(Frequently Asked Questions)
about the NEW Elementary Schools Progress Reports for Grades Kindergarten through 5th:
What were the goals of the committee?
The goals of the committee in revising the progress reports were to:
- Create rubrics, consistent from grade to grade, aligned with state standards and reflecting our own values
- Update the skills/content being assessed to reflect our scope and sequences
- Vertically align the reports to create a smooth and clear progression from grade to grade
- Include reference to our commitment to Character Development
- Create reports that are parent-friendly in format and content allowing for clearer communication
Who participated in the creation of these progress reports?
The progress report committee was composed of Dr. Deirdre Hayes, principals from all three elementary schools, classroom teachers from every grade level, and special area teachers from all subject areas. The committee met for two years to develop the progress reports. At each stage of the process, the committee sent their work back to their colleagues for discussion, feedback and revision. The ongoing work of the committee was discussed at the public board meeting of
Feb. 28, 2008, at which Dr. Hayes and Mrs. Pamela Blank (Center Street School) gave a presentation on the progress reports. In Spring 2008 each elementary site-based committee reviewed and discussed a draft of the progress reports and their feedback was then incorporated into the reports.
Why are the Comments sections reduced in size?
The members of the committee worked carefully to ensure that the assessment criteria on the new progress report were as thorough as possible. The committee believed that a very carefully written group of assessments would provide teachers with nearly all of the critical areas needed for a full report of progress for a student. In light of that, the decision was made by the committee to create a correspondingly smaller area for comments, believing that the rubrics themselves would suffice more fully than in the past.
Can the progress reports be completed by hand?
One of the critical decisions made by the progress report committee was to require the inclusion and carry-over of grades and assessments throughout the year within a single report. Once that decision was made, the requirement to maintain the progress reports in digital form became necessary. In the past, the reports were three separate paper documents produced in December, March and June, and so required a separate printing in each of those trimesters. That allowed teachers to print their reports, and then fill in any required areas on paper. In order for the reports to retain and add new information from December and March through June, a digital form of report must be used, and a paper document would not satisfy that requirement.
How are grades from the Special Area teachers obtained?
Each school will be able to set up a procedure that best satisfies the needs of their classroom and special-area teachers. That procedure may evolve over time, but for now, the committee members foresee several possible options:
Progress reports may be emailed by classroom teachers to special-area teachers, who can fill in the appropriate grades and email the reports back to the classroom teacher;
Classroom teachers may submit their progress reports saved on a "flash" ("thumb"; "usb") drive* to the special-area teachers, who can then open the reports, fill in the grades, save them and return the drive to the classroom teacher;
Classroom teachers may provide a paper-based roster of their students with appropriate areas for each required grade to the special-area teacher. The special-area teacher would then fill in their grades and return the grade-collection roster to the classroom teacher, who will then input those grades into the electronic progress report;
Other procedures may be used as necessary, where the teachers/special-area teachers may devise a process that better fits their own requirements.
Did the language rubrics change for all of the sections?
The construction of the new assessment criteria was the most critical part of the progress report creation, and was the largest area of concern to the committee. Input from every teacher in the elementary schools was sought, and that input was used by the committee as a guideline in assembling the various parts of the progress reports. Strenuous attempts were also made to more closely align the progress report assessment criteria with state standards, as well.
Why are the scoring rubrics in numbers?
The new assessment process is intended to align more closely with the scoring used on various
state tests, which use the 1-2-3-4 scoring system in the majority of those tests. New York
Can decimals such as 3.5 or 2.75 be used for grades?
Where should the progress reports be printed?
In order to print the progress reports, a printer must be capable of printing 2-sided documents. On many home and classroom printers, that 2-sided printing process requires the printing of side 1 of a document, and then a manual "flip" of the page and a return to the printer in order to print side 2 of that document. It is strongly recommended that teachers visit their elementary school computer lab, where newly-acquired laser printers are now available which are capable of printing 2-sided documents without that requirement. The entire printing process for a full set of progress reports for one class on these printers is less than two minutes.
*Each classroom teacher who requests one will be provided with a district-supplied portable "flash" drive via their respective computer lab teacher. Training in the use of that drive will then be provided where requested.