Charleston Co. School Board discusses report card changes
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County School District says they’re hoping for a more streamlined approach in evaluating kindergarten, first and second graders.
The board unanimously approved a policy in their Committee of the Whole meeting Monday that would make these grades evaluated at Montessori and traditional schools the same.
These changes would include merging Montessori and traditional report cards into one report card format at each grade level, reducing the help needed to understand these reports and aligning with updated state standards in ELA, science and social studies.
Over 50 schools across Charleston County School District have kindergarten, first and second grade. If this policy makes it through final approval, the district says parents and students will have a much easier time transitioning from grade to grade.
The current policy under IKA Grading/Assessment Systems states kindergarteners are reported on different readiness skills, like math and language development, and first and second-graders are reported on using state curriculum standards, like work and social development. They now need board approval for changes to be made.
This idea started during COVID when the district was using one universal online report card. Because Montessori and traditional schools don’t use the same grading scale, it became confusing for both the district and the families.
“We wanted to make sure the language matches that of the standards, so teachers are seeing the same kind of language they’re using in the classroom, families are seeing that, and our students are seeing that as well,” Buffy Roberts, executive director of assessment and evaluation at CCSD, said.
Charleston County School District stakeholders started working on these changes last fall and eventually conducted a survey asking elementary school-level staff for their feedback. The staff said these changes were positive, with over 71% saying their overall opinion of the proposal was good or very good, according to district staff.
Dr. Carol Tempel did express concern about making sure parents were clear about the ELA standards in particular because the math, science and social studies ones seemed different. She says parent conferences would be necessary for them to fully comprehend what standards their child will be set to.
Staff said they will conduct an annual review process.
“And we are working with schools on looking at report cards and our families,” Roberts said. “And making sure that we are providing what our stakeholders need. So, that is something we will continue to do.”
The board says they will discuss this policy for final approval at the August 28 board meeting.
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