instruction. While a group of adolescents can certainly be loud, IWP is often a time that is certainly not silent; our adolescents love to collaborate with one another and there is often an inspiring buzz in the room.