New Report Cards for D.C. Students to Provide More Information, Suggestions for Parents

A newly redesigned report card for students in D.C. Public Schools will include more information about each student's progress, as well as a suggested reading list for K-5 students

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    A section of a new sample K-5 report card for DCPS.

    A newly redesigned, four-page report card for students in D.C. Public Schools includes more information about each student's progress and suggestions for parents.

    DCPS officials say the report cards -- designed in conjunction with families, principals and teachers -- are easier to understand and offer more guidance on what steps parents can take to augment their children's learning at home.

    "A student report card should serve as an engagement tool, as a clear indication of student progress or as a warning for parents if their student is not on track...." said DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson. "We're working very hard to improve how we engage families and the report card is a great step on that path."

    A sample report card (PDF) for elementary school students displays an overview of a student's abilities in main subject areas, with a more specific breakdown of skills over the next two pages. The fourth and final page includes a list of books, based on the student's reading level, that a parents can read to the child or have them read on their own.

    School officials say the new K-5 report cards use simple, less technical language to describe students' lessons.

    An old report card for elementary school students lists a goal as: "By the end of the year, reads and comprehends literature and informational texts in the grades 4-5 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range."

    The new version will describe the same skill as: "Reads and understands literature and informational texts on grade level."

    A sample report card (PDF) for middle and high school students includes a first-page summary explains the three types of GPA (term GPA, year GPA and cumulative GPA), how many hours of community service a student still needs to complete and, if applicable, lists any courses the student is failing.

    That report card's second and third pages breaks down the grades for each course, and the final page lists the student's standardized testing scores for tests given in 8th and 10th grades.

    The school district began sending out the new report cards last week for the end of the first quarter.

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