As we near the end of the 1st Quarter, it's almost time for report cards and parent-teacher conferences. This is a great opportunity to understand how a student is progressing and to help make decisions about what kinds of things parents can do at home to help their child be successful in school. When we were younger, report cards were pretty straight-forward: An E was excellent! An S was Satisfactory, and an I meant we needed improvement. As we got older, those letters were replaced by A, B, C, D, & F which were based on the average of our accomplished work.
A lot has changed in education. Today, our report cards are a bit different. For most of our students, the report cards include A, B, C, D, & F grades to which we're accustomed. This grade represents the overall percent of total points that a student earned over the quarter. For example, if a student received a C, or a 75%, this means that a student has earned 75% of the total points possible for the quarter. This grade represents both their acheivment on learning targets, but also their consistency in completing assignments, participating in class, and doing homework.
This year, our students will receive another marker to help you understand their progress. Our report cards will have an added page that includes the Common Core Domains of Learning. Each student's progress in acheiving mastery of the Common Core Standards will be represented on this page of the report card. These "grades" are represented by a score of 1, 2, 3, or 4. A grade of 3 means that a student has acheived mastery. A 2 is means that a student is approaching mastery of the standard, and a 1 means that they have not demonstrated mastery, YET. A score of 4 is incredibly rare and is only given when a student far exceeds the grade-level mastery for a particular standard.
Although we won't be using the standards based grades on the 1st Quarter report card (the scores will be blank), we will include the 2nd page so that you can see the Common Core Domains of Learning and get ready for what you will see in the 2nd Quarter. Each quarter has different standards under the same domain, so scores might fluctuate over time based on the standards that are the focus of that quarter (a student might have a 3 under a domain in the 1st quarter because they have mastered those standards, but then a 2 or a 1 in the second quarter because the standards have changed). Keep in mind that the Standards Based Score is NOT an average. It is the teacher's data based assessment of a student's mastery of the Common Core Standards that were the focus of that quarter.
Hopefully adding this 2nd page to our report card will help you better understand how your child is progressing. I know it will take some getting used to it, but I think overall it will give everyone more information about what areas of learning a student needs to develop. Your student's teacher and I are happy to answer any questions you might have about the "new" report card, and I hope this change is a step in the direction of helping all of our students succeed.