We rely on ongoing dialog with students and parents in addition to checklists (twice annually, “fall” and “spring”) and narrative reports (twice annually, “mid-year” and “year-end”) to communicate about what’s going on in the classroom. Written feedback begins at the Kindergarten level. Checklist reports begin at the middle school level, in fourth grade. All checklists and anecdotal reports are read by your child’s division head or grade adviser before they arrive at your home. If you have a question about an individual checklist or report, the division head or grade adviser is the person to call. You can read some thoughts from our Head of School, Vince Tompkins, on “Why We Don’t Use Grades” here. Formal parent-teacher conferences are held once a year in November; we try to make the dates available to you during re-enrollment the previous year so that you can plan ahead. If you cannot attend parent-teacher conferences or wish to schedule an additional conference with a teacher please contact the relevant division office.
Generally, in the middle and high school, families will receive the first set of checklist reports shortly before the November teacher-parent conferences, where you will have an opportunity to discuss them with your child’s teachers. More detailed mid-year reports that describe both the classroom curriculum and your child’s learning are mailed home about halfway through the year. Different grades will arrive at different times – first semester officially ends about halfway through January. Year-end reports generally arrive at home after classes have ended for the year. In middle and high school these are accompanied by a letter from the grade adviser or division head summarizing the student’s year and offering guidance.
In general, the school considers checklist reports and cover letters to be “internal” documents that do not become part of a student’s formal academic record and are not sent on when a student applies to a summer program, transfers schools or applies to college. There may be individual exceptions as adjudicated by the division head or grade adviser. With the exception of senior year, mid-year reports are not sent to colleges.
If you have questions or concerns about your child’s learning or would like to request a meeting with a teacher feel free to contact the division office.