Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment

Accountability Information

Elementary Standards-based Report Cards Q and A:

What is a standards-based report card?

A standards-based report card highlights the most important, standards based skills students should learn at a particular grade level. Standards-based report cards communicate to students, parents, and teachers how well students are achieving each quarter. The quarterly academic expectations are communicated two ways: 1. A summative letter grade is given to reflect all assessed tasks in relation to the content taught. 2. A Performance Indicator is given that reflects how the student is progressing toward the grade level's end of the year standards and expectations.

What information does the report card contain?

The report card will have specific learning targets within content areas for each grading period. Content in some grading periods may be blocked out. This is because the skill has not been taught yet and there has been no assessment of the understanding of that material. The report card will also contain information regarding attendance, performance in the non-core subjects, and the progress that a child is making toward developing the characteristics of a successful learner.

How does a teacher evaluate a child's performance?

In a standards-based classroom, the focus is on a student's performance over multiple opportunities, not simply the grading and averaging of tests and quizzes. Each grading period provides students opportunities to rehearse, attain, and meet grade level expectations. The teacher will use percentages to calculate an academic grade based on the overall progress a child is making toward the learning targets. Because various accommodations may be made at times, the Performance Indicator scores may not directly relate to the academic grade. The Performance Indicators are related directly to the grade level standards. Some students may have low Performance Indicators, but a high academic grade and vice versa.

Won't everyone receive mostly 2s and 3s?

Learning is a process and it should be expected that repeated exposure and experiences are necessary to gain ownership of new skills and strategies. A Performance Indicator of 2 indicates that the student is on track for progressing toward the standard. Once a student demonstrates thorough understanding of concepts and skills with a performance characterized by the ability to apply the skills with accuracy, the student would receive a 3. A score of 4 indicates a strength that is above and beyond the grade level expectations.

What was the process by which the standards-based report cards were developed?

The process of developing the elementary standards-based report card reflects several years of creating a PA Core Standards based curriculum and one year of actual report card development. Elementary parents, teachers and administrators were involved in the process from the start and have contributed to the decision making process. Additionally, we recognize that we do not have a finished report card in place yet. We will continue to discuss and reflect on this initiative and make adjustments, if any are needed.

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Comprehensive Planning

The Northwestern School District Comprehensive Plan is Board approved by the Board of Directors. Any comments or suggestions regarding the plan should be submitted to Yvonne Teed ( or 756-4116).

PA Comprehensive Planning

Comprehensive Planning is a web-based framework for thoughtful data-driven and research-based district and school planning. Comprehensive Planning facilitates communication and collaboration, promotes shared practices and resources, and ensures that every stakeholder is working toward common goals. Additionally, Comprehensive Planning assists local education agencies (school districts, charter schools, area vocational technical schools/career and technical centers, and intermediate units) to create and manage a continuous, comprehensive plan to submit to the Department in order to maintain compliance with state and federal mandate.

The Comprehensive Planning web application's purpose is to serve as a single, streamlined, systematic, comprehensive planning process and plan management system for LEAs and schools within the Commonwealth. Plans must be updated and re-submitted every six years. Additionally, every three years, the special education and professional development sections must be reviewed, updated, and resubmitted for approval.

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The 2014-2015 PSSAs reflected the new PA Core Standards.

As part of the new regulations, Pennsylvania’s Core Standards offer a set of rigorous, high-quality academic expectations in English Language Arts and Mathematics that all students should master by the end of each grade level. The PA Core Standards are robust and relevant to the real world and reflect the knowledge and skills our young people need to succeed in life after high school, in both post-secondary education and a globally competitive workforce.

Overall, Pennsylvania Academic Standards continue to be the foundation upon which to build a locally designed curriculum. The Standards Aligned System offers educators a wealth of resources to support the Pennsylvania Core Standards.

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NWSD Curriculum Resources

ELA Reading Lists Grades 4-12

Recommended review sites for novels and books:


Once parents create an account, they can see reviews from agencies/publications like School Library Journal, Kirkus, Booklist, Hornbook, and Publisher's Weekly, all compiled under each title.


Kirkus is a book review site that does not require a login.


Amazon frequently includes reviews from respected agencies and publications. Amazon also posts customer reviews which usually include the full spectrum of responses to a book.

Common Sense Media

The reviews discuss a range of issues in books.