What’s the Purpose of Grades/Report Cards?

Good Afternoon! Earlier this week, the Grading/Report Card Committee met for the first time.  This committee is comprised of four parents of OMS students, two middle school teachers, an elementary school teacher, and me.  We spent the bulk of this meeting brainstorming and building consensus around the purpose behind grades and report cards.  After much discussion, we agreed that the main reason for grades and report cards is for communication. More specifically, communication around what a student knows and is able to do.  As we continue to discuss grading at OMS and make recommendations around how to better communicate student learning, we will come back to this primary purpose of grades.  This will be the lens through which we base future decisions.

You might be thinking, “Communication with whom?” This answer is multifaceted.  Communication in the learning process is critical in the form of feedback between student and teacher.  Students need to know what they are doing well, what they need to continue to work on, where the breakdown in learning is occurring, and how to accomplish their learning goals. Communication between student and parent and teacher and parent are also important so as parents, you understand what and how your child is learning.  This allows you to ask questions and support your child in his or her learning.

In the next few months, as a committee, we will be examining current research related to grading, our current reality at Oostburg Middle School related to grading, and how we can improve our practices to maximize student learning and communication to those who care most about children and their learning; the parents and teachers! If you have any questions related to this committee and the work that we are doing, feel free to call me or schedule a meeting to talk.

Have a great weekend!

Sherri Stengel