By Dr. Kim Grengs, Parent Coach
What is the purpose of report cards? The report card is a multi-dimensional system of communicating to parents..
The purpose of a report card is to communicate the level of academic achievement, life skills and social emotional growth that a student has shown over the course of a year. Grading is based on teachers’ evaluation of student performance. Report cards are represented by symbols like letters or numbers.
Purpose of Report Cards
A single report grade for each academic subject is the most common and accepted system in elementary, middle and secondary schools. They show what learning is being assessed and if the student is below grade level, at grade level or above grade level.
Report cards use a multi-dimensional system of reporting which includes attitude, effort, school behavior and academics. It communicates to parents how a child is doing academically, socially and their life skills.
Schools use a conventional, subject-based report card or a report card that represents these intended learning outcomes as standards. A report card identifies the skills in which students are struggling, and provides a clear understanding of a student’s strengths.
- Reading/Language Arts
- Social Studies
- Makes responsible, respectful, and safe choices
- Collaboration: Works and interacts cooperatively with others
- Communication: Expresses oneself effectively
- Uses time effectively
- Completes assigned work
- Follows directions
Social Emotional Learning
- Decision Making
- Relationship Skills
- Social Awareness
Schools utilize different systems and timeframes of reporting. Criteria might include homework, assessments, state standards, participation, tests/quizzes, essays, projects and classwork. Teachers use criteria to summarize these things into a letter or numerical grade.
With traditional grading students earn a letter or number. This represents a wide variety of skills and understandings in a particular subject. Assignments are averaged for the entire semester.
The letter grade A or Exceeds is 3.0-4.0; B or Very Good is 2.50-2.99; C or Average is 2.0-2.49; D or Below average is 1.50-1.99 and an F or failing is 0.0-1.49.
standards based reporting
Some schools use standards-based reporting, which looks at grade level standards individually. This is separate from student behaviors.
Teachers identify the standards taught for each marking period to inform instruction and assessment. Standards’ expectations change from one marking period to the next as students move toward the end-of-the-year grade level expectations. Therefore, learners are scored on their progress made toward mastery of those expectations for the year.
- 4 =Exceeded
- 3 =Meets Expectations
- 2=Nearly Met
- 1= Not Met
Grades should reflect achievement of intended learning outcomes. The primary audiences for the message conveyed in grades are students and their parents; grading policies should aim to give them useful, timely, actionable information. Teachers, administrators and other educators are secondary audiences.
Grades should reflect a particular student’s individual achievement. Grades are about what students learn not what they earn.
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