Solana Beach School District’s new progress reports receive positive feedback from teachers

With only slight revisions requested, teachers gave the Solana Beach School District’s new progress reports a passing grade.

In light of the new Common Core State Standards, last year the district introduced new standards-based progress reports that use a numeric rubric. The old reports used a series of symbols to indicate student progress, with a letter grade for overall achievement for students in fourth through sixth grade.

Approved by the school board last September, the standards-based progress reports assess student performance and measure student progress against grade level standards. They cover attendance, language arts, mathematics, science, social science, technology, physical education, other curricula, and life and career skills.

Headed by Julie Norby, the district’s director of instructional services, a task force of teachers collaborated to create the revised reports over the summer of 2014. The new reports were used throughout the 2014-15 school year. Students receive progress reports three times each year, once per trimester.

“The taskforce noted the rollout for the new progress reports was really quite smooth given what a significant change it was,” Superintendent Terry Decker said during the Sept. 10 board meeting.

The task force, which included teachers across all grade levels and from every school, reconvened over the summer to review recommendations from teachers. Teachers submitted their suggestions throughout the year and in a final survey sent to all teachers in June.

After using the revised reports for a year, teachers recommended shortening the report to two pages rather than three.

“Over and above everything else, that was our No. 1 mandate this summer,” Norby said.

The task force shortened the report by revising language and including science and social science with technology, physical education and other curricula under a section called “additional curricula.” English language arts, mathematics, attendance, and life and career skills still have separate sections.

Among other minor revisions throughout the report, the language in the “key to symbols” was revised.

A “4” still means exceeding standard and a “3” still means meeting standard.

A “2” now reads “partially meets standard.” It used to read “approaching standard.” A “1” now reads “does not meet standard.” It used to read “area of concern.”

The board unanimously approved the revised progress reports for kindergarten through sixth grade. There were no changes to the transitional kindergarten report.

The revisions require that the templates in the Report Card Maker software be reprogrammed. The cost for that service is $6,000, according to the board report.