Elementary School Grading and Reporting

Find out how we communicate student achievement using the elementary progress report.

FCPS is committed to being a responsive, caring, and inclusive culture where all feel valued, supported, and hopeful. Research tells us that a sense of hope and a sense of belonging are important to student learning.

As we look toward the 2022-23 school year, we remain committed to fostering a responsive, caring, and inclusive culture where all feel valued, supported, and hopeful. While educators, parents, and students may understandably be concerned about the academic impact of learning during the pandemic, we must prioritize the hope and excitement around the possibilities of next year, focusing on student strengths and areas for growth as an ongoing learning opportunity. To that end, as a division, we will favor promotion over retention, and we encourage families to do the same. We will affirm and honor each child’s strengths and challenges as we move forward together in 2022-23.  


The progress report will:

  • Provide parents with comprehensive information about how their child is learning.
  • Align with the Program of Studies (POS) curriculum students are learning.
  • Provide teachers with resources to communicate a more exact and consistent assessment.
  • Provide parents with comprehensive information about how their child is learning.
  • Incorporate research-based best practices in student grading and reporting.
  • Report Life, Work, and Citizenship skills separately from academic achievement.

Progress Reports

Important Information about Elementary Progress Report

A standards-based progress report measures a student’s progress according to how he or she is performing on expected standards.  It provides more detailed information about what a student is learning and can demonstrate in each content area.  It is one form of communication from teachers to parents.

Use in other school systems 

Many districts use a standards-based progress report.  Several area school systems have already implemented or are preparing to use a standards-based progress report.  These systems include Loudoun County, Prince William County, and Montgomery County.

Standards-based progress report vs. traditional progress report

Traditional Progress Report Standards-based Progress Report
Students receive one grade for each subject area. Students will receive multiple marks in each subject area because the subject areas have been broken into broad categories that encompass the standards students are learning.
Students receive grades represented by a letter. Students will receive marks based on a numeric level.
Students’ marks are cumulative. Students’ marks are representative of the student’s progress at the time the teacher marks the progress report.
Teachers can select comments from a list of prewritten choices. In the future, it is anticipated that teachers will have the option to write personalized comments for each student as well as select comments from a list provided.  This option is not yet available.
Students receive marks on effort and work habits Students will still receive marks on effort and work habits. The work habits section includes items from the School Board goals.
Students receive marks in all core content areas and health, music, physical education, art, and band/strings. Students will continue to receive marks in all these areas.  In addition, elementary students receiving instruction in World Languages also will be assessed in this area.

Consistency within and between schools

A standards-based progress report provides more grading consistency both within schools and between schools because teachers use expected standards to grade performance. This eliminates the potential for comparisons within a class to determine a mark.  Teachers will grade only on the standards he or she teaches during a given grading period and whether or not a student has demonstrated that he or she has learned the standard.

Standards on the progress report

These standards are the big ideas that are taught in each content area.  The standards contained in the Commonwealth’s Standard of Learning and in FCPS’ Program of Study are very specific and the set of standards is very comprehensive. If FCPS included all POS standards on the progress report, it would be quite lengthy and not user-friendly for parents.  Instead, FCPS correlated everything taught in our curriculum to standards for reporting to parents.  The progress report standards are the same for all grade levels, K-6.

Numbers on the progress report 

  1 2 3 4
Frequency Seldom Some of the time Most of the time Nearly all the time
Support Considerable Moderate Limit No support
Understanding Limited Partial General Thorough
Errors Frequent Some Few None

Understanding for those schools outside of FCPS

The standards-based progress report contains a legend with a definition for each mark.

Transition to middle school

The transcript of the standards-based progress report will be sent to middle schools when students move from elementary to middle.  Middle schools are not revising their report cards at this time.