EC Principal Letter

Dear ANCS Elementary Families,

I hope you are doing well and enjoying this beautiful, cooler weather. It seems as though everyone’s spirits are up and the students are super happy that recess is not indoors due to heat and unsafe air quality. We are all keeping our fingers crossed that fall weather is here to stay!

If you got to school between 7:30 and 7:55 on Monday morning, you most likely saw the dancing and flag waving. You also most likely heard the lively music playing. This was all done to kick off our celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15th to October 15th. Many thanks to Ms. Paez and Ms. Cruz for organizing the morning’s festivities!

We have a lot of great things planned for our students over the next several weeks. We have a student leading the Pledge in Spanish each day this week, morning meeting songs have been and will continue to be in Spanish and/or celebrating Hispanic and Latinx culture, we are inviting in our families who want to share a part of their culture with us during morning meeting and we also have a dance performance by Calo Gitano Flamenco dance company in October. We are excited to celebrate Hispanic culture and heritage here at school. 

If you have not signed up for a conference time yet, please do so as soon as possible. The purpose of the conference is to place student growth at the center of the discussion. At the conference, teachers will discuss a student’s academic behaviors and his/her social interactions with peers and within the classroom. Additionally, they will discuss MAP performance and growth targets against local norms and national norms and/or the reading level of the student and year-end benchmarks.

Research indicates that while progress reports and report cards are designed to define the student’s progress and provide information about the skill that he/she has or has not acquired, grades are often not detailed enough to give parents/guardians or the student a thorough understanding of what they have actually learned or how to improve specific academic skills or social areas. Parent–teacher conferences are a central component of our reporting system and our ongoing commitment to family involvement within ANCS.

Even though this is not used in the conference guide, I thought it would be helpful for you to see a quick explanation of our grading scale. The teachers will briefly discuss academic performance during your conference, but I thought it may be helpful to see this information now.

The Grading Scale

  • There is a scale from 1 to 5 for core content, academic area
    • 1 = Not Yet – The student demonstrates a minimal or very limited understanding and/or has difficulty acquiring the skills or content, and is unable to use them fully in typical situations, even with support. There is minimal or very limited evidence that the student access, apply, and/or analyze the standard.
    • 2 = Just Beginning – The student demonstrates limited understanding of the standard, appropriate skills, or required content. There is limited evidence that a student can access, apply, and/or analyze the standard and may require support.
    • 3 = Approaching – The student demonstrates general understanding of the standard by identifying the appropriate skills or required content. Most of the time, there is evidence that a student can access the skills or content and integrate it into typical or familiar situations. There is some evidence that the student can apply and/or analyze the skills or content in typical or familiar situations.
    • 4 = Meeting – The student demonstrates full proficiency of the standard by consistently accessing (understanding and finding meaning in), applying (interpreting for others or other situations), and analyzing (breaking down into components or pieces) the skills or required content.  These applications are applied consistently in a wide variety of situations while demonstrating originality and insight.
    • 5 = Exceeding – The student consistently demonstrates an in-depth understanding of the standard by completing advanced applications of the material in which evaluation (critiquing against other criteria) and manipulation/synthesis (creating multiple-perspectives, empathy, and/or self-knowledge) are evident.  These applications are applied almost faultlessly with the student consistently demonstrating originality and insight.
  • There is an R to C scale for the Guiding Principles and Effort grades
    • R = Student is rarely self-directed, rarely displays initiative in her/her own learning or accountability for his/her own work.
    • O = Student is occasionally self-directed, occasionally displays initiative in his/her own learning and exhibits accountability for his/her own work.
    • U = Student is usually self-directed, usually displays initiative in his/her own learning and usually exhibits accountability for his/her own work. 
    • C = Student is consistently self-directed, consistently displays initiative in his/her own learning and consistently exhibits accountability for his/her own work.

As always, if you have any questions, I am happy to discuss those with you. Take care and have a wonderful remainder of your week.