Evaluating your child’s mid-year Report Card

When your child brings home his or her mid-year report card, it is important to read it carefully and take note of a number of key areas. And with the Common Core State Standards going into effect this school year, Peg Holmes of the Pittsburgh Huntington Learning Center reminds parents that report cards may look different this year than in years past.

"The report card format may change from last year, as states roll out report cards that are aligned to the Common Core State Standards,” says Holmes. As you evaluate your child’s report card this month, Holmes advises parents to keep in mind the following:

Understanding the report card format is critical. If your child’s teacher did not provide an explanation of the report card format that is being used, be sure to request one so you are clear on how your child is being evaluated. The newly enhanced report card structures that many schools are now using are not only aligned with state standards (Common Core), they also are supposed to provide parents with a more meaningful assessment of their children’s progress.

Effort and comprehension are areas of focus. One major change with the introduction of Common Core is the greater emphasis on critical thinking skills. Those changes will very likely be reflected in the report card, which will not only assess a student’s detailed content knowledge, but also his or her demonstrated understanding of higher-level concepts and more. Pay attention to these marks, as they are a significant measure of students’ performance moving forward with the new standards.

Progress toward mastery of grade-level standards is the new norm. While every school district may be different, parents across the nation can expect report cards particularly in the elementary grades to measure students’ growth over the course of the school year, not just the term for which they are evaluated. As such, it is important that you understand the different progress indicators and what any numeric codes used actually mean regarding your child’s achievement of grade-by-grade benchmarks.

It’s all about college and career readiness. The Common Core State Standards were created to ensure all students graduating from high school are capable of succeeding in college-level classes and in their careers. That overarching purpose is reflected in the details of your child’s report card by showing what a student is expected to know and your child’s progress toward those targets. Keep that in mind as you read through your child’s report card.

As always, contact your child’s teacher with specific questions. “The great thing about Common Core and the way teachers will now be assessing students is that there is a big-picture goal in mind,” says Holmes. “This creates a perfect opportunity to notice your child’s strengths and progress, while keeping an eye on areas to work on.”

To learn more about the impact of the Common Core State Standards on your child’s report card, contact Peg Holmes of the Pittsburgh Huntington Learning Center at (412) 367-7787 or pgholmes@aol.com or visit http://huntingtonhelps.com.

About Huntington Learning Center

Founded in 1977, Huntington is a pioneer and leader in the tutoring industry. For over 35 years, Huntington has provided quality instruction to hundreds of thousands of students. Huntington prides itself on being Your Tutoring Solution for students in all grades and subjects. www.huntingtonfranchise.com.