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Thread: Secular Confessions

  1. #43531
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    Kinda quiet in here again.....

    What's going on? I'm getting pretty close to having my letter ready. I have this at the end "Thank you again for taking the time to learn more about us. We wish you the best of luck in whatever path you choose."

    I would like to say something along the lines of looking forward to meeting and getting to know you....because it will likely be an open adoption and I don't want to make it seem like we are just trying to get the baby and not care about her. But I don't know how to word it and fit in.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  2. #43532
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    I'm just overwhelmed with work and school and I've been feeling awful lately because I have been having such severe foot pain from plantar fasciitis that I can barely walk and I also did a really stupid thing by trying to stop some of my other medications for my GI issues, thinking I was doing pretty well in general, and I keep getting worse and worse and I've been tending to collapse on the couch in misery when I'm not actively doing something.

    Last night I got back the homework and test from the twins' first week in school. They told me they did great, but they each got 92% on the spelling test and got marked down for a ton of stuff on the sentence writing on the back. They capitalized random letters, didn't put enough space between their words, forgot a period at the end of a sentence, left a "g" off of the word "egg," etc. The teacher had been reading sentences to them and they were supposed to write the sentences down as he read them. DD got a B+ and DS got a C. I pulled out the sheets from their homework folder and saw the grades and was holding them up by the corner with my fingertips, just stunned. DH said, "Take it easy, Tiger Mom." It's not so much the actual grades--just that I thought they were doing so well. DH said that B+ is doing pretty well.

    You might think their teacher is a complete nitpicky hard*** in person, but my kids love him and think he's wonderful. He is really nice. I guess this just goes back to the Core Curriculum discussion from New Moms and the emphasis on writing. I will need to pay more attention during homework time on correcting punctuation and capitalization mistakes in addition to content and spelling.

    I love and miss all of you guys. Sorry I haven't been keeping up very well.

    Jennifer, maybe say something like "Respecting the level of openness and contact you desire is important to us." If you google "best adoption letters," it is very easy to see what other people have put and find ways to fit that in with how you feel. At least the example I put is how I would say it.


  3. #43533

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    Honestly, L, I am shocked they are even graded like that. But I'm sure no one is surprised by my shock. It's just so much pressure so young. I am sorry you are feeling so miserable. Any relief in sight?

  4. #43534
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
    Honestly, L, I am shocked they are even graded like that. But I'm sure no one is surprised by my shock. It's just so much pressure so young. I am sorry you are feeling so miserable. Any relief in sight?
    My district doesn't use letter grades at all in elementary. They do grade, but it's a simple meets/exceeds/approaches expectations. If they did, though, a B would be equivalent to meeting expectations - and what is wrong with that? Certainly nothing to worry over. Please don't be like my sister who, after my niece got a 99% on a test, asked her teacher what her daughter needed to do to improve her grades. This was also in elementary school.

    I've been knocked out by a cold bug. Nasty thing. One month back in the classroom and I'm sick as a dog. I stayed home Friday and Monday, and went back today. Not happily, but I didn't want to get overwhelmed with make-up sessions. And perhaps the fact that I had to turn in my mileage form today if I wanted to get paid for last month may have gone some way to persuade me. I've just been feeling mentally exhausted from it, so even while reading along I'm not always making the extra effort to reply.

    I was sick so much less when I had the eval job than I ever was when I was in the classroom. I hope this isn't an indication of things to come.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  5. #43535

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    It sounds like careless mistakes. Are they usually pretty good about punctuation and using capital and lowercase letters? Do they normally know how to spell egg? I'd talk to them about going over their work before they turn it in. Josh makes mistakes like that when he goes too fast. I wouldn't be too alarmed right now. Aren't they only in first grade or are they older than I thought?

    I'm sorry you and Mandy are sick Josh has his annual cold sore and a cold. It's always just in time for school pictures! LOL

  6. #43536

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    We went to an amazing beach today on lake Michigan. It was an hour and half away but so worth it. 5 hour they played and I still had to drag them out.

    Savana is writing a book about creatures she is inventing (inspired by HP and Spiderwick, no doubt) and it's very cool. However, she gets so offended and hurt when I correct her spelling! We compromised that I will make a list of words that I see her misspellings and give it to her without a word. Lol. She is fiercely independent in her learning. I love That about her but it can be frustrating too.

  7. #43537
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    Sorry, I should have been more clear. The homework itself wasn't graded. I was just supposed to go over it and initial it. They had a spelling test and a dictation test in school, where they had to write a couple of sentences that the teacher spoke. They each got a 92% on the spelling test and the sentences were marked up on the dictation part of the test, for the C and B+ overall grades.

    They did know all of their spelling words. We practiced all week. Each of them made mistakes just due to being rushed or not thinking. R. left an entire word out of his dictated sentence. He's also been taking too much time trying to write his lower-case a's like the 'a' you see right here on your screen, instead of a printed a. All fancy and stuff.

    And no, I'm not going to complain about their grades, and I certainly wouldn't ask anyone to change anything. I was just in shock for the fact that they were graded (I wasn't expecting it this early, or to get letter grades either) and that they were not getting "AMAZING!" written all over their stuff, considering that I thought they were well ahead of expectations for scholastic abilities. They are just in the second week of first grade. We've never really worked a whole lot on capitalization or punctuation before. They are just starting to learn about rules right now. They know about capital letters and they know what punctuation marks are, but I have always focused more on content and production of written work, spelling second, and finally making sure the letters are legible, essentially uniform, understandable and hopefully facing the right direction when they do write.

    Honestly, I don't care if they get into an Ivy League school eventually. In fact, I'd probably prefer they don't unless it's super-important to them for some reason and they can get scholarships. I don't care if they go to college, if instead they can find good trades that will support them. I don't need them to have 100% in school. I do know that now I will need to pay more attention to helping them perfect their homework--ie understand what they still need to learn and what they are doing well. It's so hard. Today R. spent about 45 minutes playing with pencils instead of doing his homework.

