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Elementary Standards Based Report Cards

Parent Guide to Elementary Standards-Based Reporting 

Pre-Kindergarten - Grade 5

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Standard Based Grading Overview

What is a standard?

A standard is a statement that identifies what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. Learning Standards for each content area subject and grade level are identified through the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards (MCCRS).

What is standards based grading?

Standards based grading communicates how students perform on a set of clearly defined learning targets called standards. The purpose of standards based grading is to identify what a student knows, or is able to do, in relation to those learning targets as opposed to simply averaging grades/scores over the course of the grading period, which can mask what a student has learned or not learned. A standards based grading system also provides students with multiple opportunities to demonstrate learning.

Student Learning Flow Chart see description or caption for more info

Student learning flows through 4 cycling stages:

  1. What do students need to know, understand, and be able to do?
  2. How will we teach effectively to ensure students learn?
  3. How will we know that the students have learned?
  4. What do we do when students don't learn or reach proficiency before expectation?
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Why is SMCPS changing to a Standards Based Grading/Reporting system?

Maryland has adopted Pre-Kindergarten–12 rigorous academic standards that define what all students should know and be able to do across grade levels and content areas. Standards based grading and reporting will provide more information to parents about their child’s progress regarding the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards (MCCRS). Parents,students and teachers will clearly understand what is expected. Parents and teachers will be better able to guide students, helping them to be successful.

What can I expect to see on my child’s report card?

Standards based report cards provide the level of proficiency on specific standards for each subject area. On many traditional report cards, students receive one grade for each subject. On a standards based report card, subject area is sub-divided into a list of essential skills and knowledge that students should know and be able to do. Students will receive a separate achievement indicator for each standard. The Maryland College and Career Ready Standards (MCCRS) describe what a student should know and be able to do BY THE END of the grade level.

Will my student still receive teacher comments on his/her report card?

Yes. Individualized feedback is an essential component of standards based grading. Effective feedback is a more useful source of information than simply assigning a numeric value or letter grade to student work. A goal of using standards based grading is to improve communication between students, parents, and teachers regarding student achievement.

How does a standards based report card measure my child’s progress?

The St. Mary’s County Report Card indicates how a student is performing on end of the year mastery expectations. A student is expected to progress towards meeting the standards over the course of the year. A student might begin the year performing at level “NY” or “PC” on some standards. A “PC” reflects normal progress and is expected as students continue to learn new content. The goal is for all students to be at level “SC” by the end of the school year.

Level Explanation of New Performance Levels
SC Strong Command of the Standards- Demonstrates consistent knowledge and application of the standards. End of Year Goal.
PC Partial Command of the Standards-Demonstrates some knowledge and application of the standards.
NY Not Yet Meeting the Standards-Not yet demonstrating knowledge of the standards
NA Not Assessed
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How is my child assessed and how will I know if my child is performing on grade level?

Students are assessed using multiple techniques. Formative assessments occur during learning and may include, but are not limited to rubrics, observation, performance tasks, application activities, paper and pencil tasks as well as various summative assessments. Summative assessments occur after the learning has taken place. They measure student achievement, or mastery of standards, at a point in time.

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Where can I find more information regarding the grade level standards for my student?

Guides created by the National PTA and Greater Schools detail grade level expectations in Mathematics and English Language Arts. They also include ways you can support your child.

National PTA Parents Resources Site

Council of the Great City Schools

For more information, contact your school principal.

Contact Information

Lisa Bachner
Chief Academic Officer
23160 Moakley Street, 
Leonardtown, MD 20650
301-475-5511 ext. 32249