Q: Why are all standards not listed on the report card?
A: A standards-based report card is not the same as a standard/learning outcome listing. In the creation, we:
1. Reviewed the New Jersey State and District standards for each grade level and
2. Chose descriptors which were considered most significant for student learning in each grade level
Q: How does this help parents?
A: Standards-based report cards enable parents to receive accurate information based on cumulative student progress throughout the marking period. In addition, they:
1. Promote more detailed and meaningful conversations at parent/teacher conferences
2. Allow for careful and precise monitoring of student achievement
3. Reflect grade-level standards and expectations so parents gain a complete idea of student progress
Q: Why does my child’s report card have many P’s in the first marking period?
A: You may find that there are many P’s on your child’s report card. This is not an indication of them not understanding the concepts taught in class. Mastery of a subject independently and on-demand does not always happen the first time introduced. Teachers will continue to teach and assess to promote mastery.
Q: What is the expected progression throughout the year?
A: Ideally, what you will see on a child’s report card during the course of the year is an ever-increasing number of “M”s. ending the year with all “M”s, showing that your child has mastered all the core skills. Understandably, some students may not reach this goal. This most likely would be because they needed teacher support in achieving their goal, not because they did not understand it.
Q: What if my child does not meet a standard by the end of the year?
A: There is no imminent worry if your child ends the year with a ‘P.’ Teacher communication about where improvement is needed will help to understand, as well as help with any follow-up over the summer or with future teachers.
Q: Will you continue to assess any areas where my child has a P, throughout the year?
A: If your child received a ‘P’ in the first or second marking period, the teacher will continue to work with them during the course of the year to help reach mastery.
Q: How does my child’s report card stack up to the rest of the class?
A: All students learn at a different pace. Some indicators may be the same, others different. The only area that will most likely be similar per class/grade level will be the N’s.
Q: The writing standards seem so general - how do I know where my child needs to improve?
A: Under each of the writing standards, there are countless substandards - too many to list and report on each period. Teachers will be able to tell you specific areas in which your child can improve his/her writing. Once again, writing is a skill that takes time, repetition and may not be something your child can complete independently and on-demand at different points of the year - but it will be continually practiced and honed in the classroom.
Q: Can a student perform at a level M and then move to a lower level in the next marking period?
A: The expectations change from one marking period to the next as students move toward the end of grade-level expectations. This means:
1. A student may meet the grade-level expectation during the first marking period, but as the expectations increase, the student may not demonstrate the same level of proficiency during the next marking period
2. A student might receive an M in the first marking period and then receive a P in the second marking period
Q: Is standards-based grading widely used?
A: Standards-based report cards are being adopted in more and more progressive districts each year. There is a rapidly growing body of research that supports the use of standards-based grading. Educators and researchers have determined that it has a positive effect on student achievement. Standards-based grading is widely used in established rigorous academic programs.