Understanding My Child's Report Card
In the past, students in primary grades received progress ratings of IA, SD, and NS – Independently Applies, Steadily Developing, Needs Support. While these provided general information to parents about student progress, they lacked specificity.
In the Standards-Based Grading system, both students and parents are aware of clear learning outcomes and the pace for expected mastery of each grade level target.
Grades on traditional report cards often reflected a combination of academic progress, work habits, and participation. Standards-Based Grading solely reflects progress on priority topic targets.
The grade level target for each learning standard is a 3. When a 3 is earned, the student has met the grade level expectations for that topic. While some topics have expectations for mastery early in the year, many of the topics do not have mastery expectations until the end of the school year.
Levels 1 through 4 cannot be equated to the A-F grading scale. For example, a 3, or “meets grade level standard,” isn’t the same as a B. It is normal for students to advance from a 1 to a 3 as they develop greater proficiency of the standard. A student who achieves a level 3 on all topics on the report card by the end of the year has mastered all grade level expectations. You will likely see more 1's early in the year and 3's later reflecting the necessary progression, and mastery level of the skills.
This is especially evident in language arts and math. In science and social studies, most topics are addressed completely within a grading period. It is important to be aware of the Target (T) for each grading period in order to understand whether Student Progress (SP) matches current expectations.
Level 4 should not be equated with an “A.” When a child achieves level 3, they have met the expected grade level standards. In Level 4 a student demonstrates understanding and performance beyond expected proficiency and has exceeded the standards. Level 4s are challenging and achieved less frequently.