November 15, 2016
Vol. 2, Issue 33
Dear Lakeside Parents,

     Our district made the decision to implement standards-based grading as a way to monitor our students’ learning and ability to apply their knowledge before moving on to the next topic. The primary goal was to place the focus on the learning rather than on just doing what was needed to make a grade.

     We started by focusing on our assessments for each standard and the expectations for what meeting and exceeding should look like. Meeting expectations for a standard doesn’t happen overnight, so at this point in the school year, students have not mastered many standards, as the standard will be taught and assessed all year, woven through ongoing instruction.
     What we like about standards-based report cards: they focus on a growth mindset. We expect that students will grow during the school year, so receiving a report card that has 1’s and 2’s is pretty much where a child should be right now, if the goal is to be at grade level standards by June, which is a 3. Scores of 1’s would reflect an area where a child is not making expected progress at this time in the school year.

     We expect that the new reports cards will also help parents to better understand how well their students are achieving their individual educational goals. Increasing communication to parent  regarding student progress is one of our LCAP Goals,  which was developed with input from parent feedback and approved by our Board in June 2016.

     Teachers are able to use ongoing formative assessments as a way to guide classroom instruction. Students are able to practice their mastery of standards without the penalty of receiving a poor grade in the gradebook. The process of reteaching creates an opportunity for both teachers and students to learn from their mistakes.

     Teachers are able to reflect on instruction and evaluate if their lessons truly met the needs of their learners. Students are able to focus their efforts on concepts they struggled to understand and the option for reassessment. Together, reteaching and reassessment allow for all stakeholders to experience that intelligence can be developed and is not set in stone (Carol Dweck, Mindset. 2008).

     Our staff can answer more questions if you have them. We hope you find the additional information helpful to follow the progress of your child during the school year. 


Dr. Lisa Gonzales
Interim Superintendent & Lead Learner

                                Frequently Asked Questions:

What is a standards-based report card?

A standards-based report card provides detailed information on how well your child is progressing towards mastery of year-end standards. In Lakeside, teachers continue to identify the standards taught and district expectations for each marking period to inform instruction and assessment. Standards’ expectations change from one marking period to the next as students move toward the end-of-the-year grade level expectations. Learners are scored on their progress made toward mastery of those expectations set forth for each marking period.

What examples of data do teachers use to assign grades?

With a standards-based approach, teachers evaluate student learning in a variety of ways using classroom observations and classwork, along with formative and summative assessments. The combination of these pieces of evidence, when reviewed with parents, provides a more detailed picture of student progress towards grade level expectations.

Is it possible for students to “drop” from one marking period to another?

It is important to note that the student does not necessarily drop a grade. The score is an indication of performance with expectations of difficulty that increases throughout the school year. In other words, the concepts increase in difficulty as the year progresses. Therefore, a student who demonstrates a score of “2” in the first trimester could earn a “1” in the second trimester when the rigor of the standard has been increased. This shift from a “2” to a “1” indicates the student understands the major elements of the concept but may need more development of the details or application and more teacher support.

How do I help my child “get a 3?”

Remember, a mark of “3” indicates that a student is meeting grade-level expectations with independence and excellence. With high and challenging expectations, a “3” is exactly where a competent student should be by the end of the school year.

What happens when students transfer to another elementary school outside the district or transition to the middle school?

The standards-based report card contains a legend with a definition for each code. Most districts have already transitioned to standards-based report cards and use similar performance codes. Lakeside has shared its new report card with CT English Middle School and, as always, transition discussions will take place later in the school year to help CT staff with scheduling and placement decisions.

What about private schools?

The private schools we’ve talked to prefer standards-based report cards as it provides very specific information around learning that are less subjective than traditional grades.

Where can I find more information about the Common Core State Standards? http

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