Report cards will be completed at the end of each quarter to formally report Explorers’ progress. Report cards consist of two components: a Reflection on Valuable Moments and the Academic Report.
Reflection on Valuable Moments
At Explore Community School we work to cultivate the academic, social, and emotional growth of our students. The Reflection on Valuable Moments gives an overview of your child’s demonstration of Explore Core Values.
The Academic Report
Students in grades K-4 are evaluated throughout the year on their progress towards national and state standards. Final report cards reflect student performance on grade-level standards and include narrative comments from the teacher.
For the 2019-2020 school year, Explore has scheduled caregiver conference days in order for each student, family, and teacher to reflect upon student progress and collaborate towards future success. These days are provided on the school calendar. Please note that students will not report for the regular school day on these dates.
We believe that students learn everywhere, all the time, and that children in the primary grades need significant time at home for imagination, play, and quality time with family and friends. For 2019-2020, homework has the following components:
- Kindergarten: Homework is limited to sight word practice and a weekly reading log. Each school day, Explorers will bring home two books. One will be on their independent reading level and should be read to a caregiver. The other will be a book in which they’re interested that caregivers should read to the Explorer. Explorers should also practice their sight words at least three times per week. The completion of these tasks should be noted on the reading log and returned to school with the books the next day.
- 1st and 2nd Grade: In addition to the reading log, students will receive one page of math or reading skills practice. These will be collected each Monday.
- 3rd and 4th Grade: Explorers will receive three pages of math reinforcement, one page of reading skills practice, and one graphic organizer or article with comprehension questions in addition to their reading log.
- Caregivers: Please check your Explorer’s folder nightly for important updates and their Valuable Moments report. Please also ensure your Explorer gets plenty of sleep!
Homework will go home on Mondays and will be returned on the following Monday. Teachers will provide feedback to Explorers on homework in class when and if corrections need to be made. Homework will be tracked based on completion.
At the teacher’s discretion, additional materials to target gaps or trends may be included in each week’s packet. Any additional materials will be designed to require less than fifteen additional minutes during the week. Homework will also include a few basic tips about questions or supports you can have to talk to your child about their project-based learning topic. It will also include example pages to help give an example of the type of responses the teacher is looking for.
Please note: In addition to reinforcing and maintaining previously taught content, homework also helps students develop responsibility, organizational, and time management skills. Families who prefer additional assignments will be provided a list of resources and activities they can use for more academic practice at home.
In addition to traditional classroom assessment measures, we will utilize a variety of additional tools to inform our instruction. These tools include:
- Reading: To understand Explorer’s progress in reading, students will be given the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment at the beginning, middle, and end of the year. This assessment will provide a student’s reading level that will be noted on report cards. We will also utilize the Kindergarten Inventory of Developmental Spelling.
- Math: We will use the Developmental Number Assessment, Fact Interviews, and Problem Solving assessments in combination with teacher-created observations and assessments to inform math instruction.
- Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). Similarly, the MAP assessment will be given at the beginning, middle, and end of the year. This assessment will provide us with a nationally normed reference point for the performance of our students in reading and math. In addition to the classroom data pieces, MAP data helps us determine if students need additional intervention in reading and math and allows us to make informed decisions about what that intervention should look like.
- TN Ready: As a public school we administer the TN Ready assessment beginning in 3rd grade for all students through 8th grade.
Explore has been designed to support the success of every student, and we will work relentlessly to ensure students receive the instruction and social support necessary to succeed at the following grade.
However, some students need more time or more support in order to meet grade level benchmarks. Based upon students’ individual academic and social and emotional progress, an individual student may not be ready for promotion to the next grade. This decision is made on an individual student basis in collaboration with families at the school’s discretion.
Caregivers can expect a meeting with their Explorer’s teachers and a member of the leadership by the third quarter of the school year, if the school team has any concerns about an Explorer’s readiness for promotion for the upcoming school year. If you, as the caregiver, have any major concerns about your Explorer’s progress, you can request a meeting with the teachers and member of the school leadership team as well.
We want to be sure that we are supporting all of our students and working in close collaboration with families and caregivers to develop the best plan for the short and long term success and well being of the Explorer.
The easiest way to manage supplies in primary classrooms while ensuring a positive classroom environment is to have shared supplies within the classroom. Explore provides a supply request form each year that grade level teachers create and revise.
All supplies will be kept at school and divided among and used by all students, therefore, families do not need to label supplies with their child’s name. For policies on toys and personal supplies, please see the GENERAL POLICIES page.