Next year, Ripon students in grades three through eight may receive a lower number on their initial report cards, but that’s not because they’re achieving less.

   That’s because the district will move toward assessing those students based on end-of-year benchmarks for the 2017-18 school year.

   The revisions were approved Monday by the School Board 7-2.

   This system already is underway at Barlow Park and Journey Charter elementary schools but will be implemented from kindergarten through middle school beginning in the fall.

   With a goal of “proficient” in each category by the time they complete their grade level at the end of the school year, students’ progression will be evaluated — with periodic report cards, as always — on the numeric scale currently used in K-8:

  • Beginning/Needs Improvement: 1.0
  • Emerging: 1.5
  • Developing: 2.0
  • Approaching Proficient: 2.5
  • Proficient: 3.0
  • Approaching Advanced: 3.5
  • Advanced: 4.0

   But since the scale will be measuring progress toward a year-end goal, lower numbers should be expected at the start of the fall.

   “We don’t want parents to see a ‘2’ [on a mid-year report card] as something bad ... That’s perfectly normal,” Director of Curriculum and Instruction Chrissy Damm said over the phone Tuesday.

Read the full story, with a full explanation of the planned new grading plan, in the April 20, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.