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Reflections from Katie: November 12, 2015

We have continued to examine and refine the way we are reporting to families on student progress. Last year we started using a Habits of Mind target with descriptors to reflect student progress. While there were many advantages to this approach—it really required us to think about a child across multiple settings, and in a broad based way—there were also some limitations. One of the most common pieces of feedback about this reporting system was that it left families with a lack of clarity about how their children were progressing with regards to the skills being taught.

This year we have created a checklist of skills for each grade level. We feel good about the content of these checklists because the content is directly connected to the standards we are teaching. Moreover, there is consistency and alignment from JK through 5th grade in terms of how these skills should be progressing. I will confess, however, that these checklists of skills are also not perfect. I fear we have perhaps overloaded you with too many skills! And we may not have done a great job keeping the language free from education jargon. We will once again be seeking feedback about your experience of these checklists of skills.

During the month of November, you should expect to:
  • Receive/complete a family engagement survey.
  • Have a parent-teacher conference (including your child if your child is in 1st-5th grade).
  • Receive a checklist of skills for how your own child is progressing through the content taught.
  • Discuss your child’s progress as it relates to the Habits of Mind and receive a set of Habits of Mind targets to help you understand this progress. We have simplified this report by putting all of the targets on one page, and removing the abundance of text. However, the text of the targets is still available to you on the main page of our website (cambridgeport.cpsd.us). You can refer to the text on these targets to make even more sense of the report your child’s teacher prepares.
We truly believe in the power of partnership. These points of contact and sharing of information should form a foundation for working together in service of your child’s success, both academic and social-emotional. The parent-teacher-student conference is a great opportunity to ask your child’s teacher for specific areas they think your child should focus attention. It is also an opportunity for you to work with your child and your child’s teacher to set goals for the year. Thank you for making time to work collaboratively with us for your child’s success.

 –Katie