Standards Based

Please click on the link the open and read information relating to standards based scoring and reporting used at Sylvester Elementary. If you have any questions you are encouraged to contact your child's teacher or the building principal.

‚ÄčStandards Based Reporting

Sylvester Elementary provides students and families feedback utilizing a standards-based approach.  The traditional grading system does not fully communicate what students are expected to know and be able to do across grade-level standards.  Scores given to students for classroom assignments, projects, and homework are also scored using the 0-4 scale explained at the bottom of this page.

This reporting method has proven to be beneficial to students, teachers, and parents/guardians. Standards Based Grading will allow students to be more aware of what is expected of them and also provide parents with a more detailed outline of the expectations in each of the major academic areas. We believe that your understanding of what is expected of your child and how well he or she is progressing towards the goals at his or her grade level is very important and look forward to working together to provide your child with the knowledge and tools to be successful and to reach his or her fullest potential!

What is Standards-Based Grade Reporting?

A Standards-Based grade reporting system is designed to inform parents about their child's progress towards achieving specific learning standards. The state standards establish high and challenging performance expectations for all students. State standards describe what students should know and be able to do, and serve as the basis for Sylvester Elementary curriculum, instruction, and assessment model.

Why was the report card changed to the Standards-Based Report Card?

In a traditional grading system, the previous report card, students receive one grade for reading, one for math, one for science, and so on. On a Standards-Based Report Card, each of these subject areas is further expanded by a list of skills and knowledge students is responsible for learning. Students receive a separate mark for each indicator.

What is the purpose of the Standards-Based Report Card?

The purpose of the Standards-Based Report Card is to provide feedback that is more detailed to parents regarding the progress their children are making towards specific content indicators at each grade level. This report card allows parents and students to understand more clearly what is expected at each grade level. With this understanding, parents will be better able to guide and support their child helping him/her to be successful in a rigorous academic program.

How does the Standards-Based Report Card compare to the traditional letter grade system?

Standards-Based Report Card reporting is different from traditional letter grade reporting. Letter grades are often calculated by combining how well the student met a teacher's expectations, how the student performed on assignments and tests, how much effort the teacher believes the student put in and how the student is doing in comparison to classmates. Letter grades do not tell parents which skills their child has mastered or whether he or she is working at grade level. 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 students. This will give parents a better understanding of their child's strengths and weaknesses and encourage all students to do their best.

How can your child exceed the Standards?

Another change for students is being able to understand the concept of exceeding the Standard. Exceeding is not the equivalent of an A on a traditional report card. For example, if a fifth-grader received A's on every math test during the marking period, he or she would probably receive an A on a traditional report card. If those math tests measured only the concepts fifth graders are expected to master, those A's would be the equivalent of meeting the standard on a Standards-Based Report Card; the student is doing what he or she should be doing very well, but not necessarily more. Standards-Based Report Cards encourage students to demonstrate their ability to apply skills and knowledge beyond grade level expectations. Performance is characterized by self-motivation and the ability to apply skills with consistent accuracy, independence, and a high level of quality.

Why not have a Standards-Based system as an additional reporting component to the traditional report card?

Traditional grading for elementary level students does not communicate to parents what teachers want them to know about their child's strengths and weaknesses. The elementary level is based on a developmental model where learning is valued as a process. Traditional letter grades and Standards-Based rubrics do not assess in the same way and therefore are not compatible to one another.

Won't the entire grade level receive the same grades, mostly 2's and 3's?

Learning is a process and it should be expected that repeated exposure and experiences are necessary to gain ownership of new skills and strategies. An assessment score of 2 indicates the student is progressing towards the standard, it also indicates that a student has not gained mastery and continues to need assistance with this learning goal. Once a student demonstrates thorough understanding of concepts and skills with a performance characterized by the ability to apply skills with accuracy and quality, he or she would receive a 3, which equates to the student being able to show understanding of the learning goal without assistance and with a high level or mastery for that learning goal. This move from a 2 to a 3 can take place at any point during the school year and is very student specific. Once a student demonstrates he or she meets the standard, they can then consistently demonstrate their ability to apply a thorough in-depth knowledge of basic and extended concepts and skills with performance characterized by self-motivation and the ability to apply skills with consistent accuracy, independence, and a high level of quality. This would result in a 4. This again is very student specific and can occur at any time during the school year.

My child has an IEP. How will he or she be assessed?

There are modifications and accommodations in your child's IEP to support his or her progress on grade level standards as assessed on a Standards-Based report card.

Does this new system place more emphasis on daily interactions between teacher and student as opposed to standardized scores?

Neither traditional nor Standards-Based report cards rely solely on standardized test scores. A major characteristic of elementary assessment has always been the daily interaction throughout the process of learning. Standards-Based report cards better provide for in-depth communication on the continuum of learning.

How do you expect parents to explain to their child why they did not get a 4?

It is important that parents and teachers have honest conversations with students. Some concepts and skills are more difficult to grasp than others, but given time and motivation students can continually challenge themselves. Attitudes are contagious and it is important that adults involved convey to the child that learning is a process that needs to be respected. A score of a 1 or a 2, while learning a new skill or concept, is appropriate. A score of 3 demonstrating mastery/understanding of the learning goal is to be celebrated! This means that a student is able to do grade level work at a mastery level without assistance. A score of 4 indicates a strength being recognized that is above and beyond the grade level expectations for that particular learning goal.

‚ÄčIf you have any questions regarding Standards Based Report Cards please feel free to contact your child's teacher.