Family Guide to Standards-Based Report Cards

The West Shore School District uses Standards-Based Report Cards in grades K-4. A Standards-Based Report Card provides clear, detailed feedback regarding your child’s progress and growth toward the learning standards set forth by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and adopted by the District.

Commonly Asked Questions

student at desk
What is a Standards-Based Report Card?
A Standards-Based Report Card lists the most important skills students should learn in each subject at a particular grade level. Instead of letter grades, students receive a score based on how well they have mastered the skill. Based on the score, parents know whether their student is emerging, progressing, or proficient for each standard. Since all students are evaluated on the same grade-appropriate skills, standards-based reporting provides more consistency at the elementary level than traditional report cards.  
How does a Standards-Based Report Card differ from a Traditional Report Card?
In a traditional grading system, early low scores are averaged together with more proficient scores earned later in the trimester, resulting in a lower overall grade. A standards-based grading system measures a student’s mastery of content standards by prioritizing the most recent, consistent level of performance. With this style of reporting, a student who was struggling with new material at the start of the grading period may still be able to demonstrate mastery on their report card. A standards-based grading system focuses on student growth, continual feedback, and gives students multiple opportunities to demonstrate success.
How does the standards-based grading system work?
Each report card has an area that defines the standard being taught and an example of what meeting that standard includes. Based on student progress they will receive a score of 1, 2, or 3. 
It is important to note that not all the standards listed on the report card are skills students are expected to have mastered by the end of the trimester. Mastery of many of the skills is not expected until the third trimester. If you see a 1 or a 2 on your child's report card, especially in the first two trimesters, please don't get discouraged. 
  1. Emerging: If your child receives a grade of 1 in an area, it means they have not yet mastered the skill and need to continue to work in this area. 
  2. Progressing: If your child scores 2 in an area, they are making gains toward mastering a skill, but still not at end-of-grade level mastery.
  3. Proficient: A student that scores 3 in an area is at or above grade level in a particular skill/standard.

How will I know if my student is on track throughout the year?
For each skill on the report card, there is a designated benchmark that we want each child to attain as they progress toward mastery of the skill. In a standards-based grading system, a three indicates a student is proficient and achieving at the appropriate level of expectations for that grade at the time of this reporting period.
At the end of each trimester, your student’s teacher will have the opportunity to provide comments in a designated space on the report card. These comments and parent conferences will help parents gain a better understanding of how their student is progressing.  
How frequently will report cards be distributed?
Report card information will be available in PowerSchool three times a year, usually mid-December, mid-March, and mid-June. Specific dates when trimesters end and report cards are available can be found on the District calendar and website. Please note, paper report cards are no longer distributed. If you need access codes to set up your parent PowerSchool account, please contact the school office.
For directions on how to view report card information in PowerSchool, click here.
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