In light of recent changes to the grading system for grades one through five, school officials are interested in changing the marking period schedule for the grammar and intermediate schools.
After reviewing recommendations by Coventry school board members, school administrators revised the grading system and presented their changes to the school board Sept. 22.
Now, school officials are mulling a change from four quarterly report cards to ones issued three times a year for those two schools.
Standards-based report cards are designed to measure the level of progress of students in first through fifth grade and were implemented last November, the first marking period of the year.
George Hersey Robertson School has students in grades three through five while Coventry Grammar School educates children in kindergarten through second-grade.
Rather than receive traditional “A’s” or “B’s,” pupils are given different letter codes. Coventry Grammar School Principal Mary-Beth Moyer and GHRS Principal Troy Hopkins presented the revised report cards to school board members for their perusal, also suggesting the new marking periods.
One change made was that an “M+” rating was added to evaluate students who demonstrated exemplary performance.
Prior to the change, “M,” or mastery, was the highest level, but school officials felt it was important to give students exceeding expectations a different mark.
School officials also changed the need for remediation mark – “R” – to an “N,” or “needs intervention,” in an attempt to clarify the meaning behind the mark.
Unchanged was the “P,” means progressing toward mastery, and “E,” which means emerging.
School officials recently reviewed the report cards and revised the grading system based on feedback received from the staff and school board. “We really sensed a true collaboration by staff members,” said Moyer of the work done evaluating the grading system.
Moyer noted the significance of the grading system change.
“It’s a paradigm shift for parents, but it is also a paradigm shift for teachers,” she said.
Currently, report cards are given out four times per year, but administrators are interested in switching to a trimester schedule to allow for sufficient time to evaluate students.
These changes would not affect the middle and high schools.
Under this schedule, there would be three marking periods that would last for 12 weeks each.
Currently, the marking periods in the two schools last for 10 weeks.
“It takes in-depth work to accurately measure kids on the standards,” said Hopkins. “It would also correlate very nicely with parent conferences.”
Coventry Board of Education Vice Chairman Jennifer Beausoleil said she wanted a presentation on the “pros and cons” of changing to a trimester schedule.
Board member Mark Malcolm said the schedule sounds like a great idea and thanked Moyer and Hopkins for their reviews of the grading system.
He said Hopkins and Moyer were quick to analyze input on the new grading system and make improvements.
Board member Gene Marchand asked if other school districts have implemented a trimester schedule.
Moyer said most of the districts using the standards-based report card are using this schedule.
“It gives a greater amount of time to the teacher to be able to expand on concepts,” she said.
School officials also reviewed the web site where A-B-C Standards are listed. This is a system of state standards most school curriculums are aligned with.
Hopkins said in order to be more “customer friendly,” school administrators decided to include more information about the curriculum on the web site.
“It adds more information than just the standards-based report card,” he said.
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