Orange Schools are taking a new approach to student report cards this year. As part of an initiative that started last year when the district set out to prioritize standards, administrators began creating what they call an ‘authentic standards aligned’ report card. Not only will the report cards have a new look, they will give educators and parents a deeper look into a student’s progress.
“Our teachers—in grade level teams—identified standards for reporting,” explained Evelyn Russo, director of curriculum. “While we are committed to overtly teaching and assessing all Common Core standards in bundled units, we will be prioritizing and choosing some of those standards for the report card.”
Several drafts have been prepared and shared with key stakeholders at the district. In addition, the report card has been shared with the professional development evaluation committee. “We received great feedback that we used to come up with a second draft that was shared with our leadership team and our curriculum subcommittee members and we’ve had great feedback from every single group. We’re excited to share the next revision with the PTA/PTO Council members,” Russo says.
This feedback includes not just what’s written on the report card, but also the plans for implementation and helping parents understand some of the language on the new report card. Board of Education Member Ken Ziman is on the curriculum/instruction/technology committee that reformed the report card. “Everyone should know that these are not the report cards that we’ve come to know and love,” he said. “This, like so much else that’s going on in education, represents a ‘sea change,’ which is a profound or notable transformation. That’s what we’re talking about here.
“I want all parents to know that this is different. It’s being done to give the parents a more accurate child-centered picture of how their child is progressing,” he said. “I think for parents to get the benefits of these new report cards, they must understand that this will take some background. We will be sending home information about ways to look at student progress. We encourage parents to read these handouts and to please ask their child’s teacher if they have questions.”
By Melissa Nicefaro – Orange Town News Correspondent