New Report Cards Will Empower Elementary School Students and Families

Change prompted by a turn to tracking English and math proficiency

Kearney, Mo., October 13, 2023: Kearney School District is launching a new report card system for students in kindergarten through fifth grade that is based on proficiency scales for English Language Arts and Mathematics priority standards.

The new report card system will provide a better representation of the skills and knowledge that students have acquired, according to KSD Elementary Curriculum Coordinator Ali Stewart.  This helps both teachers and students develop a competency-based mindset.

Ali Stewart

“As students dive into their learning, they know what they’re aiming for, where they currently stand, and can work with their teacher to set objectives and milestones for mastering the material,” Mrs. Stewart said. “This is super important for empowering learners. This means students have a say in their learning experience, actively participate in decision-making about their education, and are personally invested in the process.”

The project was a two-year collaborative effort between the Northwest Regional Professional Development Center (NWRPDC) and elementary teachers. To start, the NWRPDC teamed up with elementary teachers to create the new proficiency scales for ELA and Math priority standards. 

In addition, KSD teachers also came up with common assessments for each proficiency scale. This helps ensure that all grade levels and elementary schools in KSD have the same expectations and standards.

“These new common assessments will help parents/guardians to better understand their child’s abilities and areas that need improvement,” Stewart said. “They will have more chances to support their child in line with the school’s goals.”

Building on this work, K-5 students will get new report cards starting in the fall of 2023 that focus on growth and their individual learning progression. The goal is to give parents/guardians and students a complete picture of their learning and progress throughout the school year.

“In our parent and school relationships, we are going to have to look at elementary report cards in a new way,” Stewart said. “We will begin by knowing the starting point of student learning and look for growth and mastery throughout the year. This detailed information will help us communicate how the student is progressing and performing along the way.”

The desired outcome of this project is to make sure that every student reaches the Proficient level for each priority standard set by KSD and Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. To make that happen, the district’s teachers are constantly adapting their techniques to match the different learning priorities, providing targeted small group work to address each student’s individual needs, and giving opportunities to expand knowledge and use it as needed. Supporting standards are also taught alongside the priority standards.

The new report cards will reflect a foundational level of learning that aligns with the content taught at the beginning of the year, according to Stewart. Families will be able to observe the growth and learning journey of their children throughout the school year.

This elementary focus will lay the educational foundation to ensure a competency-based mindset across KSD moving forward. Our Bulldogs are personalizing learning in ways that guarantee every student has the knowledge, skills and techniques they need to be ready for high school and beyond.

New KSD Report Cards: Navigating to Proficiency

  • 4+ = Advanced: The student has advanced understanding and exceeds grade-level expectations.
  • 4 = Mastery: The student has shown proficient understanding and meets grade-level expectations.
  • 3 = Progressing: The student recognizes/recalls vocabulary related to the standard and can perform the basic processes that are foundational to the standard.
  • 2 = With Assistance – With help, the student demonstrates partial understanding of some of the simpler details and processes.
  • 1 = Even with help, the student has no understanding of the concept or skills.