Report cards and Progress reports..

FlowergirlDeb2March 14, 2002

I was hoping that you all might share with me the type of progress reports and report cards that you recieve. Does the report card DETAIL any specifics about your child's abilities and progress?? How many of you recieve strictly letter grade report cards?? Does anyone have a teacher or a school that has a policy of sending home weekly progress reports stating at least ONE positive thing about their child? Has anyone considered requesting a weekly report??

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My son's (3rd grade) school sends home report cards that list the letter grades (A-F) for subjects and a mark indicating performance in areas like behavior, study skills, etc. as "S"atisfactory, "N"eeds improvement or "U"nsatisfactory. There is a one sentence comment from the teacher. Mid-term progress reports simply indicates his performance using that S,N,U scale and a one sentence comment from the teacher.

Weekly, he brings home a portfolio of some of that weeks work and tests. Of course those have letter grades and occassionally a brief (few words) written comment. I have to sign the portfolio and have an opportunity to write a comment, ask a question, or request a conference myself. I also get a print out every couple weeks of the books he has read and tested on as part of the Accelerated Reader reading program that all students in his school participate in. He has to reach a certain number of points each term so that shows me his progress in that area.

He has been at this school for 3 months, we recently moved. His old school did pretty much the same thing. The length of the written comments varied by teacher, but never more than a couple sentences.

I am satisfied with this type of written communication. I especially like getting his portfolio all at once at the end of the week instead of loose paper crammed into his backpack. However, the only time I wrote a question in his portfolio, it didn't get answered until I stopped in the classroom and asked her in person.

I don't have a lot of free time to get into the school, I have younger children at home and can't take them with me if I want to volunteer. But I make a point to speak with the teacher about once a week by picking my son up from school most Fridays and stopping in to speak with the teacher. I've found the end of the day on Friday to be a low-stress time of the week for the teacher and I can get a lot more than a sentence about my son's progress. Plus, I can ask questions as they come to mind while we talk. It's a good way for the teacher to get to know me and me to get to know the teacher. I can get a much better understanding about what goes on in the classroom in person than in writing. I also understand the teachers have enough reports to fill out just for the district and state requirements. Ask any teacher the worst part of their job and they will say the paperwork because it takes away from instructional and prep time.

I figure, if I think it should be worth the teachers time to make better communication, it should certainly be worth my time and effort to stop in once in a while for the progress report I want to hear.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2002 at 4:02PM
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My son is in the 2nd grade and they get either a 1 - completely satisfactory or a 2 - needs improvement on his report card. I hate it!! He gets all 1s but I want to know is it an A type of 1 or C type. LOL I can't wait until next year because they start getting actual grades in the 3rd grade.

I love Mondays because that is when all of the papers from last week are returned, the new week's assignment sheet is distributed with all worksheets enclosed and all of the school info (weekly calendar, permission slips, pta news) are sent home. Every student in the school receives the weekly folder with the school mascot and signature lines on the back. They are sent home with all "Monday" stuff and the students have to return it, signed, Tuesday. I put notes in it all of the time - that is my best way of communicating with the teacher when it's a non-emergency situation. My son has a wonderful teacher this year. She sends home a daily progress report that I sign and put in my son's folder every night.

Another way that we communicate with my son's teacher and see his interaction with students is by going on the field trips. I am a single, working mother and both sets of his grandparents work. But, when I get notice of field trips I always sign up for chaperone (and pay if necessary) then I email the info to all family members to see who can attend. If no else can, I take it. He has never attended a field trip without one of us being there. I also use this system for all school award ceremonies and programs, family days and holiday parties. We don't always make the holiday parties anymore. I like to go because it gives me an opportunity to meet the other students and parents, video tape and take pictures for his memoirs.

My sister has requested daily progress reports from my nieces teachers. Some do it but some do not. She is in the 6th grade and it's always her word against the teachers when the report cards come home and they are not the best. She is very bright but she just is not doing well. It would benefit her well if they would all send a daily progress report or sign off on the homework assignments that she copies from the board. My sister suspects she does not copy it all therfore when my sister checks to see if she has finished her homework for the night, she can be sure that is all the teachers assigned. But like I said, some do it while some don't.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2002 at 5:14PM
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My son when in 2nd grade did not bring home an unsatisfactory progress report, when he was suppose to have,but it wasn't his fault. The teachers that had taught for many years, didn't know (so she said) she was suppose to send it! Said she had never sent one, even though it was county policy! But the principal informed her that she was! This really happended. Teachers in 2nd grade in Central AL (and first) gave and still give grades. So the teacher could have wrote down the average, which would have helped. All the schools in this county start giving grades in first grade. My daughter also got grades in private school. She went Kindergaten and first grade to private school and in both K5 and first grade got grades.

