Curriculum and Instruction » Elementary Report Card Information

Elementary Report Card Information

Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District is pleased to announce that we are beginning the process of revising our K-5 report card to align with our new Math & ELA curriculum materials. This process will take multiple years as teachers work collaboratively to identify the necessary changes.
Here’s our plan:
  1. This year: Align our use of the current report card to our math program’s pacing and ensure we’re reporting consistently across the district.
  2. Spring of 2024: A Math Report Card Committee will work to revise the language of the report card’s math section.AWRSD Graduate
  3. Fall of 2024: New math report card used, starting with Trimester 1.
  4. SY 24-25: Complete this same process for ELA.
  5. SY 25-26: Complete this same process for all other sections.
In addition to communicating general grade-level expectations for student learning, our report cards provide specific, accurate and meaningful information to families about your child’s:
  • Strengths and challenges in meeting the high expectations we set for all students;
  • Performance in relation to the state standards;
  • Work habits, behavior and effort.

Our goal is to help you better understand and support the learning of your student(s).

As the Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District continues to improve teaching and learning for all students, we hope you will find this Family Information Guide and the revised standards-based report card system informative!

Scoring Scales

Standards-based reporting separates information about a student's growth in social development and work habits from his or her actual achievement of specific concepts or skills. Therefore, we layout the report card in two parts and use two different scales.


Academic Skill Indicator Key:

4 Advanced understanding of grade level skills and concepts.  Performance is characterized by a high quality of consistency and independence
3 Secure understanding of grade level skills and concepts. Performance is characterized by consistent success and independence.
2 Developing understanding of grade level skills and concepts with support.
1 Limited understanding of grade level skills and concepts.
N/A Not assessed at this time.
3 is on target

Learner Behaviors Indicator Key:

3 All or most of the time
2 Developing
1 Improvement Needed

How is a standards-based report card scored throughout the year?


The descriptors on the report card are the most important learning targets for the entire school year. The scores on the report card represent the status of learning done at the end of each trimester. Expectations to meet standards often increase through

the year. A “3” in the first term means meeting a standard in December but a student may have to demonstrate a higher level of achievement to maintain a “3” in March. 


For example, a report card math descriptor might be: “Uses appropriate techniques, tools and units in making measurements of length, weight, angles, areas, perimeter and volume.” Students would be scored at the end of the first trimester on all components but perimeter and volume, which would be studied later in the year. 

For some items, teachers may mark “N/A” (not assessed) because these items were not  assessed during the term. By the end of the school year, every item in the report card will receive at least one score; many items will have scores each term.

This year, you will notice more “N/A” marks than in previous years.  That is because we are working with the language on the current report card and aligning it with new materials.  We are finding that we are reporting on roughly ⅓ of the materials each trimester.

 Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we need a revised report card?Continuous Cycle of Student Learning

The changes are needed because we have changed our curriculum materials.

How does a standards-based report card differ from the traditional report card?

Letter grades are generally a measure of how well a student is doing compared to his or her classmates. Our indicators relate to how well a student is meeting a particular grade level standard.

Where do the standards come from?

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education provides grade level standards in all subject areas. The most recently adopted frameworks are available here:

As you can see the frameworks have all been revised since 2016.

What is the difference between benchmarks and standards?

Standards are the end-of-the-year expectations for students. In order to monitor progress throughout the year toward mastering the standards, we have created benchmarks at the end of trimester 1 and 2. These benchmarks indicate which subset of skills should be obtained at the end of each term to measure whether or not a child is on pace to meet the end-of-year standard.


What will be done if my child does not meet the standards?

Standards-based reporting allows us to specifically identify areas where students need more time and support. The district is working to implement a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) model where students will get targeted intervention as it is needed.


How will standards-based teaching, learning and grading motivate my child?

Your child will begin to see over time that working hard, acquiring new knowledge and trying new things is learning. In traditional grading systems many students do their work for the extrinsic reward of an A and do not challenge themselves further.


How will students receiving special education services be graded?

Special education students are also given the elementary Standards-Based Report Card. In accordance with the law, documentation of progress specific to IEP goals and objectives will be reported to families on IEP progress report forms each trimester.


How will students receiving English Language Learner (ELL) support be graded?

English Language Learners are also given the elementary Standards-Based Report Card.


The ELL teacher will provide a progress report each trimester.


Why did my child receive an “N/A” (not assessed) on something they received a grade on in trimester 1?

If something isn’t assessed in a given trimester, then it’s not reported on in that trimester.


As we move to be more systematic with our reporting, we’re only reporting on the topics that we assess each trimester.  So, a student may have been assessed on something in the first trimester but not in the second trimester.  


This can happen for several reasons. Sometimes our curriculum materials spiral to cover a topic in the beginning and end of the year.  In those cases that topic would be assessed only in the first and third trimesters. In other cases a topic carries over from the previous year and is only covered and assessed in the first trimester.  

For more information please see the “How is a standards-based report card scored throughout the year?” on this page. If you have any further questions, please contact Paul DuBois, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, at [email protected].


Please direct any questions to:

Paul DuBois

Director of Curriculum and Instruction

[email protected]

(978) 827-1434