Happy New Year and welcome back after the long break
January 13th 1:30- Showcase of Afterschool Activities
January 14th - NO SCHOOL for students. Report writing for teachers.
January 17th - Martin Luther King Day: SCHOOL CLOSED
February 3rd - 6:30 PM State of the School
February 11th - Carnival of Cultures: Performing Arts program
February 17th and 18th - Parent Teacher Conferences
Snow Day Impact
The two days in December lost to snow days will NOT be made up. At this time, there are no changes to the school calendar. The showcase of afterschool activities originally scheduled for Tuesday, December 14th has been rescheduled to next Thursday, January 13th, 2010.
Receiving one's child's report card is an important and sometimes emotionally-laden occasion. Its intention is to communicate to your family the progress your child is making in a number of areas.
During a staff development session, we put the grade B- on the board and went around the circle of the group asking each teacher to speculate about a student based on that grade. Our interpretations were colored by the age of children we work with, the country in which we were educated, and our educational philosophies. There was a large range of what we wanted to say about a student that gets weighted into that single symbol. We reached full agreement that the grade was an imperfect tool to communicate the nuances of skill, effort and expectation. It is our job as a teaching community to become ever clearer on exactly what expectations are at each grade level and exactly how we communicate these to parents and students. It is not a job that can be accomplished quickly by a single teacher or by a teaching community. Through our professional development, we continue to revisit these questions. In the meantime we send you our grades as our best estimate of your child's progress. We ask you to see them as a starting point in communications between teacher, student, and parent in helping students reach their goals.
A few specifics will help you know what to expect in the reports that you should receive in late January.
Students in elementary school (Grades K - 4*) will receive notation with the symbol system of E, S, P and TN standing for Excellent, Secure, Progressing and Time Needed in each subject area. Our grade level expectations are that a student is performing at the S level. An S should not be interpreted as a lack of success. E is reserved for those who truly exceed expectations. TN is not to be interpreted as a failure. Children in these developmental stages learn at different rates. They need additional time to master the concepts.
*This year's fourth graders will be graded with traditional letter grades the same as middle schoolers. Because they are accustomed to these grades from last year, we are not switching them back to the system being used in elementary grade.
Students in middle grades will be graded with A, B, C, D and F letter grades in subject areas.
The report card this year will have two components: 1) There will be grades calculated through our electronic grading system PowerSchool as have been distributed in the past. 2) There will be a supplementary checklist with a list of social/behavior skills under the categories of respect and responsibility that will give teachers an opportunity to communicate in more detail some of your student's skills.
Thanks for all you do to support your students and the school,
Frau Annika Fjelstad
Twin Cities German Immersion School