Friday, October 08, 2010


The boys’ 6 week report cards came home. If I said they got all Ps and Ss what would you think? Except for the things Havoc got 100% in, which is not an available option for Mayhem so don’t hold it against him that he didn’t get 100%.

Apparently actual grading with the established A-F scale or 0-100% scale doesn’t happen in the primary school. Not sure what system is in place in the elementary school but I know know the middle & high school do use A-F so I will finally understand their report cards starting in 6th grade at least.

We’ve been a couple years with this P & S system so I do have a general idea how they are doing. And I know the one thing you should never ever do is compare children.

Naturally the first thing I did was dig up Havoc’s 1st grade report card and compare it to Mayhem’s.

I can’t help it. Havoc is the only frame of reference I have for 1st grade. I don’t do it to say who is ‘better’ at something but to be able to say “Oh ok, Havoc had Ps in that and he was doing x,y,and z, so that means Mayhem probably can to.”

Mayhem seriously needs to work on his handwriting. Seriously. It’s horrible. I can always pick his stuff out on the class walls because of the handwriting. But that is due to a motor skill and lack of patience. Not knowledge or overall behavior, so if that’s his big problem, I’m ok with it.

As it were. not OK with it, but ok with it, you know?

Mayhem is reading 106 out of 120 and the expectation is 10 out of 120 at this point and I am so happy about that. I’m a reader, DH is a reader, Havoc is a reader, so Mayhem’s lack of reading skill/interest has been stressing me out. All through kindergarten I was like, How can he not be reading??? I’m doing everything they say plus more besides. But finally that switch has been flipped on. He’s jumped 8 reading levels since school started. While I do credit the school with a lot of it, I think his fascination with all things Pokemon has helped. You have to be able to read those cards or read the words on the DS game, plus there are all these handbooks with facts to be learned. You can play with dinos without reading about them but apart from watching the TV show, you need to read to play with Pokemon stuff.

Havoc’s reading, writing & math skills are all fine, showing progress, with a couple 100% on things. They don’t grade science & social studies this term. His problem is he can’t stop talking, which I have mentioned before. Havoc has a lot of info on some things that he wants to share, nay, he NEEDS to share. Havoc also wants to go for the laugh. So we always end up with S- in the ‘control’s social talking’. Sometimes it’s an S and probably at least one term it will be a U, because he just cannot help himself.

We have parent teacher conferences next week which will go over some standardized test scores on math & reading for our individual students.

We were given the school wide, division wide and state wide results in an accompanying letter.

We are in Year 1 of Title I School Improvement. We’ve failed 2 years running to to meet adequate yearly progress goals.

The letter basically said “Your school sucks. It sucks so bad you can invoke the option to transfer your kids. Oh but wait! There is no place to transfer them to in your district. Too bad for you! Maybe your kids might qualify for some extra assistance we might be able to offer, legally we should, financially we’re not sure we can. But we are working on improving. It’s only been two years we’ve sucked & this is the first time it’s been bad enough you could, theoretically at least, transfer your kids. So there is hope! (Insert feel good buzz words here) More information to follow once we figured out what we can afford to do.”

It seems our school sucks, the division sucks somewhat and the state itself has a general suckiness that is not quite as bad overall as it is locally. Though I honestly cannot tell for sure because the report is long on data but low on labels. It looks to me like we met the passing criteria, but obviously we didn’t so. The only thing it looks like we failed in was English Performance –Economically Disadvantaged, which, yeah, poor rural county. 

Ok and the real kicker to me… the part that I went “Oh dear God!” was when I got to the school safety statistics page and saw the column “Weapons Offenses” and saw that last year, for the first time 5 years, there had been one.

You know which one it was don’t you?

It was MY SON not realizing he’s left that damn toy gun in his backpack that the other kid pulled out on the bus! He wasn’t mentioned by name but there is only one Weapons Offense listed. The horror of that whole episode came right back to me. Havoc’s a Weapons Offense statistic!

I’m looking forward to the conference next week because I want someone to explain this data to me. Where is the problem specifically? What do I need to do or help with my kids because of it?  Since apparently my only other option is home school & since they are currently succeeding at public school I am not willing to go there, yet.


Carrie said...

Good on the reading bummer on the not so good school. Hope you get some answers next week! :)

Alexandra said...

Let me know what happens, and then we'll have to talk.

Tough Cookie Mommy said...

My four year old just started Pre-K and I can't help but wonder if he will have the same academic success that his seven year old brother has had in school. I'm a Middle School teacher so I know all too well to importance of not comparing children academically. I think it is wonderful that you have been supportive of your younger son's different learning style. I'm sure that he will improve leaps and bounds with your encouragement. I am passing by from the Oink Tribe and leaving my footprints. I really enjoyed your comment on my post and would love to add you to my list of followers.

humel said...

Gosh yes, I remember that 'incident' - it must have been horrible to be reminded of it in that way!

Stastics are difficult. I've known of some good schools that didn't look so great on paper, and vice versa. If your kids are doing well, being challenged appropriately and supported appropriately, and they're making good progress, try not to worry about what statistics may say of the school. Good luck with that though, I don't think it's possible for a parent not to worry! xx

Ruth said...

Gosh, that report card system sounds complicated. What do P & S stand for, anyway? I confess to chuckling about the weapons offences thing!

SciFi Dad said...

He's the leading edge of a district-wide crime wave. You must be so proud.