The K-5 Standards-Based Progress Report Card

Each grade level has a set of identified standards which are simply descriptions of the skills students should have by the end of the year that will assist them in their lifelong learning process of becoming Problem Solvers, Critical Thinkers, Researchers, Effective Communicators, Creators & Reflective Thinkers. The standards-based progress report identifies where your student currently is each trimester in relation to acquiring the skills identified by each standard so that families, can work together with teachers to support students in meeting the grade-level standards.

What is a standards-based progress report?
A standards-based progress report is designed to inform guardians about their student’s progress toward specific grade-level standards. In a standards-based system, the score represents what has been learned in relation to that standard at that point in time.

A standards-based progress report:

  • provides clear insight as to which skills and concepts students know and are able to demonstrate in relation to established state standards
  • helps teachers and students focus on identified end-of-year expectations from the very beginning of the year, giving students a direction for their learning
  • aligns instruction, assessment, and grading with standards
  • creates a higher level of consistency and continuity in assessing among teachers and across grade levels

Big picture
Why would my student have indicators that are not addressed and/or assessed?
Often grade level standards build on one another. Therefore, not all standards will be addressed and/or assessed each trimester. If your student receives an NA or N it simply indicates that the standard has not yet been introduced, your student was not assessed on the standard, or there was not enough data to accurately report progress on that standard for that trimester.

What if my student receives all 2’s, does this equate to failing?
No. Standards-based progress reports are not about failing and passing. The 2’s show that a student is working towards proficiency. Even top students can earn a 2, which can be a shock for some families. It’s important to know that early scores are not averaged into the final grade—so once your child masters the concept, his/her final grade shows that.

How will I know if my student is “on target” ?
A 3 shows that a student has reached or mastered grade-level expectations on a specific standard. A 3 indicates that a student is achieving at the appropriate level of expectations for that grade at the time of the reporting period. The standards-based report card measures how well an individual student is doing in relation to the grade-level standards, not the work of other children.

How will my student receive a 4?
Earning a 4 may be the trickiest to understand. A 4 indicates performance that exceeds grade-level expectations taught for a specific standard and that the child has a much deeper understanding of the standard, the ability to apply that knowledge, make connections, and extend learning beyond the targeted goal. If your student earned A’s on traditional report cards, he/she may have received them for meeting teacher requirements, not necessarily for exceeding grade-level expectations taught for that standard.

Do the performance descriptors on the report card correlate with letter or percentage grades?
No. The performance descriptors are used to indicate a student’s progress in meeting academic learning standards. The marks on a standards-based progress report are different from traditional letter grades or percentages. Letter grades are often calculated by combining how well the student met the teacher’s expectations, how he/she performed on assignments and tests, and how much effort the teacher believes he/she put in. Letter grades do not tell parents which skills their student has mastered or whether they are working at grade level.

How does standards-based grading affect student motivation?
When students can clearly see the learning target for each activity and connect class activities to actions that are within their control,motivation improves. In other words, when students can see that the level and amount of work they contribute to the learning target is directly related to the outcome, they will be empowered and encouraged to work hard.