• November 7, 2018

    Dear Parents/Guardians:

    This year, your child’s K-4 report card looks a little different. That is because we have made a shift in our programmatic assessment to standards-based grading. No longer will you see averages out of 100 points on your child’s report card. Averages only show you what your child did overall. Your child might have had high scores on tests and low scores on in-class work or vice versa; you would never know from that average. Your child might have started out with little knowledge or skill in a particular area because he/she had never experienced that skill or heard about that topic before; an average takes all of a child’s performance across time and says overall this is what your child knows. We are changing this approach to, instead, reflect how your child has grown across time on each skill separately. We feel this will better demonstrate your child’s strengths and his/her areas in need of growth.

    Going forward, on your child’s K-4 report card, you will see:

    • Individual Skills - these reflect the most critical skills that students are working on in a given subject area/grade level. Your child is learning so much more than this in the classroom, but these were selected as priority standards about which to share information with you.
    • Effort - this is separate from how a student performs on the skills in a subject area.
    • Learner Behaviors - these identify citizenship skills and habits of mind important to success as a member of a learning community.
    • Reading Levels - these show where your child is currently reading independently. These are intended to help you in selecting books for your child at the library, bookstore, etc. that are appropriate for him/her to read without assistance. Attached is a sheet that explains these further.

    Instead of score ranging from 0-100, you will see scales from 1-3 or 1-4 and word descriptors for the effort and learner behaviors. The language for these scales is listed below:


    3 = Exceeds current grade-level expectations   

    2 = Meets current grade-level expectations       

    1 = Below current grade-level expectations       


    Grades 1-4

    4 = Exceeds current grade-level expectations

    3 = Meets current grade-level expectations

    2 = Approaching current grade-level expectations

    1 = Well below current grade-level expectations


    Effort/Learner Behaviors (Grades K-4)

    O = Outstanding

    S = Satisfactory

    I = Inconsistent

    N = Needs Improvement


    We have provided a Frequently Asked Questions document in hopes of answering some questions you might have about standards-based grading. Please also visit our website www.watertowncsd.org, and under Departments, find Curriculum & Instruction, and then Standards-Based Report Cards K-4 on the left-hand side of the page. Resources will be here for you to access at any time. Additionally, during parent-teacher conferences, we will have a Resource table in each elementary building where you can stop by and ask questions or find out more about standards-based grading. Please also feel free to contact your building principal or my office at any time should you have unanswered questions.

    Thank you for supporting this change. We are confident this is going to make communication about your child’s growth and strengths clearer and more specific.



    Stacey J. Eger

    Assistant Superintendent for Instruction