Elementary Report Card
1. Why do we have a new report card? The state of Michigan implemented new expectations for students in all subject areas within the mandated curriculum. As a result, a committee of teachers and administrators has worked to realign curriculum, instruction and assessment to meet the new state requirements. Part of this process included a review of the existing elementary report cards so that the cards reflect student mastery of the state expectations.
2. What makes this card different than the card my child has received in the past? The areas of “Social Skills” and “Work Habits” are being assessed independently of academic expectations. The academic rubric (Meets, Progressing, Below, or Extends) will reflect your child’s progress in the areas of the core academic areas determined by assessments of those areas. The behavioral rubric (Often, Sometimes, Rarely) refers to your child’s social skills and work habits.
3. What about things such as effort, participation, attitude, late work, absences, homework, and incomplete assignments? The grading philosophy adheres to the idea that these items are important … in fact they are very important. These types of life skills often times determine our success as adults. However, we believe that these areas should not cloud the success (or lack of success) in strictly academic areas. The new card will enable parents to look at their child’s progress in the academic areas independent of their behavioral areas.
4. How do I read the new report card? All of your child’s subjects are designated in the gray-shaded areas. Under these areas are the goals that your child is working on during this school year.
5. Why are some of the areas not marked? Some of the areas are taught and assessed in each of the trimesters. Those areas will be marked each time. Other areas are a focus of only one trimester and will be marked only when taught and assessed.
6. Will my teacher have a place to write comments about my child? Under each subject area there is a section for teachers to provide comments related to your child’s performance.
7. What does the asterisk (*) in the gray subject bar indicate? If your child’s curriculum has been modified in a subject area, an asterisk will appear by the gray subject area bar. This means that your child’s curriculum has been significantly altered to meet their specific needs. This could be for additional help in meeting the grade level goals, or because your child is learning well above grade level in a subject area. Teachers will explain the asterisk.
8. When will I receive a report card for my child? The report card will be distributed three times during the year:
- December 10, 2010: the report card will be sent home with the child; parents will return the signed envelope to school.
- March 9, 2011 – March 11, 2011: the report card will be distributed during conferences.
- Week of June 13, 2011: the report card will be mailed to parents.
9. Where can I find out additional information about the report card? A video regarding the new report card information is available at www.ghaps.org. Copies of this document as well as other information, including sample report cards at each level, are there for your review. Additionally, your child’s teacher or principal will be available to answer any questions or concerns you have relative to the new cards.
- Achievement: The demonstration of student performance measured against established criteria. (See also performance standards.)
- Assessment: Gathering and interpreting information about student achievement (group or individual) using a variety of tools and techniques. It is the act of describing student performance, primarily for the purpose of enhancing learning. As part of assessment, teachers provide students with feedback that guides their efforts toward improved achievement.
- Below (B): The student is not meeting the standard. The student seldom grasps or applies the key concepts, processes and skills for the grade level. (60-64% for the computer software.)
- Best-Fit Grade: Reflection of a student’s true achievement.
- Body of Evidence: Various student assessments for one learning target that provides sufficient evidence for evaluation of that student’s achievement for that specific learning target.
- Calculation for Gradebook Software: The calculation that will be used in the software will be “best fit learning trend” (Marzano’s research).
- Content Standards: What students are expected to know and be able to do.
- Criteria: Characteristics or dimensions of student performance.
- Criterion-Referenced: Assessment of student's success in meeting stated objectives, learning goals, expectations or criteria. (See also norm-referenced and self-referenced.)
- Diagnostic: Assessment usually carried out prior to instruction that is designed to determine a student's attitude, skills, or knowledge and/or used to identify specific student needs. (See also formative and summative.)
- Evaluation: Making judgments about the quality of student achievement over a period of time, primarily for the purpose of communicating student achievement.
- Extends (E): The student consistently meets and exceeds the standard. The student - with relative ease - grasps, applies and extends the key concepts, processes and skills for the grade level. (101% for the computer software.)
- Fluency in ELA: Student reads with speed, accuracy and expression (prosody).
- Fluency in Math: Having efficient and accurate methods (algorithms) for computing that are immediately accessible.
- Formative: Ongoing assessment designed to provide direction for improvement and/or adjustment to a program for individual students or for a whole class (e.g., quizzes, initial drafts, attempts, homework [usually], and questions during instruction); however, not used to determine a student’s grade. (See also diagnostic and summative.)
- Grade: The letter reported at the end of a period of time as a summary statement of student performance. (See also mark.)
- Gradebook Calculations: All assignments must be equal values; i.e., 10-point scale or 100-point scale. All grades can be entered into gradebook to track student learning, but only the last grade should be linked for the report card grade. This follows Marzano’s “learning trend” model. In addition, Gradebook report can be run to show students in gradebook even if they are not linked. Teacher could use this to show student progress over time. Grades can be overridden by teacher.
- Learning Goal: An observable result demonstrated by a student's knowledge, skills or behavior; a generic term.
- Mark: The "score" (number or letter) given on any single test or performance. (See also grade.)
- Meets (M): The student regularly meets the standard with limited errors. The student grasps and applies the key concepts, processes and skills for the grade level. (80-100% for the computer software.)
- Norm-Referenced: Assessment/evaluation in relation to other students within a class or across classes/schools or a segment of the population. (See also criterion-referenced and self- referenced.)
- Observed Score: That which represents a child’s true score plus error factors (due to factors other than the student’s level of understanding or skill).
- Performance Standards: How well students are expected to demonstrate knowledge and skill.
- Progressing (P): The student is progressing and occasionally meets the standard. The student is beginning to grasp and apply the key concepts, processes and skills for the grade level, but produces work that contains many errors. (65-79% for the computer software.)
- Reliability: The consistency with which an assessment strategy measures whatever it is meant to measure. (See also validity.)
- Rubric: A set of guidelines for assessment that states the characteristics and/or the dimensions being assessed with clear performance criteria and a rating scale.
- Self-Referenced: Assessment designed to compare an individual's performance with his or her previous performance. (See also criterion-referenced and norm-referenced.)
- Standard: Statement that describes what and/or how well students are expected to understand and perform.
- Summative: Assessment designed to provide information about a student's achievement at the end of a period of instruction (e.g., tests, exams, final drafts/attempts, assignments, projects, performances). (See also diagnostic and formative.)
- True Score: That which represents a student’s true level of understanding.
- Validity: The degree to which an assessment strategy measures what it is intended to measure. (See also reliability.)
Source: O’Connor, Ken (2009). How to Grade for Learning (3rd ed.). Thousand Oakes, CA: Corwin