Grades and Report Cards

At Sparhawk we issue report cards directly to our students, so that they see their grades first, even before their parents. We do this to help impart a sense of ownership and responsibility to the boys.

We communicate grades to parents at various points of the year mainly through progress reports and report cards. We do this to keep parents aware of their son’s progress, but again, making sure the boy is aware of his grades first. 

Teachers are always happy to discuss a boy’s progress with him and/or his parents, including a discussion of grades. These discussions are most effective in the context of a personal conversation, which helps build better understanding and a more human relationship among parents, students, and teachers. Limiting real-time access to grades helps the teacher from assuming that since parents already have continuous access to grades there is no need to initiate a conversation. It helps parents overcome the temptation to draw conclusions about a test or assignment that is in fact still at an interim stage. Seeing a grade out of context can mischaracterize a teacher’s judgment of a student’s progress, and ignores various factors: grading takes time, grades might be weighted relative to peer performance or other assignments, student absences might affect timing of reporting, etc. 

Of course, it is very good that a student communicate his progress in his work (and grades) with his parents – at the very least, out of filial piety – and that this communication come about in a conversation between the student and his parents.