School Notes: New Report Cards Focus on Results, Not Effort

For many Haverhill-area students, new report cards will reflect changes in how teachers arrive at their grades.

Whether it’s called mastery of subject matter at Haverhill High School or competency-based reporting in the elementary schools of the Timberlane district, newly designed report cards will focus attention on what students actually learned rather than how much effort they put in.

“How much a student knows, understands and is able to do … need to be stressed more than how hard—or not—one tries,” said HHS Principal Beth Kitsos. “While effort, participation and behavior are all important and worthy of discussion, they should be discouraged from being included in a grading (formula).”

This year, redesigned progress reports and report cards will be used. Hard copies of first term progress reports will be sent home with students on Sept. 28.

At Timberlane, administrators plan one-hour sessions for parents of students in kindergarten through fifth grade to learn about new report cards that focus on students’ subject matter competency.

The meetings are:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 10, 7 p.m. at Atkinson Academy
  • Wednesday, Oct. 11, 6 p.m. at Sandown North
  • Wednesday, Oct. 18, 9 a.m. at Sandown Central
  • Friday, Oct. 20, 9 a.m. at Danville Elementary School
  • Thursday, Oct. 26 at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. at Pollard School in Plaistow.

Parents may attend any meeting, regardless of which school their children attend.

Administrators and members of the Elementary Grading and Reporting Team plan a presentation on the grading system and time for questions and answers.

Methuen High School’s annual Open House for families of current students begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, and continues until 8 p.m. Families will begin the evening by attending their child’s Block  class to view a welcoming message on the classroom TVs. Parents and guardians will then follow their children’s schedule, traveling through the building and meeting their teachers. Each visit will last for 10 minutes.

Haverhill High students will celebrate homecoming with Spirit Week festivities beginning Monday, Sept. 25 and continuing through the week, ending with the Homecoming Varsity Football game on McNamara Field at Trinity Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 30, at 2 p.m. vs. Methuen.

The freshman, sophomore, junior and senior classes will compete during the week for staff votes to determine the most spirited group.

Themes are:

  • Monday: Pajama Day
  • Tuesday: Mismatch Day
  • Wednesday: Way-Back Wednesday (Seniors ‘80s, Juniors ‘60s, Sophomores ‘90s and Freshmen ‘50s)
  • Thursday: Tropical Paradise Day
  • Friday: Class T-Shirt Day

Also on Thursday, the annual bonfire takes place in the fields behind Haverhill High School, beginning at 7 p.m.

Juniors and seniors will close out Spirit Week with a pep rally on Friday afternoon in the gym.