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1 January 2015 Dear Parents and Guardians, The kindergarten progress report handbook that is attached was written to acquaint parents with the design and purpose of the kindergarten progress report. In addition, we developed this handbook to help parents gain a greater understanding of how their child s progress is documented and shared throughout the school year. The kindergarten progress report template can be found at the end of the handbook for your review and information. The handbook includes: a description of the learning domains; the proficiency key; web links to Cheshire s grade level curriculum overview documents, the Connecticut State Department of Education Common Core Standards and grade level expectations, and national music, art, physical education standards. Teachers will report student progress to parents using the kindergarten progress report in January and June. However, ongoing conversations between home and school are encouraged to support student learning and development throughout the school year. We are hopeful that this handbook will support your understanding of your child s progress in an accurate and helpful manner. Respectfully, Scott Detrick Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services Ann Donnery Principal, Darcey School

2 Cheshire Public Schools Kindergarten Progress Report Parent Handbook Created January 6, 2015 A sample report card is attached to this document.

3 INTRODUCTION Report Cards: Then and Now Report cards have been part of the American education scene for at least two hundred years. When United States schools experienced a large wave of immigrant students in the early 1900s, many citizens demanded a revised evaluation system that was easier to read and understand. That era gave birth to the A-F grading system and the single page report card that still survives in many schools today. Over the last ten years, many educators and parents across the country contended that the A-F system is too general, and sometimes too subjective. Used alone, single subject area grades don t provide enough information about a student s specific strengths and weaknesses within a given academic area. In addition, some grades may not align well with new and more rigorous state and national learning standards and expectations. Instead, parents need information that explains how well their individual child is mastering content and skills essential to a given level and subject. Other parents and teachers express concern about the need to report on classroom behavior and effort separate from subject area achievement. A growing number of Cheshire teachers and parents expressed the need to align our report card system with the content students are learning in each subject area and grade level and reflect the revisions in our curriculum as well as the changes made through new state or national expectations. Our report card needs to reflect these changes and remain current with regard to the content taught at each grade level including kindergarten. Kindergarten parents will receive detailed information about student achievement within a subject area s various learning strands with an emphasis on math and language arts. Social emotional development areas will also be graded to provide parents with information supporting strength and need areas. Kindergarten progress reports will be distributed two times a year in January and June. Parent conferences will be held in October and March/April.

4 Purpose and Characteristics of High-Quality Report Cards Format Report cards are an essential tool for communicating each student s current level of performance to students, parents, and other educators. Coupled with oral and written communication and conferences, report cards provide a succinct summary of student learning within a given marking period. Report card marks document student achievement as measured by subject area assessments and the criteria teachers use to evaluate student assignments. Educators, parents, and students use report cards to provide information about the extent to which each child reaches grade level expectations in a variety of strands and topics associated with each of the major subject areas. A well-designed report card is clear, concise, valid, and reliable. To be valid, report card content must accurately represent what is important to learn in each subject area. To be reliable, a report card grade must be based on well-designed common assessments and evaluation criteria that are used objectively and consistently across classrooms and school buildings. The marks or grades themselves should provide relevant information about how closely each individual student comes to achieving grade level expectations in each goal area or subtopic within a subject area. The Kindergarten Progress Report is an essential tool for communicating each student s current level of performance to parents and to other educators. Coupled with oral and written communication and conferences, the progress report provides a succinct summary of student learning within a given time. The Kindergarten Progress Report documents student achievement as measured by subject area assessments and classroom observations of skill development in the developmental domains, including language and social emotional development. Science and Social Studies are taught using an integrated approach with an emphasis on experiential learning with real world application. Currently, there are no formal standards-based assessments in these two curriculum areas. As a result, students work in these two subject areas is not reflected on the kindergarten progress report. The information printed below describes the learning strands and the skill set evaluated in each strand area: Language Arts Teachers will measure reading achievement in kindergarten based on several different learning strands. The reading strand includes the following categories: Key Ideas and Details With prompting and support, asks and answers questions about important details in a book. With prompting and support, retells familiar stories with important details including characters and major events. Identifies the front cover, back cover, and title page of a book.

