At the Putney School we center our work around students and their learning.
By Kevin Feal-Staub
We believe that grades often get in the way of that focus by reducing a very complex set ofinformation about a student to a single measure. Rather than providing students and parents with grades, we instead send home written reports about each students learning in all of their academic classes six times per year.
You should find that all of your students’ reports include specific comments about your child's strengths, areas for improvement, and suggestions for future growth. When reading the reports look for these things. Also, look for assessment of both content knowledge as well skills like collaboration and timeliness.
In addition to letter grades, students receive effort marks for their work during each marking period. Effort marks reflect the teachers observations of a students engagement in class. An effort mark of two is the norm, and indicates that a student is doing everything they need to do to be successful in the class. An effort grade of one indicates that a student has gone above and beyond what a typical student does, while an effort grade of three or four indicates that the teacher has not seen the student engaged at a sufficient level to be successful.
I hope that after reading the reports you will make a point of discussing them with your student, complimenting on their hard work and their successes, and brainstorming with them ways in which they can continue to build strength in the areas of weakness that are in the reports.