At the October 24 meeting of the Mattapoisett School Committee, committee members along with the public learned that traditional letter grading deemed antiquated and out of touch with current teaching and learning methods will remain in place until the 2017-18 school year.
Assistant Superintendent Elise Frangos gave a full presentation on the process used by the 26 member sub-committee to review a new standards-based report card, one that Frangos said “doesn’t measure against other students … and it will change the household conversation…”
The new reporting system will no longer use the familiar A, B, C marks but will instead employ levels of competency in subject matter with Mastery, Proficiency, Emerging and Not Yet.
Frangos said that educators and parents along with other stakeholders had been urging the district to use a more meaningful and modern grading process – one that would help educate students.
“It will include year-end goals, goals that include social skills and academic skills,” Frangos said.
But when it came down to when teachers thought they would be ready to implement standards-based reporting, they voted to delay it until next school year.
Center School Principal Rose Bowman said, “I recognize, appreciate and support the teachers … we want to make sure parents know how the report card works.”
A parental handbook is in the works, Frangos said, and will be rolled out after the winter break, thus giving parents and teachers a chance to educate themselves on the new process and ferret out any questions or concerns.
Earlier in the evening Bonne DeSousa, well-known local bicycling advocate, came before the committee asking for their support in the future when pro-bicycling initiatives come before them.
“Biking creates opportunities,” DeSousa said. She pointed to the importance of cycling safety training for students with the idea of including cycling as part of a physical education program for students who might not be interested in team sports.
The committee agreed to support bicycling programs in the future.
The next meeting of the Mattapoisett School Committee is scheduled for December 12 at 6:30 pm at Center School.
By Marilou Newell