5 Craft and Structure Names the author and illustrator and defines the role of each. Actively engages in group reading activities with purpose and understanding. Follows words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page. Foundational Skills Identifies all upper and lowercase letters in the alphabet Identifies sound associated with each letter in the alphabet Writing Expresses ideas using pictures and words. Expresses ideas by writing beginning sound heard Expresses ideas by writing middle and ending sounds heard Speaking and Listening Participates in conversations with adults and peers Asks and answers questions to get help, information or to understand more clearly Expresses thoughts, feelings and ideas clearly Mathematics Teachers will measure mathematics achievement in kindergarten based on the following strands: Counting and Cardinality Counts to 100. Given a number 1-20, counts out that many objects. Writes numbers from Counts on from a given number. Operations and Algebraic Thinking Fluently adds and subtracts within 5. Adds and subtracts within 10 by using objects or drawings. Numbers and Operations in Base Ten Expresses teen numbers in 10 s and 1 s. Measurement and Data Describes measurable attributes of objects such as length and weight. Compares objects by length using appropriate vocabulary (e.g., longer, shorter, same length) Classifies and sorts a set of objects on the basis of one attribute and describe the sorting rule. Re-sorts and classifies the same set of objects based on a different attribute.

6 Geometry Uses positional terms (e.g. below, beside, in front of, behind, next to) to identify and describe the location of an object. Correctly names shapes. Identifies and describes a variety of 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional shapes with mathematical names (e.g., hexagon, trapezoid, sphere, prism, and cylinder) regardless of orientation and size. Progress Report Categories for Special Subject Areas Teachers will measure achievement in the special subject areas based on the following skills/concepts and learning behaviors. General Music Skills/Concepts Uses a singing voice and matches pitch Maintains a steady beat Learning Behaviors Actively participates Demonstrates appropriate attitude and behavior Visual Arts Skills/Concepts Applies of a variety of mediums including pencil, paint, Cray-pas, and markers Organizes art elements (shape, line, color, and space) and uses related principles (balance, pattern, repetition, focus) Learning Behaviors Actively participates Demonstrates appropriate attitude and behavior Physical Education Skills/Concepts Participates in organized activities Performs basic throwing, catching and kicking Learning Behaviors Actively participates Demonstrates appropriate attitude and behavior Demonstrates good sportsmanship

7 Social Emotional Development In addition to the academic areas teachers will report on a student s social and emotional progress in the following areas. Listens Attentively: Attends to a speaker, including teachers and peers in both large and small group activities. Follows classroom rules and routines: Recalls and follows daily routines with little support; adapts to changes in rules and routines. Stays focused on a task: Plans and completes a learning activity, engages in preferred and some non-preferred activities for longer periods of time, and remains engaged in high interest activities for longer periods of time. Works well independently: Makes appropriate choices among preferred activities. Sustains work in a preferred activity with limited adult support. Uses classroom materials appropriately: Students are able to use classroom materials in a way that is respectful and safe. Follows directions: Follows two-step directions independently; completes directions with three or more steps with adult support or prompting. Shows self-control: Tolerates small levels of frustration and disappointment, displays appropriate behavior with adult prompting and support. Works and plays cooperatively: Cooperates with peers through sharing and taking turns. Engages in developing solutions and works to resolve conflict with peers.

8 Proficiency Levels Teachers base each student s progress on individual mastery of the learning objectives taught and practiced within a particular marking period. Evaluation marks indicate how closely each student comes to mastery of the skill/standard. We are not comparing students to other students; nor are we comparing a student s work earlier in the year with work produced later in the year. We are comparing each child s work with grade level learning objectives. This process is also known as standards-based grading. Teachers will grade kindergarten student progress in all areas using the following grading key: Mastered (M): Student consistently demonstrates the skill or knowledge. The student work demonstrates grade level standards/expectations in this category. Progressing (P): Student is in the process of developing the skill or knowledge The student is making progress but does not yet demonstrate mastery of the grade level standards/expectations in this category. Beginning (B): Student is at the beginning stage of understanding the skills or knowledge. The student does not yet demonstrate the grade level standards/expectations in this category. Kindergarten progress is reported to parents through a printed document in January and June. A Kindergarten Progress Report Revision Task Force plans to review the progress report and make necessary changes as we continue to align each subject area with the Common Core State Standards. Comments Section Teachers use the Comments section of the progress report to provide parents with a brief explanation or narrative that provides more detail about student learning. Individual Education Plan and 504 Accommodations If a child has an individualized education plan or a 504 accommodation plan, the report card will reflect any modification in grading, course content, or student expectations specified by the planning and placement team.

