Thursday, April 19, 2012

On Report Cards

I won't say that my standards of good report cards has changed.  That would just sound like my expectations have been made lower.  On the contrary, my expectations are very high, and I'm super-proud of what my little girl can and has accomplished. 

3rd quarter report cards came out yesterday.  Because Samantha was sick all day we kept her home, and I picked up her grades this morning when I dropped her off (weird how miraculously kids can make a recovery!).  I walked slowly back to the house with my head down, nose stuck into the report, my smile getting bigger, finding myself involuntarily nodding as I read. 

I understand the Below Standard scores she got in Class Participation and Stays Focused on Work.  It's the same result she'd had last time as well as the time before.  I don't feel bad about those.  I don't feel bad about any of the 4 Below Standard scores she got.  I actually agree wholeheartedly, and know that while she's still not meeting those goals, she's gotten so much better and closer, and perhaps next time she will meet those goals.  And if not, that's okay too.  Actually, she went down in grade in only one area to Below Standard, went up in two to Making Progress, and stayed the same in two at Below Standard.  (By the way, my memory fails me in the short time it took me to read those grades and write this post - I don't actually remember the real names of the scores...I'm sort of making this up as I go...)

But she's learning.  That's what report cards are for.  I know she's learning.  I see her progressing.  I speak to her teachers.  I understand the grades. 

And she's being graded in the exact same way as her typical peers. 

And that is why I say that my standards of good report cards has not changed.  My understanding of how my daughter learns and how hard she works is what shapes my view of her report cards.  If that makes sense.  When I was a kid, having anything other than Outstanding or Excellent or whatever the top score was in that place and time was unacceptable to me.  That's what I aimed for.  And that's what we'd love to see Samantha get as well, but to be honest, we'd worry that her grading was not as objective as it should be if we started seeing that across the board.  Objective, true grades, based on what we know she has actually achieved is what is important to us. 

I don't want any free rides for her.  I want her to understand work and achievement.  That's the desired reward.

Next week is our IEP meeting.  I'm looking forward to it.  I love our IEP team, and know they have Samantha's best interest in mind.  My fingers are crossed that budgetary constraints have not changed the map of 1st Grade as we currently understand it will look like.  I'm certainly hoping for no surprises.  But if there are surprises, I still know that her team is determined to see her achieve her full potential, to have a solid education, and to thrive while under their tutelage. 


Anonymous said...


Lisa said...

Totally understand this post! I was that honor roll always getting "exceeds expections" and getting upset at a "satifactory" score on a report card. But last week I did a happy dance because Cate got one "exceeds expectations" on her standards testing! The various "not yet demonstrated" skills don't bother me - we are working on them and she'll get there. But give me one Exceeds & a bunch of met expections scores and you'd think she was on the honor roll because to me she is just by being in a typical class and working hard. And if she ever gets a point where she can't keep up and has to move to a small group class - I'll still be proud of her and expect her to work hard.
good luck at your IEP!

Rochelle said...

Oh if only everyone had your perspective. Totally agree. Way to go Sammi girl you are a rock star!

Chromosomally Enhanced said...

i really need to hear about your IEP team and how it all works...I feel so frustrated that it is so new...I like to know that there is hope and it does not have to be us vs them! I love that Sammi is learning it makes me happy, smile and cry...thank you!! smiles

Anna Theurer said...

I really love your perspective and I am happy to hear that Sammi is learning so much! Keep us posted on how the IEP is going. Today I just scheduled Ellie's play-based assessment as she enters the school system in September. I am scared, but I am always so grateful to read about parents who have traveled this journey before me.

ChaCHA online said...

I completely understand the report card happy dance. I was just telling a friend at work today that I hardly even look at the academic grades for my angels. I am more concerned with their social skills and study skills grades and I get EXTREMELY excited when I see improvement in the areas that involve working with other children. Seeing progress in their weakest areas and knowing that my girls are being held to the same standard as the rest of their class makes me swell with pride (and relief).

Congrats on the good report, Sammi and mom!

Jenny said...

You have an amazing perspective Becca...I am going to remember this going forward with Russell when he hits the school system...

"I want her to understand work and achievement. That's the desired reward."

Loved this.

Melissa said...

Can't wait to hear more about your IEP team. Even though we have a few months before we start the process for Claire, I love hearing about everyone's experiences!