QUINCY — A new kindergarten report card in Quincy Public Schools will give parents a better idea of expectations and student progress.
Teachers will pilot the report card in the 2022-23 school year, using a four-point scale three times a year to measure student understanding in social and emotional development, foundational reading skills, reading, writing and language and math.
The standards-based reporting “gives the parents the end goal, and we report on their progression toward that end goal,” said Pam Havermale, a Denman kindergarten teacher and part of the team developing the new report card.
“Our other report card was not like that. It was more skill-based, like check-it-off skills. Can they do this? Do that?” she said. “It was important to get to standards-based. We are held to Illinois state standards. It’s important to let parents know what students are being taught, how we are assessing them and what we expect from those standards.”
The new card shifts from quarterly assessments to three times a year—roughly just prior to parent-teacher conferences in October and February and at the end of the year.
The new timing complements the Kindergarten Individual Development Survey, an observational assessment used to measure readiness in students.
“Right now we are only mandated to give that KIDS assessment in the fall, but it is coming, most likely in the next year or two, to do that assessment three times per year,” Havermale said. “By going to trimester, it aligns with KIDS reporting three times per year and makes it a little more teacher-friendly.”
Using a four-rather than three-point scale also better reflects student progress.
“We want to measure proficiency,” said Erica Maynard, QPS assistant director of curriculum, instruction and assessment. “We also wanted to show parents if their child is exceeding.”
The new scale ranges from 1-Does Not Understand (not progressing toward the target) and, 2-Developing Understanding (progressing toward the target) to 3-Proficient Understanding (on target) and 4-Exemplary Understanding (exceeding the target).
“We want to report what we’re actually doing every single day and what their child is showing us,” Maynard said.
An empty box on the card indicates a skill that has not yet been introduced, and a separate three-point scale measures participation in physical education and music.
Parents will hear more about the new report card at kindergarten camps this summer, and a parent guide will offer more explanation of the changes.
Teachers had been asking for an update to the report card, used since the late 1990s.
“It was due,” said Havermale, a veteran teacher who worked with the team that developed the previous report card. “We were putting together what was appropriate at that point. Now it’s time to put together what’s appropriate for this day and age.”
The changes should help build success for students—and the schools.
“Our goal is for home and school to work together,” Havermale said. “If the parents aren’t aware and understand what’s going on in the school, that collaboration can’t happen.”