Hudson Valley Parent

HVP Novemer 2016

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18 Hudson Valley Parent n November 2016 By KAREN KAUFMAN ORLOFF B ack in the days when horseless buggies were all the rage and airplanes were nothing more than a glint in the Wright Brothers' eyes, a "pupil's" school report card was very basic. Numerical or letter grades were written next to various subjects: Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. They may have also included grades for Spelling, Grammar, Geography and History and possibly a special- ized subject like Latin, Music, or Drawing, depending on what the school offered. There would also be a place for number of days absent or tardy. Only occasionally would a teacher write a comment to give par- ents the total picture of their child's school life. Connecting the dots Today's school report cards tend to be more specific, according to John Jay High School principal Bon- nie King. "Parents can expect to see a variety of information ranging from attendance to comments about progress, quarterly averages, and even more information regarding honor or high honor roll," she says. "Regents Exam scores, final exam scores, and credit earned in high school are a part of the secondary report card." A student's specific classroom and work habits will most likely also be given. "Personal remarks are includ- ed. Indicators such as 'improving,' 'excellent participation,' 'grades have improved,' 'improved test scores, 'missing homework.' All of these and many more are available to contin- ue the conversation about student progress as we work together," King adds. Wappingers parent Maria Weav- er, whose third and youngest child is currently a student at John Jay, appreciates the specifics. "I think personal remarks are helpful," she says. "They give me a means of discussing things that can be improved, or celebrated, with my child." At the elementary level, a report card will often shed light on the student's overall growth and de- velopment, says Margaret Podesta, principal at Putnam Valley Elemen- tary School. "We present a picture of the 'whole child' so that the parents can understand how their children are performing in school," she says. "Our teachers write comments about the child's work and social habits, orga- nizational skills and behaviors, and will write a narrative on the child's What parents can learn from their child's report card A sample of the Poughkeepsie Day School's report card.

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