First Quarter Report Cards Issued

First Quarter Report Cards Issued
Posted on 11/12/2019
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Understanding Elementary Report Cards (4K through 5th Grade)
Historically, our report card left teachers struggling to report accurately what skills students have mastered and what skills they hadn’t mastered
yet.  For example, mastery would mean an “A” and not being able to complete a skill independently could mean a “D”.  As an organization, we believe that giving our youngest learners a ”D” for not being able to complete a skill independently hinders the growth of our students and sends an inaccurate representation of the strengths they bring to the classroom.

Now, the measurement
s of learning have changed from the traditional A, B, C, and D.  We’ve framed learning into “I can” statements, based on our Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum, and we’re reporting based on levels of mastery.  

  • Mastery:  The student is meeting and/or exceeding grade level expectations presented during this quarter.  The student applies key concepts, processes, and skills required of the subject area with consistent accuracy and independence.  

  • Progressing:  The student is making progress toward grade level expectations presented during this quarter.  The student is able to apply skills with increasing success, but performance varies. The student is beginning to grasp and apply key concepts, processes, and skills.  

  • Not Yet: The student is not yet meeting grade level expectations presented during this quarter.  At this time, the student does not yet demonstrate understanding of basic concepts and skills independently or with additional support.  The student is having difficulty grasping key concepts, processes, and skills. 


We believe schooling should be centered on a constant cycle of improvement.  “Not Yet”
communicates that students can still master the skill with more time and that it is our expectation that they will because we believe in them.  Learning something is not seen as a singular event, but as a process.  We want learners seeing the power of “yet.”  It means we keep working with them to make sure they develop knowledge and skills they need.  A “not yet” means that we're on their path to get there. It supports a growth mindset that focuses on getting better over time.  

In addition to our “I can” statements, parents will see “Learner Skills” on the report card. Learner Skills are continuously measured from 4K to 5th grade.  They are divided into collaboration, self-direction, and problem solving. 

The new elementary report card contains student-friendly language that fosters a better understanding of what learning is taking place.  Keep in mind that teachers may not evaluate on every “I can” statement listed. (The statements represent what is covered during the entire school year.)  As always, teachers may include comments about a child’s progress. Also note that Art, Music, and Physical Education are evaluated at the end of each semester.   

Understanding Secondary Report Cards (Grades 6 through 12)
Like all schools, the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District, has defined learning standards (what students must know and be able to do) embedded in the curriculum in each of its classes and courses.  Teachers, using a variety of assessments both summative and formative, provide accurate, specific, and timely feedback designed to improve student performance through grade reports. Throughout the year, Skyward Family Access will be used to communicate how students are progressing toward meeting learning standards.

photoEvery intermediate and high school teacher uses the Gradebook feature in Skyward to process progress reports, grade reports, and semester grade reports.  As always, grades are calculated using points which are converted to a percentage and configured using the District grading scale. Once compiled, grade reports are posted online.    

Each year, after quarter grades are posted, there will be a continuous grade across semesters.  As quarters have an unequal number of assessments (e.g., points) there was inequity when both quarters were averaged together at semester.  Total points across a semester eliminates this imbalance and equally values the work a student does throughout the course. At semester, the grade is configured using the percentage of total points.

In high school, the semester grade will also include a final exam grade. Students will, as always, have access to their transcripts, a cumulative grade point average, and class rank as part of the grading system.

Questions?
As always, we urge parents and students to contact their child’s teacher if there is a question or concern regarding a grade or comment.  Skyward has an easy email feature for this purpose.  

To see an overview by grade level click here
Understanding Your Child’s Report Card