Hopefully by now you have had the chance to read your child's report card. If you are having any issues retrieving the report card from Jupiter, please let me know and I can walk you through. It can be a bit tricky at first!
As you have seen in Shelley’s weekly memos, report cards at MRA are scored much differently than report cards you may have received in school. Competency based scoring looks very different from a letter grade scoring system, and I want to explain this a bit further.
The most important point to remember when reading your child’s report card is to know that the numbers DO NOT correspond to a letter grade. Occasionally parents, or students in older grades who are new to MRA, (or well meaning grandparents who want to pay for “good grades”) have thought that MRA is basically using a traditional grading method but have changed the letters to numbers. They assume a 4 would equal an A, while a 1 would mean F. This is absolutely not the case. We are looking at the level the student is working at independently and their level of mastery of a particular skill. My good friend, Dainette Harris (who teaches in Huckleberry South), has a great analogy for explaining this, comparing it to riding a bike:
1 - The student is not yet able to peddle the bike.The teacher is holding the bike and pushing it.
2 - The student is riding with training wheels.
3 - The training wheels are off, and the student is riding independently.
4 - The student is a bike expert, performing tricks and teaching others.
When evaluating the various skills listed in the report card, we are using a variety of assessments, observations, and student work to determine where a child is at. When taking a skill like counting from 1 to 20, a student working at a level 1 is not able to count to 20 accurately. They may not get past 10, or may make an error (11, 12, 14, 14, 15... ). The student needs additional practice and support. Students working at a level 1 are currently receiving intervention in the classroom for that skill. A student working at level 2 may make the same error listed above, but would catch their error and correct it on their own. Or they may not be consistent yet, sometimes counting accurately while making errors other times. This shows they are close to mastering the skill, but not quite there. A student working at a level 3 will count from 1-20 accurately, and will do so every time. They have mastered the skill, and are ready to move on. A student working at a level 4 will accurately count from 1-20, and is also counting to 20 in other ways (a variety of skip counting, counting by twos, fives, etc).
For a mid year report card in kindergarten, you are likely to see many 2s. For students who are older in their grade (fall birthdays), you may see more 3s. For students who are younger in their grade (late spring and summer birthdays) you may see more 1s and 2s. There are exceptions to this, but age is an important factor, as just a few months can make a big developmental difference in kindergarten. 4s are uncommon for a mid year kindergarten report card,
For end of the year report cards we are looking for a few things, with the most important being growth. While not every student will be at a 3 in every skill by the end of kindergarten, they should be making progress. For some this means going from 1 to 2 by the end of the year. For a majority of students, they will be at a 3 in most skills by the end of the year. There may be more 4s, though 4s are still uncommon. Concern is raised when a student has not made measurable progress. In this situation, we would be working closely with the parents and the SST (student support team) to come up with additional support for that student. Again, given the developmental differences at this age, the need for SST support is rare. If/when there is a concern, we will notify as soon as that concern arises. We will not wait until the end of the year report card to share those concerns.
This post was quite lengthy and detailed, but hopefully this gives you a better understanding of the grading system at MRA and will help you navigate your child’s report card with more clarity. The purpose of grading is to give you and your child a clear picture of where they are at in their learning, so clearing up any misconceptions is important. If you do have any questions or concerns because of something you see on the report card, I am always willing to schedule a meeting to address those.