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.