Saxon Hill School strives to provide families with a comprehensive picture of their children’s experiences and progress across a wide range of developmental areas throughout the school year. Curriculum is planned and students are assessed via Developmental Guidelines that were developed to directly correlate with Meisel’s Work Sampling System. Children’s development is also assessed through informal observations, anecdotal records, photographic documentation, running records, time-interval recordings, and various checklists.

The Work Sampling System consists of three elements:

a) developmental guidelines and checklists,

b) portfolios, and

c) summary reports.

  • Developmental Checklists are designed to assist teachers in observing and documenting individual growth and progress. The Checklists cover 7 domains of development: personal and social development, language and literacy, mathematical thinking, scientific thinking, social studies, the arts, and physical development. Checklists are completed and shared with families 3 times a year — Fall, Winter, and Spring. The checklists are used to create a profile of children’s individualized progress. Differences in development among groups of children is expected.
  • Portfolios are purposeful collections of student’s work that illustrate their efforts, progress, and achievements. They provide a rich documentation of each child’s experiences throughout the year. Portfolio content parallels classroom activities and leads to the development of new activities based on interest, strengths, and
    challenges. New learning and interests may result from joint teacher/student involvement in the process or reviewing, evaluating, and selecting portfolio content.
  • Summary Reports are completed on each child, late fall and end of year in the 2 and 3 Day Programs and three times a year in the 4 Day Program. The report is a summary of each child’s classroom performance. It is based on teacher observations, the checklists and portfolios.

Findings demonstrate that the Work Sampling System is a reliable and valid approach for assessing the achievement of children. It allows for a team approach among family, students, and teachers to plan a developmentally appropriate, emergent curriculum that meets the needs and emphasizes the strengths and interests of each child.