QCSD Trimesters - FAQ

What are trimesters?
Rather than four marking periods with approximately 45 days in each period, QCSD elementary schools divide the instructional year into three periods, with approximately sixty school days in each period. Report cards is distributed three times a year. Previously, QCSD divided the instructional year into four periods and distributed report cards four times a year. This is an adjustment to the time when a paper progress report (report card) is sent home. There is no change in the teaching and learning process in our schools.

Why are we making this change?
Reporting achievement scores three times a year provides teachers with more time to collect meaningful evidence of student learning. This shift focuses on the quality of work rather than the quantity of work. Having 12 weeks of instructional time for each reporting period, rather than only 9 weeks in the current system, allows teachers to carefully plan and deliver instruction that aligns with achievement and growth. Shifting to trimesters also reduces the emphasis on testing, and focuses on quality instruction. Additionally, reporting progress three times a year aligns with our administration of NWEA, AIMS, and Dibels.

What are the end dates for each trimester?

Trimester Start of Trimester Mid-point of Trimester End of Trimester Report Card Distribution
Sept. 3, 2019 Oct. 16, 2019 Dec. 4, 2019 Dec. 13, 2019
Dec. 5, 2019 Jan. 29, 2020 Mar. 17 2020 March 27, 2020
Mar. 18, 2020 May 4, 2020 June 16, 2020 June 16, 2020

How will the switch to trimesters affect parent-teacher conferences?

Parent conferences still occur in November. As usual, each school team will determine the school' s conference dates. Parent-teacher conferences are not about the report card. They are about grade level expectations and students' progress toward those expectations, so the switch should not affect conferences.

Will the change to trimesters affect how and when Itinerants report achievement scores on the report card?
Yes. Itinerants will report their students' achievement scores in each of the three trimesters. Itinerants will see each class approximately ten times each trimester.

Is there a plan to adjust the current report card format?
Yes. During the 2016-2017 school year, Ms. Edwards led a committee of principals, teachers, and parents to review how and when we report progress to parents and to recommend a different format for the elementary report card. This committee work is expected to significantly reduce the number of achievement scores listed on the report card. Report cards report essential progress to parents, and we want to make sure parents understand their student' s progress. We expect that there will be a shift to reporting students' achievement of the Big Ideas, as opposed to reporting progress on all of the Learning Targets, for example.

How do IEP Progress Reports times change as a result of trimesters?
if the student' s IEP says progress reports go home four times a year, then they will continue to go home four times a year. Alternatively, IEPs can be adjusted through the normal revision process, or IEPs can be updated throughout the year as meetings occur. The most important understanding is to maintain effective communication with parents.

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