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Blog: Monday, November 23rd, 2020

Middle School - Understanding the Report Card

On November 26th, term one report cards will be going home with our middle school students.  As these are the very first report cards of the school year, we wanted to share some insight into what you will be reviewing when they get home.  If you happen to have a child in both the middle and high school level, you may have noticed that report cards between these two levels look very different.  Both celebrate the learning journey of your child by reflecting on their educational progress but in different ways.  High school report cards make use of letter grades for each subject.  Middle school reporting on the other hand breaks each subject down into competencies so that progress is more detailed.  You can think of the competencies reported on as a kind of checklist of some of the academic understandings and skill sets explored in each subject.  The learning that happens in class covers a great deal of competencies each term, but teachers choose a few main ones to focus on gathering assessment for and reporting out on.

There are two different types of competencies that frame your child’s learning.  The first are called curricular competencies and are specifically tied to academics.  They include things like how to pull research from a variety of sources to build understanding, how to exchange insights and viewpoints through persuasive writing or use logic to analyze and apply mathematic principles.  These competencies go hand in hand with the content being explored in class such as units on ancient civilizations or literary genres. 

The second type are called core competencies and are broader reaching in terms of how they fit into your child’s education.   Core competencies cover areas such as communication, creative and critical thinking, and social awareness and responsibility.  These competencies are not necessarily reported on directly, but still important to keep in mind. They represent the skills needed to be successful at school regardless of grade or subject.   What more information on the types of competencies assessed in class?  Visit to select any grade or subject and get a solid understanding of what teachers aim to cover in their classrooms in a given year.

The progress indicated on your child’s report card is based on the assessment teachers gather as evidence in each of the competency areas listed.  It is why it is so important to keep up to date on assignments and engaged during classroom activities.  Students may be brilliant in a subject area, but if teachers can not gather sufficient evidence of that brilliance due to missing assessment opportunities or excessive absences, they lack the evidence to report out on each competency in a way that accurately reflects your child’s potential.

When you get your middle school child’s report card home on November 26th, take time to both celebrate their successes and talk about ways they can continue to grow.  Students should take pride in their accomplishments because learning here demands a lot of them!  At ASIA Sumas, teachers collaborate regularly to ensure the competencies mentioned above are approached in a cross-curricular way, integrated with the arts, and assessed in experiential ways.  It makes learning relevant, but means being successful here requires them to be present and actively engaged from the moment they walk in the door.  That kind of commitment is a lot of work, and something our students should be proud of themselves undertaking each day.