Why did the school division change the elementary level report cards?
The new report card allows parents to receive more detailed information about their child's academic strengths, challenges and better ensures consistent grading practices in all elementary schools.
Has this approach been tested?
Standards-based grading is an emerging national trend that progressive school divisions across the country are embracing. VBCPS spent two years field testing the report card format at four elementary schools: Christopher Farms, Hermitage, Malibu and Pembroke. The standards-based report card was developed with input from parents and staff to better inform parents of their children's academic progress. It will be phased in over a two-year period, with complete implementation by the 2015-2016 school year.
Will my child still get a letter grade on his/her report card?
During the 2013-2014 school year, students in grades four and five will receive an overall letter grade (A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+ C, C-, D+, D, E) for each subject area (Reading, Written and Oral Communication, Math, Science and Social Studies) in addition to the standards-based proficiency scores.
Students in kindergarten through third grade will receive only a proficiency score indicating how well he or she understands the concept or skill taught during that marking period. These proficiency scores are:
- N: Novice - Needs improvement; not making expected progress toward proficiency
- DP: Developing Proficiency - Beginning to grasp and apply key concepts, processes and skills
- P: Proficient - Regularly grasps and applies key concepts, processes and skills with limited errors
- AP: Advanced Proficient - Consistently demonstrates proficiency; grasps, applies, and extends key concepts,
process and skills
In 2014-2015, only fifth graders will receive the overall letter grades in each subject area. By 2015-2016, all elementary students from kindergarten through fifth grade will receive only proficiency scores.
Are the proficiency scores students earn on classroom assignments the same scores (AP, P, DP, and N) used on the report card?
Yes. Assignments given to all students use the same proficiency scores that appear on the report card. In addition, class assignments also contain descriptive feedback aligned to the specific objective being taught to communicate student progress.
How does the new report card format show a child's academic performance?
The proficiency score assigned to each standard shows a parent how well his/her child is progressing in a specific skill of a subject area.
What is a "standard" and where are they located on each of the new report cards?
Report cards for each grade level include a variety of subject areas such as math, reading, science, social studies, music, art and health/physical education. Under each subject area, is a breakdown of the "standards" or expectations for student learning and achievement tied to those subject areas. These standards are written in a parent-friendly format. Your student receives proficiency scores for each standard to indicate his/her progress in a subject area. For example, instead of receiving an overall score/grade for the subject area of math, a third grade student has proficiency scores that detail progress in addition, subtraction, multiplication, units of measure, plane and solid geometric shapes and the concepts of probability.
Is each standard given a proficiency score during every grading period?
Students only receive proficiency scores for the standards taught and/or assessed during a grading period.
If there is a blank shaded box following a standard on the report card, what does this mean?
If a box is blank and shaded following a standard on the report card, it means the standard was not taught and/or assessed during the marking period.
When would the grade "NE" (Not Evaluated) be found on the report card?
If the child was not evaluated on a standard taught, a grade of "NE" will be found in the box. For example, a student just beginning to learn English as Second Language (ESL) would receive an NE, as would a new/transfer student who has not been assessed during the marking period.
What is the relationship between the proficiency scores of AP, P, DP and N and the overall letter grades of A-E on the fourth and fifth grade report cards?
Each assignment taught during a given quarter will have a proficiency score. The overall grade in a subject area is the average of all of those assignments.
What other changes have been made to the report card?
- The scale used in the previous report card O (Outstanding), S (Satisfactory), N (Needs improvement), and U (Unsatisfactory) has changed to: AP (Advanced Proficient), P (Proficient), DP (Developing Proficiency) and N (Novice).
- Scores of 4, 3, 2, and 1 which were used in kindergarten through second grade in past years, have changed to AP, P, DP and N.
- Report cards for kindergarten through third grade do not have an overall grade for each subject area.
- Citizenship and Work Habits have changed to Citizenship, Participation and Collaboration, and Productivity.
Have the requirements changed for Honor Roll and Principal's List?
Only students in fourth and fifth grades can qualify for Honor Roll Principal's List during the 2013-2014 school year. Students in these grades must earn a P or an AP in art, music and health/physical education to be eligible for Honor Roll or Principal's List. Citizenship, Participation and Collaboration, as well as Productivity, do not receive overall grades and will not be factored in to Honor Roll and Principals' List.
In the 2014-2015 school year, only fifth-graders will qualify for Honor Roll and Principal's List; both Honor Roll and Principal's List will be phased out by the 2015-2016 school year.
Will standards-based grading change how a student is identified for gifted services?
No. The identification of students for gifted program services will continue to be made by the Identification and Placement Committee based on specific criteria.
Will standards-based grading change how students are selected for Old Donation Center (ODC) and Kemps Landing Magnet School (KLMS)?
No. These programs will continue to require that a student meet the criteria for gifted services and undergo the screening process. The following components will continue to be used in the decision making process:
- Student achievement (as indicated on the current report card)
- Standardized test scores
- Parent Information
- Teacher recommendations
If I have a question about the new report card, who should I contact?
Please contact your child's teacher or school principal, or email [email protected]