Now alot of the kids are getting Progress reports whether the child makes Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory, sometimes giving actual grade point averages. These reports are given in the middle of the grading period which is 9 weeks here. I think it is good that they do, so the parent can help tutor the child in whatever area he is having trouble in and perhaps bring up the average.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2002 at 11:18PM
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In our school we get progress reports at midsession and report cards at the end of the session. The K kids get E, S, N (Excellent, Satisfactory, or Needs Improvement). The 1-5 kids get A-F. Our school lets you view all the grades for all the assignments online. It's great. It includes descriptions of the in class assignments and a grade for each lesson.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2002 at 5:54PM
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The school that my DD went to from K-4 had a "monday folder" that came home every week. In it, it had their work from the following week & a note from the teacher about what was going right or what needed to be addressed.

She's in 6th now. We get progress reports mid way through the grading period. The school considers it the parents responsibility to contact the teachers after the progress reports go out. I have to say that the teachers are really good about being in their classrooms early (7 a.m.) for several days after those reports go out, so working parents can check in with them when they drop their children off.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2002 at 5:07PM
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Thanks everyone! Any more replies would be great! I only recieve the report cards, but I feel that too many school lack proper communication between parents and teachers, and that BOTH need to make the effort for the kids sake.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2002 at 12:30AM
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When I taught school in New York City (private school) we sent home report cards that were written out in paragraph form. In Kindergarten (there were 22 students in my class) each child got about half to 3/4 a page sent home. So instead of saying "needs improvement in language arts" we would write "Johnny is working hard in language arts. We are still working with him on the confusion of the /m/ and /n/ sound. His pencil grip is great and his letter formation is fine. We would like to see him take more time and not rush through handwriting."
Just an example... and there is actually more detail. But it lets the parents know what is going on in school. It describes all of the students strengths and weaknesses in each subject matter. The physical education department, music, art etc. they all give the head teacher a paragraph to add as well. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but I have never heard a teacher complain about it. It helps them too--you really sit and think about each individual student. Then each report card is read by the head of the lower school (or middle or upper) and the headmaster. And it can't be sent home until the headmaster signs off on it.
That is a honest "report" card. I am all for it. I think that checking boxes and writing one line comments seems a little silly and a little unfair to the parents.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2002 at 4:32PM
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I'm a third grade teacher. Daily progress reports for 25 students.....oh my....there would need to be 2 more hours in the school day during which I would have no other responsibilities. There are days I don't have time to eat or go to the bathroom. 4 days a week I get 30 minutes of prep time while the students are in specials. The students have 40 minutes for lunch and recess. Every other minute of the day, I'm teaching. I wouldn't have time to teach and write daily progress reports. I guess if a parent really needed to know details of his or her child's day on a daily basis, a phone call would be far easier and faster. I wouldn't make 25+ (some children have 2 households) each day, however.

Just my 2 cents.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2002 at 1:41PM
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I didn't hear anyone say anything about Daily progress reports. But maybe what was meant is in a book like a grade book you could write down a U , S or E=Excellent and keep the papers in a file and then give out a progress report in the middle of the grading period.

My daughter's teacher though did send home a report in third grade every week. But an Unsatisfactory report is suppose to be sent home in alot of school at mid grading period. And in some schools this has went on for 15 or more years. Now I hear that many schools require a mid progress report of grades that are satisfactory or Unsatisfactory actually putting a grade average on the progress report.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2002 at 2:03AM
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Hi there!! As the parnet of two special education student, I do receive a weekly progress report from my daughters teacher. She is 11, in fifth grade but on a 2-3 grade level. When we set up her IEP. it was at my request that I receive weekly reports and fortunately she has a teacher that is willing to do that. This is done just so we can have open home/school communications, which with learning difficulties that my daughter has, is a blessing. However, I would have to say on a general basis, that would be very difficult, considering most teachers have 20-25 kids. If you are concerned that you are missing something in your childs education, please call the school and make an appintement to see the childs teacher or ask that the teacher call you back at the end of the day or on a planning period. Most teachers are willing to call at one of those two times.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2002 at 1:40PM
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I just think that weekly progress reports would help parents and teachers work together toward the child's success in school. At my son's school the teacher started out with some kind of "Class newsletter" sent home every week, listing which children were "good" and "bad" during the week at school. I thought that this was VERY WRONG, as it is NOT my business how someone elses child is behaving and it isn't any other parents business about MY child either. The funny thing is, I posted on the forum about this, and got replies from teachers and parents who were seemingly as abgry as I was! And some teacher's even said that they would most likely get fired for sending home letters like that. The letters stopped almost immediately, maybe she was on here or suddenly realized what she was doing wasn't "Helping" any of the kids.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2002 at 1:31AM
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I attend a private school. Each month we receive a comprehensive report containing grades ( Outstanding achievement = A, High Achievement = B, Satisfactory = C and NN is a fail... ) and comments from the teacher..

