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

  • 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

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 parents, students, and teachers to
plan a developmentally appropriate, emergent curriculum that meets the
needs and emphasizes the strengths and interests of each child.