|Dr. Karen Siris
As you already know, new elementary report cards that are better aligned with the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) were distributed earlier this year. The new report card was developed to provide you with a much more detailed and accurate picture of how your child is performing in relation to the new standards. We are pleased that the feedback from the first report card indicated that our efforts to inform parents of the new reporting system was effective.
With that being said, however, we quickly came to the realization that even greater data collection is needed to provide enough specific evidence to thoroughly complete the new report card. Such comprehensive information is difficult to attain in a traditional marking quarter. We had already been in the process of seriously evaluating the strong feedback we received in the early fall from many parents about the impact that frequent testing was having on our students and therefore made the decision to move to a trimester model (three report cards per year) to address both the need to collect evidence for a detailed report card and the need to reduce the amount of testing for our students at the elementary level.
As a result of the new trimesters, the second report card will be sent home with the children on February 28th and the final report card for the year, will be sent on the final day of the school year, as it has been in the past.
We want to assure you that all of our teachers understand the essential nature of the home-school partnership. They know that communication between the home and school occurs in a variety of ways, including through the agenda book, letters, phone calls, e-mails, and work sent home for parent review. Please remember that we also invite you to initiate contact with our teachers. In the future, our hope is to enhance our face-to-face opportunities to connect parents and teachers at our parent-teacher conferences.
Please also note that the DAY 6 ELA Reading Street Testing will now take place every other week, rather than every week. On weeks 1, 3, and 5 of a unit, the weekly test will be used as an in-class assignment to guide the children's learning. Teachers will use this work as an informal way to assess the children's learning.
If you should have any questions regarding our new trimester model or about anything about our instructional program or your child's social and emotional learning progress, feel free to speak to your child's teacher or me.
Wishing you a happy and healthy new year ahead!
Karen Siris, Ed.D