Disheartening Response

Jan 23, 2017

To the Editor:

This is a response to the “Grading Report Cards” letter (1/18).

The report card feedback meeting was in fact held Jan. 12 at 6 p.m. Parents were given an opportunity to express their concerns and ask any relevant questions. At the conclusion of the meeting, parents approached the administration and thanked us for taking the time to listen to their concerns. In general, the meeting went very well and was extremely productive.

This meeting was one of several report card meetings that were held over the course of about a year. Informational meetings were recorded and the video links were placed on the district website as well as Facebook to offer those parents who could not attend an opportunity to watch and obtain the information. Survey links were placed on the website and Facebook to obtain parent input and feedback. I, as superintendent, offer my personal cell phone number to every parent, and I have fielded numerous questions and concerns regarding report cards since the inception of this project.

With various means of communication, and multiple opportunities for parents to express their concerns, it is extremely disheartening that a parent would choose to express her personal interpretation and viewpoint in a local paper instead of speaking directly to me. At no point did I express that there is a lack of parental involvement in the school district. Many parents choose to communicate in ways other than attending formal meetings. The entire administrative team has continually made themselves available to parents seven days a week. This particular meeting was held at 6 p.m., the same time as Back To School Night and many other events.

Homework not being graded is not due to a lack of parental assistance. Teachers assign homework as an extension of the lessons that are being taught in class and it is based on particular student need. Parents are encouraged to assist their children and often do as such. Homework is not an indication of independent student achievement; therefore, it is not given a score or rating. Homework completion is indicated on the report card as a habit of success.

In closing, the standard-based report card was developed and implemented to offer parents an honest representation of their child’s academic achievement. The input offered by parents during the meeting was recorded and will be discussed with the teaching staff and the administrative team.

Parents are always encouraged to express their concerns to the administration and the teachers. Many meetings that are held, including board meetings, are recorded and posted on the district website as video links for those who cannot attend.

Our goal is to work together with parents to provide the best education possible for every child. Open, ongoing and honest communication is key.

Melissa McCooley, superintendent

Little Egg Harbor School District


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