UPSD Reporting Periods May Change for Elem. Students
The beginning of the 2014-2015 school-year could bring a change in the number of report cards that first through fourth grade students receive in the Upper Perkiomen School District.
At a workshop meeting on Thursday night, Upper Pekiomen School District administrators presented a proposal to the school board for three marking periods instead of the current four marking periods.
Sue King, assistant to the superintendent for curriculum, instruction and technology, explained to the school board that a marking period every 60 days as opposed to every 45 days gives the teacher a better way to assess what a student has actually learned.
With the current 45 day marking period, it becomes all about "the grade" and not what the child has mastered in each class, King said. She added that the longer marking period permits a teacher to obtain more feedback and conduct a better assessment of a child's progress before it is time to give the parent a report card.
King tried to address potential parental concerns, saying, "What we understand about learning has changed. People expect school to be the same as when they were there."
The change to three marking periods will not alter the structure of any course, according to King. She said the longer marking period will enable a teacher "to build a progression of intervention" after the first marking period to prevent a student from failing a course. She warned if a child must be "retained" in a grade, there is a good chance the student will not complete high school.
School board member, Kerry Drake, remarked he preferred four report cards in the school year because he thought it gave a better indication of a student's progress. However, when a board member asked if the change required the school board to vote on the matter, King said it was not necessary.
"This is an administration decision," she said, "not the school board. We hope the school board will defer to the people who have the educational background to make this decision."
No school board member reacted to King's remark. However, former school board member Thomas McCabe asked King what she would do if the school board did not permit the change. King said if that were the case, the administration would do as the school board directed. Ultimately, the school board is the final arbiter of what takes place in the public education of a child.
In other matters, the school board gave permission for a group of high school students called Fellowship of Christ Athletes to meet for a bible study group on school grounds. The goal of the group is integrity, service to community, teamwork and excellence.