Rocky Mountain School District No. 6



Since the introduction of the Graduation Numeracy Assessment, the district has noted significant declining performance between report cards marks and previous achievement on measures such as the FSA. Furthermore, school leaders and teachers report a lack of student engagement during numeracy based tasks when compared to literacy based tasks. In order to draw reliable conclusions about the reasons for these differences, and to gather information about measuring student engagement in numeracy, the district sought to develop a universally aligned assessment across the system. 

The goal of this work is to achieve a curriculum and competency-based assessment that allows for multiple ways of demonstrating learning. With the inclusion of First Peoples’ Principles of learning in many components of the assessment protocol, the district seeks to create a model for further assessment practice. 

Fundamental concepts

The assessment protocol consists of a collaborative element and an individual task.  

The collaborative element is intended involve student voice and personal connection to the task ensuring all students possess a minimum degree of familiarity with the context prior to beginning the individual task, as each assessment task is unique and connected to potential authentic student experience. The collaborative elements invite students to demonstrate teamwork, leadership, and voice as they fold in cross-curricular content and draw personal strengths in the Core Competencies.  

Equity is a district priority. As such, the numeracy assessment is intended to be as barrier-free as possible, allowing students to demonstrate their numerate thinking in multiple ways, in their voice, and without an over-emphasis on mathematical computation - as is the case on most mathematics assessments. Additionally, where authentically and meaningfully possible, the context of the collaborative element and the individual task include Indigenous ways of knowing and being, connections to place, and local community. 

  • The tasks are informed by the following criteria for what constitutes a numeracy task: 
  • a “contextualized problem (as opposed to numbers out of context) that can be solved using a variety of strategies, skills, and concepts” (source:  Ministry of Education and Child Care) 
  • age and grade appropriate; 
  • no curricular over-reach; 
  • multiple entry points and exit points – not that there are “no wrong answers”, but that there are as many valid solutions as there are students in the room; and 
  • provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate proficiency as outlined in provincial proficiency benchmark language. 

Tasks are based in relevant, or potentially relevant, experiences of students and are closely connected to students’ collaborative experiences to ensure high levels of engagement and perseverance.  

The design team has worked to design a rubric to further instruction and goal setting. The performance rubric is closely aligned with numeracy aspects and sub-aspects of the graduation numeracy assessment and the current draft proficiency benchmark language.