Assessment/Accountability

Distribution of 2017 School and District Report Cards

To:District Title I Directors
Copy:Assistant Superintendents
From:Carrie Conaway, Chief Strategy and Research Officer
Date:December 11, 2017

This memorandum provides information about the distribution of school and district report cards for the 2017-18 school year. Report cards are now available on our School and District Profiles website and should be distributed to families by the end of January 2018.

Background

The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires districts to annually prepare and distribute school and district report cards to the parents/guardians of all children enrolled in district schools. These report cards must contain information about teacher quality, assessment, and accountability for the district and its schools, and are important tools for sharing school and district information with families and the general public. Since 2007, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) has prepared school and district report cards that contain all federally required elements, and has made them available to districts and the general public via our School and District Profiles website.

Information that must accompany report cards

In addition to the report cards themselves, federal law requires that certain information be communicated to families of children enrolled in a district's schools. This information must include, at a minimum:
  • The accountability and assistance level of the child's school
  • The reason for the level designation and an explanation of what the level designation means
  • For Level 2 to 5 schools, an explanation of the school and/or district improvement activities the district has initiated to increase performance in those schools, and how parents/guardians can become involved in school and district improvement activities
  • For Title I schools, information about right-to-know requirements regarding the professional qualifications of the student's classroom teacher(s)
To assist districts in communicating this information to families, we have posted a sample parent/guardian notification to our report cards web page. This customizable notification may serve as a cover letter to the report card or report card overview.

Accessing report cards

The School and District Profiles website home page contains a search tool that allows users to find an individual school or district's report card or report card overview. Users can also access report cards by finding the organization's profile on our School and District Profiles website and clicking the Accountability tab. Links to the report card and report card overview will appear to the left of the organization's accountability report.

Distribution requirements and timeline

We ask that school report cards be distributed to parents/guardians of all students enrolled in district schools by the end of January 2018. Districts may choose to distribute the two-page school report card overview to parents, which includes a link to the school's full report card, rather than the full multi-page report card. Where possible, ESE encourages districts to distribute report card information electronically. In addition, each district and school should prominently display or link to its report cards on its website. Detailed information about how to prepare and distribute the 2017 report cards is available on our report cards web page.

2018 report card redesign

Beginning in 2018, ESSA requires that school and district report cards contain information that is not included on our current report cards. As we prepare to redesign these reports to meet the new requirements, we would like to know what information you think would be most valuable on a school or district report card. We ask that you take a few minutes to respond to our report card redesign survey, and encourage you to distribute the survey link to families, teachers, and other stakeholders. Please direct questions about school and district report cards to esea@doe.mass.edu or 781-338-3550. Additional information is available on our report cards web page. Thank you for your attention to this important means of providing families data about your district and its schools.



Last Updated: December 11, 2017



 
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