Schoolwide Writing Assessment Policy

Revised by Debbie Nishihama

Spring 2024


The purpose of standards-based benchmark essays is for Parent Educators and ESs to evaluate students' writing in order to support instruction throughout the school year.

Schoolwide Goals:

The Connecting Waters Charter Schools (CWCS) have three WASC/LCAP schoolwide goals: To increase the percentage of students on-track to graduate college and career ready; to close the achievement gap in English Language Arts and Math; and to increase the percentage of EL students who achieve proficiency in English Language Arts and Math. Writing proficiency is a key indicator to success in all the goals. Effective writing achievement is also part of the CWCS Expected School-Wide Learning Results (ESLRs), otherwise known as Suggested Learning Outcomes (SLOs). CWCS believes that with relevant curriculum and instructional support Parent Educators and ESs will see improved writing on state assessments.

Benchmark "Calibrated"Assessments (Grades 4-12):

Students in grades 4-12 are required to complete their benchmark essays using My Access. Because My Access is also tutorial, they are highly encouraged to respond to the two practice prompts available before and after each benchmark assessment. My Access technology calibrates scores in five domains: Focus and Purpose, Content and Development, Organization, Language Use, and Grammar and Mechanics thus providing consistent evaluative data to aid administrative analysis of schoolwide writing.

Making use of the practice prompts is highly encouraged as they give students instant feedback, scaffolded instruction, and an opportunity to revise and edit their writing independently.

K-3 Student Requirements:

Each semester, students in grades K-3 are required to compose a handwritten or typed benchmark essay using blind (not practiced beforehand) prompts following the same genres and due dates as grades 4-12. Prompt suggestions are posted on the school's website, or Parent Educators can choose relevant prompts.

Rubrics for scoring K-3 essays can be found the CWCS website.

Parent Educator Support:

Throughout the 2023-24 school year, Parent Educator Training Seminars for grades 4-12 will be offered by trained My Access representatives.

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2024 SchoolMessenger Corporation. All rights reserved.