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First Nations Student Assessment Program

By Brenda L. Delorme

Tansi, the Manitoba First Nations Province Wide Provincial Assessments Initiative has undergone a name change to reflect the resources and services that MFNERC  is able to provide for First Nations Schools.

This program will enhance and support student assessments, in the academic areas, such as literacy and numeracy.  The data will be used to inform schools to set priorities, and monitor student achievement and progress. Provincial and some First Nations schools currently use standardized tests to assess the performance and progress of students. There is some variation regarding the type of tests used.  Assessment for learning will assist all involved in the education of First Nations students to inform and help decisions made regarding best practices in First Nations Education.

To enhance and support data collection and decision making by educators, and to improve learning for First Nations students, MFNERC Service Delivery will facilitate the following for First Nations Schools:

Provincial Assessment Training

Specialists will facilitate training and support classroom teachers in Grades 3, 7 and 8 specifically for those Provincial Assessments on Grade 3 Reading Comprehension, Grade 3 Numeracy, Grade 7 Number Sense and Skills, Grade 8 Reading Comprehension and Grade 8 Expository Writing.  The Provincial Assessments are not tests, but are based on teacher’s observations and conversations with students during daily instruction and on evidence from work that is collected.  Teachers gather assessment information and select the most appropriate strategies to assess critical competencies.  Teachers use criteria to report on three levels of achievement.  The Grade 3 Provincial Assessment is reported in October.  The Middle Years Provincial Assessments are reported at the end of January.  The reports are used by teachers to adjust instruction and to plan interventions depending on students learning needs.

Student Engagement

The Grade 7 Student Engagement Provincial Assessment can be reported as it exists currently.  In consultation with First Nations communities, MFNERC will develop Province Wide criteria to reflect cultural and language learning outcomes.  The goal is to establish a standard assessment tool for First Nations student engagement.

Planning with the End in Mind

Assessment Planning which incorporate higher order thinking skills and integrate cultural and language learning outcomes will be one of a variety of instructional planning choices specialists will be available to facilitate for schools.  Respect for Diversity program (engaging students based on multiple intelligences) and Universal Design for Learning instructional planning model is also available on request.

Leading Assessment for Learning in Schools

School Principals and Directors are the leaders for instructional change and improved student learning in schools.  School Planning Specialists will focus instructional leadership training with Principals and Directors on Professional Learning Communities.  Collaborative team work is required for student assessment in respect to sharing teaching strategies that work, supporting implementation of assessment strategies and tools, and planning common assessments and instructional plans.
Welcome to Nadine Hart, Learning Assessment Specialist, and to Melissa Genaille, Administrative Assistant!

Inquiries regarding the Assessment Program activities listed above can be directed to Melissa Genaille, Nadine Hart  or Brenda Delorme at 204-594-1290.

Date to Note

October 3-5, 2011
Provincial Assessments Training Part 2
(Winnipeg, MB) for Year 1 Schools

November 7-9, 2011
Provincial Assessments Training Part 2
(Thompson, Swan River) for Year 1 Schools

December 1-2, 2011
Principal’s Roundtable (Winnipeg, MB) –
Presentation on academic competencies by ELA/Math Specialists, Reporting and Use of Data for Decision Making

January 10-11, 2012
Assessment Forum (Winnipeg, MB) –
First Nations Student Engagement

January 23-25, 2012
Provincial Assessments Training for Part 1
(Thompson, OCN) for Year 2 Schools

February 6-8, 2012
Provincial Assessments Training for Part 1
(Winnipeg, MB) for Year 2 Schools

April 12-13, 2012
Principal’s Roundtable (Thompson, MB) –
Same presentation as December 1-2, 2011