Standards-Based Reporting: Elementary Level

What is a Standards-Based Progress Report?

A standards-based progress report lists the most important skills students should learn in each subject at a particular grade level. For example, in reading, a second-grade progress report might list these skills for English Language Arts:

  • Retells and explains the lesson, message, or moral of stories, fables, and folktales
  • Compares and contrasts two or more texts
  • Asks and answers questions to demonstrate understanding of text
  • Decodes known and unfamiliar words
  • Reads at grade level (end of year benchmark) 

Instead of overall letter grades, students receive marks that show how well they have mastered the standard/expectation and the progress they have made in mastering the standard/expectation. The marks will show whether the student has 1-Beginning; 2-Developing; 3-Competent; or 4-Mastery for each standard/expectation.

Mastery (4)

The student is able to apply the expectations of the grade-level essential standard independently and consistently across all learning opportunities.
Competent (3)

The student has met the basic expectations of the essential grade-level standard without teacher support.
Developing (2)

The student has a basic understanding of the essential grade-level standard but needs teacher support to apply it.
Beginning (1)

The student is not yet able to demonstrate an understanding of the specific essential grade-level standards.

Why does the Appleton Area School District use a Standards-Based Progress Report at the Elementary level?

While letter grades seem “understandable” to parents, they give only limited information about what the students have learned or can do, are dependent on teacher and parent interpretation, and can be focused only on surface knowledge rather than understanding and application. Considering an “average” to determine the final marking or grade may not be reflective of the final learning.

A standards-based approach allows teachers to use information from a variety of assessments to evaluate student learning. The information, when shared with parents, gives a more detailed picture of what a child can do.

Career and Life Skills-Learning How to Learn

Learning habits play an important role in a student’s success. We believe that communicating with you on effort and behavior is important. Students will get separate marks for effort and work habits, even though these characteristics aren't included in the assessment of the student's academic skills.

Career and Life Skills-Learning How to Learn

AASD Elementary Career and Life Skills-Learning How to Learn


K-6 Standards-Based Progress Report Parent Guide