We provide a qualitative evaluation of a child’s performance that takes into consideration the whole child, including strengths, limitations, and social, physical, and creative achievements; the education your child receives at our school extends far beyond basic skills in math and language. Traditional grades provide a quantitative evaluation of a child’s work. Grading creates an environment of winners and losers, undermining the spirit of cooperation and community. Research indicates that grading actually reduces creativity, as students aim for work that will be safe and acceptable to the adult. And therein lies a third powerful reason not to use traditional grades: the children begin to work to please the adult rather than themselves, to work for the extrinsic rather than the intrinsic reward. For these reasons, Montessori House for Children and Elementary do not “grade” children.
The teachers who have worked with your child will produce evaluations during the year of your child’s progress in the classroom. You will receive two written conference reports each year. These reports will be reviewed with you in person at conferences with your child’s teacher in the fall and spring.
In the fall and spring of each year, you will have the opportunity to meet with your child’s teacher to discuss her observations and recordings of your child’s progress at parent/teacher conferences. The teachers use Montessori Records Express software to keep extensive records of lessons given, work practiced and mastered and future lessons planned for each child. Anytime throughout the year, if you have a question about your child’s progress, please call the teacher for a discussion.
Beginning in the third year of Lower Elementary, children participate in a standardized achievement test. The school sends parents the results. However, we believe a child has multiple intelligences, not just those measured by achievement tests. And though we regard these tests as a reflection of how your child compares to other children in these areas, we don’t believe these tests provide a complete assessment of your child’s strengths or limitations. The areas of achievement and of difficulty noted by the staff in your child’s final evaluation will contain far more valuable information about your child’s abilities and unique talents.