Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Indicators announced for next year's report card

In Ken O'Connor's book, The School Leaders Guide to Grading (2013), he says "It has become increasingly clear that the use of percentages is incompatible with standards-based education, since percentages have no meaning in and of themselves and encourage the perception that a school is concerned primarily with accumulating points and ranking students.  Performance standards in a standards-based system always need to be about the level of performance in relation to proficiency." (P.50)

In light of his and other current thinking about the preferred way to document and support student learning,  MidSun School will be moving to outcomes based assessment and a new report card next year. In February, a list of the subject stems that will appear on the new report card was sent home and today the indicator scale we will use was announced.  Each stem will be evaluated using a four point number scale:
4 = The student has demonstrated excellent achievement of grade level expectations
3= The student has demonstrated good achievement of grade level expectations
2= The student has demonstrated basic achievement of grade level expectations
1= The student is not meeting grade level expectations.

We will have two formal report cards with comments on what students are doing well, what  they need to work on and how they can improve.  MidSun School will continue to keep home logic open and regularly scheduled mark updates every 6 weeks or so. All assignments and tests will be evaluated using the four point scale.

I think the most exciting thing about moving to this new report card is that it helps students to focus on their individual strengths and the areas they need to improve against a standard. It is more personalized with clearer targets for ways that students can grow. It is less about the number and more about the learning and that will be a good thing.

Veronica Saretsky
Principal, MidSun School

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