For a number of years a large group of teachers, parents and administrators have been involved in researching, comparing and developing a K-5 Progress Report to replace our current outdated report cards. Our research not only focused on the ways a report card can best communicate a student’s academic progress in relation to the key skills and concepts for a specific grade level but also upon bringing to life the major research tenets of creating learning environments that foster higher level thinking and academic rigor for all of our students.
The committee’s projected goal is to introduce the new K-5 Progress Reports in June 2010, at the K-2 level initially, once we have received feedback to refine some aspects of the Progress Report. The new Progress Reports will include detailed reading and writing continuums and specific grade level mathematic skills and concepts, all reflecting aspects of the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards and the state’s 21st Century initiative. The Progress Report will also point to progress in all special area subjects as well as indicating social and emotional development and amongst other important indicators study habits. Teachers will also complete a narrative comments section and students in grades 2-5 will have the opportunity to reflect on their learning and complete their own self-assessment to provide a comprehensive progress overview.
The Morris School District promotes academic excellence by empowering children to set and achieve high standards, develop problem-solving skills, be self-reflective, make responsible decisions and become life long learners. The new Progress Report documents progress along continuums in a child-centered, developmentally appropriate, non-comparative environment. Using a reporting system that includes a development continuum provides parents with specific information about their child’s progress in school. It is like a map showing where the child has gone and where he/she will be going. As the student masters the majority of skills on a given list he/she progresses naturally through developmental stages that are contained within this guide. The learning continuum or map has ten different levels of proficiency when describing a student’s progress in the area of reading and writing. The stages range from Reading/Writing Readiness to Fluent Reader/Writer. Each stage corresponds to an instructional level or grade level expectations. The individualized progress report will indicate a child’s place along the reading and writing continuum, as well as his/her achievement in developing math knowledge, skills, and concepts. Parents/guardians are encouraged to be educational partners by providing us with feedback on the new Progress Reports as we go through the process of growth in this domain
The Progress Report will become an important form of communication between school and home. The proposed Progress Report will show each child’s individual growth and development over the course of the school year. A continuum allows parents, children and teachers to celebrate the specific progress the child has made and provides important opportunities to talk with the child about which skills will require more attention. As the skills described within the continuums are consistently and independently accomplished our awareness of the student’s progress is increased by this reporting style. Each child will have a very different profile which will reflect his or her uniqueness, as not all children will show the same progress in each category. This reflects our understanding that developmental learning is affected by the age and maturity level of the child, and his or her out of school experiences, as well as classroom learning.
The committee’s goal for the new Progress Report is for it to be gradually phased in during the next two school years. Throughout the 2009-2010 year, the Morris School District will hold information sessions for parents to explain the new Progress Report. All parents will continue to receive the current Report Card in February 2010. However, by June 2010, the new K-2 Progress Reports will be sent home along with a parent survey requesting further feedback. Students in Grades 3-5 will continue to receive the current Report Cards. The committee’s goal is to have, by February 2011, created a good understanding of the process involved for our school community and thus students in grades K-3 should then receive the new Progress Report. Following on, the initial goal was to be able to share the Progress Report with all our K-5 parents by June 2011.
We encourage you to attend any information session in the fall and communicate regularly with your child’s teachers and school principal regarding the new Progress Report. For those who understandably cannot attend information sessions we have contained, on this page, sample report cards and will create a blog for you to share your comments.
We thank you for your continued involvement and support,
The Teachers and Administrators of the Morris School District