If we did not hand in assignments it is stated so our parents know exactly how we are progressing.. proceeding the report distribution there are a series of parent/ teacher/ student interviews...

This has dramtically improved my grades.. i think it would be beneficial for all schools to do this

    Bookmark   December 14, 2002 at 1:10AM
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lillian, thanks!! Why do you feel this has helped you out? Is it because of the individual attention, and involvement of your parents? Please share whatever you think would apply, I'm studying to be a teacher myself, and I have rather "unpopular" opinions on education in this forum. :) Whatever YOU as a student could offer regarding your experiences would be wonderful! Thanks!!!!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2002 at 10:58AM
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The report structure is as follows :

we have 14 criteria.. when we receive a task ( eg essay), we are graded on 2-4 criteria on that particular task... after the criteria have been assessed various times, a trend is set for those selected criteria.. at the end of each month, the 14 criteria trends ( A-F) are examined and a ratings are given accordingly ( oustanding, high achievement, satisfactory, needs improvement, failure to complete, )

The critiria we are assessed on ( for the letter grades are)

1> Can use key terms and concepts
2> Recall and understand facts and information
3> Plan, organise and undertake activities
4> Present a reasoned opinion ( in essay format usually)
5> Collect, analyse and organise information
7> Work with others in teams
8> Commmunicate ideas effectivly
9> Understand the influence of culture upon the construction and interpretation of texts
10> Use technology to access information and compose text
11> Set and achieve goals through reflection and negotiation
12> use correct spelling, punctuation and grammer
13> speak and listen effectivly
14> Evaluate conclusions in relation to evidence

The report contains a checklist of skills and learning behaviors... This is discussed in the parent /teacher / student interview. During the meeting short time goals are set, ( such as working on particular criteria or developing vocabulary or improving writing clairty).. If the student successfully meets this goal and improvement has been made encouragement is given.

If a parent finds a discrepancy between how the student performs in the classroom and during tests, it is discussed immediatly.. Not all kids at my school agree with the parent intereaction... ( generally students who do not endeavour to obtain good grades )...

When teachers spend time thinking about the student when they write reports, they develop a greater understanding of how individual student learns....

Before acceptance into the school parents are made aware of the high interaction. Not all parents want to ( or have time to) attend the meetings, and in this case the student and teacher do this alone and a letter is sent home containing what was discussed)

Our school genuinly believes in promoting parental involvement and participation... This has raised expectations for student, who now knows that more eyes are on them....

    Bookmark   December 17, 2002 at 4:02AM
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Hi I am new here but this posting caught my attention and I just had to add to it. I live in Quebec, Canada...a truly unique educational year since my oldest son , now 11, started school the report card format has changed getting to the point that even the teacher's don't truly understand what to do with them....there are no letter grades or number grades just these odd comments like " tranfering, apply, developing, beginning or not reported" lol At least some of the teachers make a comment or two so you can figure out if your child is having a problem in a subject or not. This is the Quebec English Education system I have no idea what they have in the french schools. These reports go out in cycles of 7 over a two year period. They are technically no longer in say grade 2 but instead grade 1 and 2 is in a stage together even if they attend seperate classes. It is all very confusing really. They have an agenda book that comes home each night which the children write their homework into and has to be signed by both the parent and the teacher. Some teachers make a quick note at the end of the week as to how things have gone. I have also been told that no child will fail a grade now, the system will push them forward ready or not they are not allowed to fail an Elementary student....not sure I like that considering if a child is not ready to tackle the next steps they will surely get lost in the system. It's all very sad really. Sharon

Here is a link that might be useful: Sharon's Craft Corner

    Bookmark   January 4, 2003 at 9:54PM
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