Changes made in some Yukon schools’ report cards

The days of the old-fashioned A-through-F report cards will soon be a thing of the past for some students in the Yukon School District.

School board members were told Monday that beginning with this year, students in pre-K through second grades would be receiving a standards-based report card as well as progress reports that outline how they are performing.

Desarae Witmer, executive director of curriculum and instruction, said scoring for report cards would be on an N/A to 4 basis.

Each number would reflect the student’s performance based on national and state standards.

Witmer said if a student receives a 1, that does not equate to the student receiving a D. It means the student has not yet approached the end-of-the-year standards.

A 2 means the child is approaching the standards, but still needs work.

Witmer said the goal is for students to achieve a 3, which means he is meeting the end-of-the-year standards.

A 4 means they have exceed those standards.

She said there are concerns that some parents may equate a 4 with an A. However, that is not the case, Witmer said.

Instead, it is similar to learning to ride a bike, where a 1 is when they need training wheels. As they ride more, they lose the training wheels but still need help. That is a two. Eventually, they are able to ride without help, and that is when they have met the goal. That is a three, said Witmer. A four is when they are able to do tricks.

The standards are set by the state Department of Education, but local districts have control over how the standards are met, she said.

In this case, Yukon has utilized a team approach of using educators, administrators and  parents to determine the end-of-the-year goals.

The progress will be tracked through report cards and progress reports that give greater detail on how each student is doing.

“Students won’t see a traditional report card. It will be a bit of a learning curve for parents.

“it’s not about an A. It’s about communicating with parents. Have they (students) reached mastery? Do they still need assistance? Do they need support, and you and I partner for that support. If they are exceeding that point, then we can focus on something else. So, it is very different,” Witmer said.

She said the reports will be very detailed.

“Our goal is to use a report card designed to effectively communicate with our parents about areas where their student is succeeding and areas where they need support,” Witmer said.

The decision was made to make the change because the stakes are higher for today’s student than in the past, and the district must meet those needs.

“It is our job, not for them to just get an A, but that each individual skill is met. That way when they move to that next grade level, they know what they can do, and what areas they still need to work on,” she said.

The new report card will be used initially in the lower grades, but is expected to be expanded to third grade next year.

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