September 22, 2017
Dear Families of St. Joseph Elementary School,
As we move closer to Progress Reports and Report Cards, I want to share with you the thinking of the Diocese of Oakland around Standards Based Report Cards. This year, K-3 will be using the Standards Based Report Cards. While grades 4-8, will not use a Standards Based Report Card, they use the Standards to drive the content and assessment of their curriculum.
“In the schools of the Diocese of Oakland, we believe student achievement occurs through clearly defined standards and authentic learning opportunities. The schools of the diocese strive to provide accurate, meaningful, and timely feedback to both students and parents throughout the learning process.
Reporting of student achievement should reflect student progress toward mastery of key academic concepts and identify multiple pathways to deeper learning.
GRADES ARE NOT ABOUT WHAT STUDENTS EARN; GRADES ARE ABOUT WHAT STUDENTS LEARN.
Why have we moved towards a standards-based reporting system?
A report card is an ongoing conversation between the teacher, the student, and the parent or guardian about what is expected of students and how to help them to be successful in a rigorous academic program. For this purpose to be accomplished, however, the reporting system must accurately mirror the instructional model that exists in the classroom. In the past, grades reflected not only what had been achieved academically, but also how students behaved or how they compared with classmates. Reporting systems did not reflect the academic standards and performance assessments that exist in today’s classrooms. Our instructional model has shifted away from a focus on basic skills and moved toward a deeper analysis of content that requires our students to think, plan, integrate, and construct. In this environment, the traditional grading system is inadequate.”