A few years ago, Penns Manor Area Elementary made the switch to standards-based report cards to reflect the early skills that our young learners in grades K-2 are being taught. This is to better ensure, or target, those early skills that students must know in order to be successful in later grades. Students in grades 3-5 will still use the traditional report card format.
What is a standards-based report card for grades K-2?
It’s all about student understanding and mastering a learning goal - and less about grades. A standards-based report card lists the most important skills students should learn in each subject at a particular grade level. Instead of letter grades, students receive marks or a code that show how well they have mastered the skills.
What marks/symbols will elementary schools use to represent student progress instead of letter grades?
(ABV) Above or Well Above Benchmark: Met end of the year grade level standards and may be ready to work at greater depth
(BEN) At Benchmark: Expected progress toward meeting end of year grade level standards
(BEL) Below Benchmark: Less than expected progress toward meeting end of year grade level standards with increased support
(WBB) Well Below Benchmark: Little to no progress toward meeting end of year grade level standards with extensive support
What are standards, and who determines them?
The standards are basically the learning goals and expectations for each grade level, and they are set by the State of Pennsylvania. The standards are a list of the skills that students should learn at each grade level. Teachers are responsible for teaching the skills for their students’ grade level, although the standards do not specify how teachers should teach.
How does Penns Manor Area Elementary School teach the standards?
We believe in systematic and explicit instruction using high-quality, relevant, and grade appropriate materials.
Why are elementary schools changing to standards-based report cards?
Because our students are more than a score. A new way of teaching requires a new way of measure. Our teaching approach has changed, so it only makes sense that the way we measure progress should change to match it. The new grading system helps us answer the new question presented by project-based learning - how does a teacher measure real understanding? By reading the signs of progress. Because our elementary schools focus on teaching content-based core standards, the way we report student progress is changing to reflect this. The standards-based report card is a more logical and complementary grading system to measure student progress and success in meeting the standards-based targets. .