What is a progress report and what function does it serve?
This is an excellent question, and it has more than one correct answer. The following is my reality.
I teach elementary school. In our school we have a four quarter system, meaning that each quarter a report card is sent home to parents with grades and notations about how their child is performing in school. Note the term performing. It has grades on it, based on the work the student has done (or, in some cases, chosen not to do). It is not an indicator of ability.
Twice a year, in the fall and in the spring, every teacher in our school invites every parent to come in for a parent-teacher conference, to discuss each child’s individual growth and progress. We discuss strengths, weaknesses, and strategies to help each student achieve and learn.
In addition to these six detailed and time intensive points of contact, we send home mid-quarter progress reports. These are not as elaborate as the report card, but they do give a snapshot view of how the child is doing, grade-wise, at the middle point of each quarter. At this point students who are struggling can still make a tremendous amount of improvement, and poor grades are not set in stone. The idea of these reports is to communicate with parents, particularly those whose students may not be bringing home their scored work.
For those of you keeping track at home, we’re at ten formal communications at this point. For my group this year that means 340+ combined reports and meetings (some families request and receive more than one, due to family issues). Continue reading