Slice of Life: The Progress Report Blues

Slice of Life(This is part of the Slice of Life project at Two Writing Teachers)

We in the midst of our first year transition away from traditional Report Cards into standards-based Progress Reports, which has shifted us away from letter grades and into standards. I am fine with that direction, although I have some concerns about the implementation in our district. It has not really gone all that smooth but I don’t want to get too deep into it here.

My sixth grade team and I do all of our Progress Reports online (Powerteacher) and the rest of our school is on the way. It is rather time-consuming to enter each standard assessment on each line. I’ve worked a few hours on my four classes, for sure. Then, yesterday, a day before the reports are to go home (today!), a colleague noticed a quirk in what is being printed and shot me an email about it. Sure enough, two sections of my ELA reports seem to vanish when the system prints out a report.

OK, so that’s not good. I was emailing the tech folks last night to figure it out and I am hopeful that this will be fixed before the end of today, when we are sending home the reports. That’s just a few hours away. Gulp. I see an email saying they are working on it, so I am pretty hopeful but still, I hate waiting until the last minute to do anything.

Just one more headache in the mix, but luckily, there is some sweetness on tap for today with my students that I will have to write about tomorrow, after the slice happens. I just need to remember to have my camera with me during the day today.

Peace (in progress),

  1. A few years ago our school embarked on the beginnings of standards based reporting and doing so electronically at the same time. Needless to say there were many hiccups along the way. One of the best parts for me is that I can do it from the comfort of my own home. Good luck to you and your tech team. What seems like a big deal today will be a minor thing tomorrow!

  2. It’s a good thing that you are one of the guinea pigs. Someone else might have been tech scared for a long time. You can take it! I can’t wait to see the sweetness on the other side.

  3. ACK! Losing all that writing work, or the threat of losing all that work, has got to be deflating. Here’s hoping the techies can fix the glitch. Does your district think that going to a written eval with remove some of the importance we attach to grades? I’ve noticed that my students are finitely tuned to the letter grade, even when I’ve taken the time to write my reflection on their work and where they succeed and where they need to work.

    Looking forward to that unnamed sweetness you speak of–

  4. After a day of printing 2 buildings worth of progress reports I am hearing your blues! Our district has standards based progress reports as well and have just started to use an online tool for grades/progress reports. Hang in there and don’t give up!

  5. I would love to hear more about how your standards based system works. I have been considering it a lot this year. While my school is still on a letter-based system, I have been thinking about how I can use the standards based ideas with traditional letter grades.

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