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HCPSS Introduces Standards-Based Instruction and Reporting for PreK-Grade 2

November 1st, 2023

New for the 2023-2024 school year, HCPSS will report student academic progress in primary grades (prekindergarten through Grade 2) using standards-based instruction and reporting (SBIR). In alignment with Howard County Board of Education Policy 8010 Grading and Reporting: Pre-Kindergarten Through Grade 5, standards-based instruction and reporting evaluates a student’s progress relative to grade-level curriculum standards rather than by comparison among and between students.

HCPSS has implemented new academic performance codes as part of its transition to standards-based instruction and reporting for students in PreK-Grade 2 this year. These codes are used to describe the extent to which a student has met the expectation of grade-level standards.

Parents/guardians of students in PreK-Grade 2 also will see a new report card layout this year, in which students’ academic performance continues to be separated from their learning behaviors. (Note: Learning behaviors are not listed separately on report cards for pre-K students, as the behaviors are part of their academic instruction and are reported through their grades.)

In the new layout, academic achievement is broken down by measurement topics. Each measurement topic consists of a group of subject-specific, state-mandated instructional standards that are taught over the course of the year. Only measurement topics covered in a given quarter will have a performance code listed on the report card; the remaining topics will be grayed out. Performance codes for those measurement topics will be listed in the report card issued at the end of the quarter in which those topics are taught.

The new report card layout also provides a section for teachers to supply written comments. Comments will:

Together, the new grading codes and report card layout are designed to provide students and families more specific information about students’ strengths and challenges in each content area each quarter. At the same time, they enable greater consistency in reporting from classroom to classroom and from school to school.

Additional information about standards-based instruction and reporting and how to interpret the new format for PreK-Grade 2 report cards is available online.

There are no changes to report cards for students in grades 3–5 this school year. Intermediate grades will begin the transition to standards-based reporting in the 2024-2025 school year.

Quarter 1 report cards will be available in HCPSS Connect Synergy at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 8. Instructions on how to access them are posted online.