Marion School Committee introduces new report card

By Tanner Harding | Oct 05, 2016

Marion — The Marion School Committee announced its new standards-based report card system at Wednesday’s meeting.

The new system, being implemented for the current academic year, is designed to evaluate a student’s progress in long-term learning.

“Our hope and dream is to allow students to show mastery on standards that are important,” Assistant Superintendent Elise Frangos said.

Essentially, teachers will give students one of four grades: mastery, proficiency, emerging and not yet. A grade will be given for each aspect on a comprehensive list for every subject, both in academic classes and special classes such as music and art.

Mastery means a student consistently demonstrates a skill, proficiency means a student demonstrates a skill most of the time, emerging means a student demonstrates a skill some of the time, and not yet means the student requires on-going intervention to develop the skill.

The new system provides a much more in-depth understanding for both students and parents on what a child is doing well and what they are struggling with.

Instead of getting a “3” for being overall proficient in math, students will get an individual grade on each skill. This way, instead of parents and students wondering why a child got a 3 instead of a 4 in a subject, they can see that a student may have mastered multiplying and dividing, but is struggling with operations and algebraic thinking.

“Parents never really knew what their kids were good or bad at with the old grading system,” Frangos said.

Patty Richard, a music teacher at Sippican School, echoed that this would also help her give students more accurate grades. She said she grades on three aspects: creating, performing and responding.

“It’s actually really important that those are separate in a report card because sometimes students are really good at somethings and not another,” she said.

The hope is that this new grading system will allow for more growth in skill for students.

“We’ll be teaching them real, twenty-first century skills,” Frangos said.

A committee consisting of 25 teachers from the tri-town came up with what they deemed the essential standards in each academic area, at each specific grade level and with attention to skills that will go beyond a specific subject so that children can become college and career ready.

Frangos also emphasized that this system is not designed to compare one student’s performance to another’s.

“It’s not child versus child,” she said. “It’s a child realizing he or she has a certain growth potential that we can foster through the report card and close contact with the family.”

In other news:

Frangos is looking to add parent representatives to the Instructional Council, which discusses topics that help direct curriculum instruction. The group meets once a month, eight times a year. For more information, contact Frangos at efrangos@orr.mec.edu.

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