More detail coming to District 203 elementary report cards

Updated 8/2/2016 1:47 PM

Report cards are about to get more detailed for some students in Naperville Unit District 203.

Come Nov. 8, when the first trimester closes, students at all 14 elementary schools will receive standards-based report cards sent home electronically in place of traditional report cards.


The new reporting format includes two types of grades: content grades for subjects including literacy, mathematics, science/health, social studies, art, music and physical education; and process grades that evaluate behaviors needed for successful learning.

The new report cards also include a higher level of detail within each subject. For example, a fourth-grade student's report card won't contain just one math grade, but 14 grades on various skills within math, such as writing and comparing numbers within 1 million and multiplying two-digit by two-digit whole numbers.

The changes help the district provide more complete information to parents about how their students are doing by reflecting the standards within the curriculum, educators say.

"It gives you detailed information of how well students are progressing," said Jayne Willard, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. "It very much aligns with our assessment philosophy."

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Within each content area, student grades will not be A, B, C, D or F, but 1, 2, 3 or 4. On this new scale, 4 is the best and 3 is the level at which the district aims to have each student perform, Willard said.

A grade of 1, or beginning, means a student is working toward understanding, but still dependent on help from others. A 2, or approaching, means a student shows occasional independence or potential to independently meet the standard. A 3, or secure, means the student shows mastery of the standard and can use content independently. A 4, or exemplary, means a student's skill and ability to apply the content to new situations exceed expectations.

The other major change from traditional report cards is addition of process grades for eight learning behaviors. Students will be evaluated on how often they demonstrate these positive behaviors, such as organization, following directions, engagement in learning, showing self-control and demonstrating perseverance.

"Consistently" is the best grade for each process area, while "occasionally" and "seldom" are the other possible marks.


"Process gets at behavior," Willard said about the new category of grades. "Content is about curriculum."

The new report cards were tested last year at Beebe and Kingsley elementary schools in a process that led to some revisions. This year, while all elementary students will receive standards-based report cards, the format will be tested at the junior high level at Lincoln and Kennedy.

Willard said the main difference is junior high students will continue to receive letter grades each trimester, translated from the standards grades with a 3 being equivalent to an A.

Educators plan to assess feedback from the two junior highs before determining if any changes will be made to high school report cards.

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