Monday, October 2, 2017
Dear Amelia Tiger Families,
Below you will find the link to a letter outlining an exciting change in how all elementary schools in West Clermont will be communicating student progress to parents beginning with the 2017-18 school year. Specifically, it outlines how we have transitioned to "standards-based" report cards. Our new report cards provide meaningful feedback so teachers, students, and parents can track student progress toward mastery of key academic concepts, reflect upon strengths and weaknesses, and identify multiple pathways to deeper learning and connections to real-life situations. In addition, standards-based report cards help to shift the conversation from, "What is my child's grade?" to "What has my child learned?"
At first, this change may seem confusing. However, we believe that—in time—you will come to value the specific and detailed feedback you receive on report cards about what your child knows and is able to do. While grades K-2 report cards have traditionally been standards-based here in West Clermont, this is a new shift for our teachers, students, and parents in grades 3, 4, and 5.
In short, elementary students will no longer earn letter grades on their report cards (ie. A, B, C, D, and F), but will instead receive a new detailed report card that outlines where a child is with their growth toward mastery of the grade-level standards that guide their teacher's instruction each day.
For example, with a traditional report card, here's what a parent might have seen:
On this traditional type of report card, a parent gets a very limited picture of their child's progress.
Moving forward, instead of the letter grades, parents will see a "performance level" for each standard that a student is expected to master by the end of the school year. These performance levels are:
4: Met end of year grade level standards and may be ready to work at greater depth
3: Expected progress toward meeting end of year grade level standards
2: Less than expected progress toward meeting end of year grade level standards with increased support
1: Little to no progress toward meeting end of year grade level standards with extensive support
With our new standards-based report card, parents will see something more like this:
Using performance levels, we can see that this student struggled to make progress on the top standard during first quarter, but made expected growth during quarters two and three, and then mastered that particular skill during the fourth quarter. With the second standard above, the student was not assessed on this standard during the first two quarters, but quickly demonstrated mastery of that particular skill during the last two quarters. With these new report cards, parents will be able to tell areas where their child is struggling, areas that they are on-track and making expected progress, and skills and concepts that they have already mastered, which we believe is a much richer snapshot than a simple letter grade.
As we have worked through making this shift to standards-based report cards, the district has been working to make ProgressBook better reflect standards-based grading for parents. As a result, we have not yet sent activation letters to parents. Those letters will be coming home by the end of next week.
We realize that you may still have additional questions about our new standards-based report cards and so I'm inviting you to a Parent Information Night at 5 PM on Thursday, October 19, 2017 where we will explain the new report cards in detail, show you sample report cards from all grade levels, and answer any report card or standards-based grading questions that you might have.
I believe you will come to love standards-based report cards and the wealth of information they provide to you concerning the specific skills, concepts, and standards that your child has mastered. I hope that you will make plans to join us for our Parent Information Night on Thursday, October 19th at 5 PM.
As always, please let me know how I can serve you!
Yours in service,
Jeffrey Riel, Principal
Link to the letter from the West Clermont Curriculum & Instruction Department