Assessment & Learning Support
""I went to Sussex for nine years and my experience still shapes the choices and decisions I make in my life today. Not only did I learn how to craft sentences and weave together memoirs and essays, but I also learned to appreciate the outdoors, embrace conflict, and rely on the support of others around me.""
Sophie Slotnick, class of 2010
Sussex School students do not receive traditional letter grades. Instead, Sussex teachers seek to instill intrinsic motivation and a love of learning in students by supplying a varied, authentic, project-based curriculum that answers the unique needs of each child and encourages students to take responsibility for their own Missoula, Montana education.
Teachers monitor student development in the classroom and maintain consistent communication with each student regarding his or her work. Parents can request an informal conference at any time to discuss student progress. Much of the evaluation of individual students, however, occurs in the form of digital student portfolios, which are kept from Kindergarten through the 8th grade and are discussed at individualized conferences each fall, winter, and spring.
Students, with teacher support, choose representative examples of their work for their digital portfolios, and these examples collectively tell the story of their educational development over time. Each student presents his or her portfolios to parents and teachers at the biannual formal conferences. Since a student’s portfolio is maintained over the course of multiple years at Sussex, it offers an irreplaceable record of student growth and of the scope and vitality of our curriculum.
Learning happens at different developmental stages, phases, and times for students, and teachers differentiate in the classroom to meet the needs of unique learners. Our small class sizes also support the needs of student's different learning styles, interests, and passions.
However, individualized learning support is very limited at Sussex School. Students who need significant adaptations for learning should inquire with the admissions team to determine whether Sussex is the right fit for their child.