My Son’s Willows School Report Card

Most of us are familiar with traditional schools and their grading systems “A-F”. To give you an idea of how students are evaluated at a developmental school, I thought I’d share part of my son’s first grade parent-teacher report from The Willows lower school (At the Willows Middle School, students are graded based their class average in each subject).

At The Willows, there are Fall, Mid-Year and Spring parent-teacher conferences. Parents receive written reports detailing their child’s progress for the Fall and Spring conferences. The second parent teacher conference is comprised of a verbal report from the teachers and a review of the child’s in-class work. All three Parent-Teacher conferences also include a review of the child’s test results, in-class work and a discussion of their overall progress.

Here is an example of my son’s first grade Parent-Teacher Report (not including social studies, science, art, music and P.E. or the overall individual assessment).

1st Grade-Spring, 2010

Language Arts: Throughout the school year, the focus of the language arts curriculum has been on acquiring decoding skills in both whole groups and small groups. In the second half of the year, developing reading fluency and comprehension has been our goal. A systematic approach to phonics instruction has provided students with a strong foundation from which they can decode increasingly difficult material. A greater emphasis has been placed on writing during the second half of the year as well, as students learned about the elements of a story and the components of a complete sentence. We’ve also focused more on grammar, learning about parts of speech, including nouns, verbs and adjectives.

Christopher* demonstrates excellent reading skills. He is working to make his reading more fluent and expressive. When Christopher encounters an unfamiliar word, he segments the word into individual sounds, and he is able to “sound switch” with teacher assistance. His developing comprehension skills have allowed him to understand vocabulary and story themes. Christopher incorporates conventional spelling in his writing, adds details to all writing assignments and is learning how to utilize the conventions of punctuation and grammar.

Math: Christopher loves math and enjoys solving problems. He is able to solve addition and subtraction number stories, use <,> and = signs appropriately, recognize geometric shapes and sort and identify attributes. Christopher knows how to exchange money and calculate combinations with pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. He can distinguish time to the hour, half hour and the quarter hours. Christopher is able to measure objects, understand odd and even numbers, and demonstrate an understanding of place value. He continues to learn strategies for more complex addition and subtraction problems. Christopher is able to communicate his thought process for solving problems orally.

* Name changed for privacy

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Christina Simon: Los Angeles, California, United States I'm the mom of two kids who attended The Willows School in Culver City and Viewpoint School in Calabasas. My daughter is a graduate of Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism ('23) and my son is a sophomore at UPenn/Wharton ('26). I live in Coldwater Canyon with my husband, Barry, and our dogs. Contact me at

2 thoughts to “My Son’s Willows School Report Card”

  1. this is VERY helpful. we are considering a progressive school and i find this example so illuminating. THANK YOU, Christina!

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