9 Web References for Parents Cheshire Public Schools Curriculum Overviews This link provides grade level information about the topics and strands taught in each of the Cheshire Public Schools curriculum areas. Common Core State Standards This link provides information related to the K 12 Common Core State Standards. Connecticut State Department of Education Common Core Documents The link listed below sends readers to a document that lists the language arts and math standards adopted by the Connecticut State Department of Education in July, Connecticut State Department of Education Standards and Grade Level Expectations This link leads to the Connecticut State Department of Education curriculum home page. After choosing and clicking on a particular subject area on this page, the reader can examine the current state standards and grade level expectations for science, social studies, physical education, health, library, art, and music. The link listed below takes the reader directly to the Common Core web site: Music Standards and Cheshire Music Program For more information on the state and national standards for music education and the Cheshire music program, please visit the following websites: Physical Education For more information about the national physical education standards and the Cheshire physical education program, please visit the web sites listed below. Art For more information about the national art standards and the Cheshire art program, please visit the web sites listed below. CT Early Learning and Development Standards

10 Kindergarten Progress Report School: Principal: Student s Name: Teacher s Name: Attendance January June Total Absence affects performance? Days Absent Days Tardy Proficiency Levels Mastered (M) Progressing (P) Beginning (B) Student consistently demonstrates the skill or knowledge Student is in the process of developing the skill or knowledge Student is at the beginning stage of understanding the skill or knowledge Social Emotional Development January June Listens attentively Follows classroom rules and routines Stays focused on a task Works well independently Uses classroom materials appropriately Follows directions Shows self-control Works and plays cooperatively

11 Language Arts Standards January June Key Ideas and Details With prompting and support, asks and answers questions about important details in a book With prompting and support, retells familiar stories with important details including characters and major events Identifies the front cover, back cover and title page of a book Craft and Structure Names the author and illustrator and defines the role of each Actively engages in group reading activities with purpose and understanding Follows words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page Foundational Skills Identifies all upper and lowercase letters in the alphabet Identifies sound associated with each letter in the alphabet Writing Expresses ideas using pictures Expresses ideas by writing beginning sound heard Expresses ideas by writing middle and ending sounds heard Speaking and Listening Participates in conversation with peers Asks and answers questions to get help, information or to understand more clearly Expresses thoughts, feelings and ideas clearly If your child receives a modified curriculum through an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Section 504 plan, the grades on this report card reflect the child s progress according to that modified curriculum.

12 Mathematics Standards January June Counting and Cardinality Counts to 100 Given a number 1-20, can count out that many objects Writes numbers from 0-20 Counts on from a given number Operations and Algebraic Thinking Fluently adds and subtracts within 5 Adds and subtracts within 10 by using objects or drawings Numbers and Operations in Base Ten Measurement and Data Expresses teen numbers in 10 s and 1 s Describes measurable attributes of objects such as length and weight Compares objects by length Classifies and sorts objects Geometry Uses positional terms such as above, below, beside, in front of, behind, and next to Correctly names shapes Identifies shapes as two or three dimensional General Comments: January June

13 General Music Skills/Concepts January June Uses a singing voice and matches pitch Maintains a steady beat Learning Behaviors Actively participates Demonstrates appropriate attitude and behavior Visual Arts Skills/Concepts January June Applies a variety of mediums including pencil, paint, Cray-pas, and markers Organizes art elements (shape, line, color, and space) and principles (balance, pattern, repetition, focus) Learning Behaviors Actively participates Demonstrates appropriate attitude and behavior Physical Education Skills/Concepts January June Participates in organized activities Performs basic throwing, catching and kicking Learning Behaviors Actively participates Demonstrates appropriate attitude and behavior Demonstrates good sportsmanship

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