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March is a conflicted month. It arrives like a lion and goes out like a lamb (or vice versa). March is also a lucky month if you trap a leprechaun on St. Patrick's Day. Isn't it ironic that the pencil with an attached eraser was first patented in March, 1858? And when many students are celebrating the growth reflected in their report card, others view the arrival of grades with apprehension and anxiety.  

Your child's report card will be arriving home soon. Hopefully, the grades will highlight positive growth, both academically and socially. The report will give you a reason to voice your pride in your child's work. However, the grades also serve as a reminder that there is still work to be done, challenges to tackle and goals to be set - for every student. While receiving your child's grades, it may cause disappointment, bewilderment or assign blame, such emotions make it difficult to create support "next steps." 

March is not a time to start a battle. It is a time to calmly talk about concerns, seek root causes, put heads together, and set a course of action that let students know that it is never too late to grow and succeed. 

Here are a few suggestions that will make the grade reporting a productive time of the year: Find ways to celebrate your child's efforts. Choose one or two key areas for improvement and calmly set a course of action. Goals should be realistic and achievable. Write them down and refer to them periodically with your child.  

Consult with your child's teacher about the grades. If necessary, arrange a teacher/parent meeting. Be sure to support each other. This is a team effort.  

Remember, grades belong to students, not parents. This a time to teach personal responsibility, natural consequences, and the value of hard work, good study skills and social skills. 

Stay positive, and don't forget - March is indeed a conflicted month. Neither warm nor cold. Sleeping and stretching awake. Mad and merry. It commands that we March forward - stay optimistic because spring is coming!

Barbara C. Akon,  Principal 


 3rd Grade Reading Assessment - 2018 → Click here for pdf.file 

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Pre-K AWJ James Elementary