Update: Progress Reports, Met Standard and Online Engagement (4/30/2020)
The final grading period: Why it’s important and how to support your student
During the past few weeks, we have continued to receive questions and feedback from members of our FBISD community regarding the online learning experience. I want to thank all of our parents for your continued partnership in your child’s education. Now, more than ever, our parents are getting a firsthand look at “classroom” instruction – including assisting the teacher and your student with direct instruction. As a learning community, we are navigating unchartered waters… but together, we are successfully supporting students’ continued learning and growth.
With that in mind, I want to share important information about how Fort Bend ISD will be measuring student growth to gauge a student’s readiness for the next grade level. While our traditional “grades” ended in the third grading period, the work our students do during the final nine-week grading period is also important because we are building the foundation to support academic success for years to come. For example, reading skills taught during the last nine weeks of second grade are essential elements of success in third grade. This principle applies across grade levels and content at all grade levels.
Fort Bend ISD has been intentional about establishing priority standards that we need our students to grow into, even during this challenging time. All students must continue to participate in school and take their work efforts seriously.
At the end of this year, campus-based committees will consider each individual student’s progress, level of participation in online learning, grades for the fourth grading period, and grades for the first three grading periods to make decisions about promotion to the next grade level, retention in the current grade level, and, most importantly, what intervention a student might require to close any gaps in learning. This might include participation in a summer learning program or special scheduling and supports during the coming school year.
Met Standard: What this is… and what it isn’t
This week, students in Fort Bend ISD received progress reports that included teacher feedback on the standards-based grading system in place for the final nine-week period. Based on their performance, students will receive Met Standard, Did Not Meet Standard, or Did Not Engage. I want to be very clear that Met Standard does not mean that a student is simply completing assignments and “checking off a list,” it means that a student is demonstrating proficiency in the required learning – the learning that is necessary to prepare them for the next grade level.
To earn Met Standard, students must participate in online learning by studying and completing materials provided in Schoology, and they must participate in asynchronous online learning. If support is needed, it is recommended that students join their teachers for discussions and office hours. Most importantly, the work students submit must reflect proficiency – knowledge and understanding of the materials taught and assessed.
If students choose not to participate in online learning at all, they will receive Did Not Engage to indicate their lack of participation.
The importance of continued online engagement
There is a degree of analysis, review and assessment that is necessary to determine if they Met Standard, and in order for our teachers to assess growth, our students need to continue to engage throughout the next few weeks. It is critical that our students continue to participate and communicate with their teachers – our teachers are providing the instruction, as well as the opportunities for our students to demonstrate proficiency, showing that they understand and can apply their knowledge and skills. This is what we will all be working toward in this final grading period.
To further support families, our Teaching and Learning team has developed a webpage that includes all of the priority “look fors” that can help you understand the content that is being covered in this final nine-week period. It is all broken down by grade level and/or subject area, and can be viewed at www.fortbendisd.com/onlinelearningparentguides.
What we are doing at the District-level
At the District-level, we are continuing to support and guide our teachers so that they also have the clarity they need to effectively assess whether a student Met Standard or Did Not Meet Standard. Our teachers have done a remarkable job of pivoting to online learning – I am proud of their efforts and commitment to their students. With that quick change comes the need to calibrate assessment practices among teachers to ensure all our students are assessed on the same proficiency standards.
To that end, we are working with teachers to ensure they understand that we are measuring growth, not compliance or simply completing work – it is about assessing proficiency on the established priority standards. You can trust that we will continue to have these conversations with our campus administrators and teachers – because, ultimately, it is in their hands to teach and assess the students they serve.
What we ask of our families, and what is ahead
For now, we continue to ask our families to do what they have been doing: making online learning a priority and supporting your student’s participation. Online instruction should not be a source of frustration or tension – we only ask that you do your best to help your students with their work and that you hold them accountable for doing their best and completing the work assigned.
We know that this model of instruction is not the same as face-to-face instruction – but this is our reality, and we are all doing the best we can. Students across our state and nation are learning online, and you can trust that your experience in FBISD is among the best of the best online learning systems in place right now. We are successful because we are working together, as partners on behalf of your children – our community’s children. We are truly better together.