Qualitative Evaluation & Assessment

We provide a qualitative evaluation of a child’s performance that takes into consideration the whole child, including strengths and limitations, as well as social, physical, and creative achievements; the education your child receives at The Post Oak School extends far beyond basic skills in math, science, and language. 

  • Traditional grades provide a quantitative evaluation of a child’s work. Grading creates an environment of winners and losers, undermining the spirit of cooperation and community.
  • Furthermore, research indicates that grading actually reduces creativity, as students aim for work that will be safe and acceptable to the adult.
  • And therein lies a third powerful reason not to use traditional grades: the children begin to work to please the adult rather than themselves, to work for the extrinsic rather than the intrinsic reward.

The Middle School and High School divisions use a system to evaluate student work that helps to ensure that the school can communicate clearly with colleges and universities about student work.

Conference Reports

You will receive two written conference reports each year. These reports will be reviewed with you at conferences with your child’s teacher/advisor in the fall and spring. Families will be notified when conference sign-ups are available on the school website. At the end of each school year, you will receive a third written report in the mail or through My BackPack, which will reflect your child’s social, emotional, physical, artistic, and academic work completed during the course of the school year.

For Museum District Campus students (Middle School and High School), the conference reports represent self-evaluation. This process of self-evaluation is extremely valuable, and provides young people with a life-long tool for measuring their own performance against their own standards, and the standards of others. In the fall and spring of the year, students write a self-evaluation and lead a short conference to review their work to date and lay out plans for upcoming work. The student’s advisor and parents attend the conference. In the High School student’s first year, conferences include all teachers. In subsequent years, the advisor represents the faculty.

Throughout the year, if you have questions about your child’s progress, please call the teacher or advisor for a discussion.

Outside Assessment and Guidance

A Montessori classroom can accommodate the needs of a wide range of students. Some children are able to receive special attention within a Post Oak classroom.

The school and its staff are committed to open and ongoing dialogue with parents regarding concerns about their child’s progress. The classroom teacher, in conjunction with the division directors and the head, may, at times, request outside assessment and guidance for working with individual children. The reasons for such a request will vary greatly: often the teacher may need more information about a student’s strengths and areas of growth in order to work with them more effectively.

In these cases, the school expects to receive a complete copy of all test results and recommendations to meet with the parents and, if possible, the diagnostician. The school commits to implement all recommendations consistent with its mission and within its resources; the school expects parents to follow through on recommendations for tutoring, therapy, or other treatment.

There are times when this assessment of needs will result in a discussion about whether or not Post Oak is the right learning environment for a student.