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The Truth Behind Culminating Assessments

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Culminating assessments are assessments that serve the purpose of wrapping up what the student learned in a class in the form of a presentation, project, or formal test at the conclusion of the school year.These assessments can count up to 15 percent of a student’s fourth quarter grade. This year, culminating assessments will be taking place from Tuesday, June 6th through Friday, June 9th, the last day of school.

The block and bell schedule will be changed, having two two-hour blocks at the beginning and end of the day for the assessments, and two shortened blocks in between. For reference, the full culminating assessments schedule is typed at the bottom of the article.

In general, the way these assessments are organized is that academic departments and grade-level teachers will make a set of guidelines for the CA that teachers are required to follow, although it differs by department. This flexible organization of assessments proves to be favorable to some teachers, as Social Science Department Chair, AP U.S. History, and Psychology teacher Steve Hicks explains, “One of the nice parts about it is that the teachers can decide what the greatest benefit for each individual class is.”

Although finals were cancelled last year by LCPS, culminating assessments are still mandatory for all teachers to do. For some teachers, these assessments are more beneficial than traditional exams as Shelli Glynn, English Department Chair, and English 11 teacher states, “We believe that students should have an opportunity to demonstrate mastery of material through a multi-modal approach. CA’s can take the form of a presentation, project or portfolio which requires preparation, but not hours of studying or cramming (as with a traditional final exam).”

Adding to that, Hicks also points out why DHS should have culminating assessments, stating, “There should be something at the end of a class that displays your abilities, so the teacher can comprehend what you’ve learned. … Even though LCPS did get rid of final exams, that doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be one final product that a kid does, I think LCPS is probably pretty [in tune] with that.”

2016-2017 Culminating Assessment Schedule

Time                Tuesday, June 6         Wednesday, June 7    Thursday, June 8        Friday, June 9

 9:00-11:00     5th block                    2nd block                   7th block                    1st block

11:10-12:05     8th block                     1st (locker cleanout)   6th (locker cleanout)   2nd (locker)

12:10-1:40       7th (locker cleanout)   4th block                     5th (locker cleanout)   3rd (locker)

1:45-3:48        6th block                    3rd block                    8th block                    4th block


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The Truth Behind Culminating Assessments