LACONIA — Elementary school students will be bringing home new report cards next month which will reflect shared standards across all of the schools and provide parents with more information about their child's progress in mastering each area of learning.
Gail Bourn, the school district's academic coordinator for teaching and learning, told the Laconia School Board Tuesday night that the new report cards are based on Common Core standards and have been developed over the last year by school district committee which included teachers and school administrators.
She explained that it marks the first change in report card standards for city schools since 2003 and brings together all of the information in one system which can be accessed by music, art and phys ed teachers as well as classroom teachers, making it easier to compile information and maintain standards.
Tara Beauchemin, principal of the Elm Street School, said that parents were surveyed to help identify what they wanted to see in new report cards.
Bourn said that the template for the new report cards is almost completed and that meetings will be scheduled with parents of elementary school students the last week of October, just before grades close, to explain the report card changes.
Board member Malcolm Murray wondered how long it will take teachers to do the report cards and Bourn said that it will take no longer than the old report cards.
She also noted that the standards based system used to measure student progress will also make it easier for teachers to identify when students are having problems and some form of intervention is needed.
Christine Gingeralla, director of the Project Extra program, reported on the project's summer program, which she served 444 students in Grades K to 8 in a four-week program.
Beth Vachon, assistant director of the Project Extra program, and Sarah Downing, special education director at Elm Street School, said that the STEM-based summer programs helped students develop a better understanding of science and technology and were very popular with the students.
Interim School Superintendent Phil Mcormack said that having a program like Project Extra is something which sets Laconia apart from other school districts in the state and provides ''a type of intervention that will make a difference'' by providing additional learning time for students.
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