    And C. told me that a boy in her class has been asking her to sit on his face, or sit on his hand during class. And another boy has been lying down on R. We had a long discussion before I started reading to them tonight. Neither of them were bothered by these things.

    I did find a fun website, spellingcity.com, which allows you to enter in the entire week's spelling words and they can play games or take spelling tests on a computer, phone, or tablet, and it's an easy way to practice spelling words. FYI. I've been entering in the spelling words for the week and sending the link to other parents in the class.


  8. #43538
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    This is not the same thing at all, but it reminds me. After I started school here in 11th grade, I got nothing but excellent grades for my paper. Until my 'Writing for the sciences' class ( taught by a quirky, brilliant man, a relative of Oppenheimer). My first paper, I got a C+. I was mortified, injured, thought the professor was an ass - until I read his critique. At which point, I concluded that he was entirely fair. That one class probably did more for my writing than all the other ones, put together.

    I can't remember if I've mentioned before, but I've been part of a dog group for a dozen years. Great group of dog people, and just generally good human beings. I finally get a chance to meet two of the members (I've met one before, but it has been years) today! Super excited!

  9. #43539
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    That is really exciting! Yay for a meet-up! Even if it isn't with me.

    Your story made me think of my dad. He was a college physics professor, and he has many times told a story of a graduate student who had just come here from India and taken his first test, and my father gave him a C. Apparently he complained to my father that he had an honors degree from his university in India and had never received a grade below A in his life. My father pointed out there was a first time for everything. (He did also provide an explanation, like your teacher did. My dad is actually a really good teacher at the college level. He tutored me through my acoustics class in college).
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  10. #43540

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    That's exciting Suja! Have fun!

    I see where you're coming from, L. I would be surprised too that they were getting graded so early on. I think that is pretty good that they can write down something that was dictated to them. I don't think Josh has had to do anything like that.

    I made my first batch of home made candles yesterday! It was fun and easy but it does not go a long way. 14 oz. of wax flakes made 4 tea lights and two bigger candles in glass containers. DH is thrilled that I've finally got a hobby and wants to help me look for the supplies in bulk.

    That spelling website sounds neat!

    I wonder what that boy has been watching at home...I'd be disturbed by that.

  11. #43541
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    Thanks for the web site on the spellings, L. I'll use that one.

    Suja, I hope you had fun meeting with your friends.

    I had last Friday off as a study day and tomorrow is the same, so last week, I dropped Travis at school instead of taking him to breakfast club. He actually cried when I left him in the classroom. He never cries at breakfast club. Tonight, I excitedly told him that I'd be taking him to his classroom again instead of breakfast club and I could tell that he wasn't happy about it. I miss taking him to his class, saying hi to the teachers and having a quick catch up with the other moms, so to me, this time off was a good way for me to do what I used to do. But Travis is happier to stick to his new routine of going to breakfast club and having them walk him through to his classroom, so I agreed with him that I would just drop him at the club as usual instead of taking him to class. Gosh, these kids grow up too fast.

    I found out my school placement today. I'll be working in an inner city school with lots of different cultural backgrounds and lots of English as an additional language kids. It's going to be a challenge, but worth the experience. I also have a 1,000 word essay that I need to be working on, so I'm limiting my online time. I'm sure I'll be lurking in the background, though, if our thread starts up and running again.

  12. #43542

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    L, I wanted to thank you too, because the same day you mentioned the website, Josh came home with spelling words. Today I plugged them into the website and showed it to him when he got home. He enjoyed all the games.

    Tonight we had open house at his school. His teacher and the assistant seemed nice. I did appreciate it that she specifically said not to make a big deal out of homework. She said it should take 20 minutes tops and not to fight with them about doing it, and if they have any problems to let her know.

    Good luck at your school, Ash

  13. #43543
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    Ash, you will learn a lot in that placement! I hope you enjoy it.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  14. #43544
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    Hope you have fun with your placement, Ash. I'm sure you'll learn a lot.

    The get together was good. Unfortunately, it was 95 degrees and humid, and the person from Alaska kind of got sick, so she had to leave early. So, I hung out with the other person, had lunch, oohed over her 15 month old, and generally had fun.

    Today was back to school night here, and we didn't get home until 9. Think I'm going to end up being a room parent once again. But, this batch look like they might actually participate in the classroom activities.

  15. #43545

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    Quiet around here I see! Hello all and hope you all are doing well. Suja, I hope you aren't around the naval base that was shot up, so sick of all these shootings.

  16. #43546
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    Yes, Suja, hope you're well! Each one of the mass shootings in the US usually shake me up.

    Very busy here with course work and taking care of the kids. Oh, well, I can share about today actually because both boys did not have good days. They went to bed late because we got home late and Travis needed to do his homework. He took soooo long to do his homework because he pays attention to every.single.detail! The lack of sleep had a knock on effect. Cash went to nursery and was moody and argumentative with the staff. Travis was moody as well, tried to hit a 10 year old girl who was doing lunch monitor duty and then had a wee accident after lunch! He's never done that at school!

    I had a talk with him about making sure he goes at playtime and lunchtime because he has a habit of leaving it til he's desperate. He was scared to ask the teacher because he wanted to do his writing before he went to the bathroom, so I e-mailed the teacher. She said she'll go over the rules with all the kids tomorrow. I think she understands that it's a big change from kindgergarten. Poor little Travis was so tired. He said about trying to hit the girl that he just wanted to go outside, but she made him go back to the table to help tidy up (that's the rule) and he said, "the voice in my head just told me to hit her." LOL. I feel for him. He was tired, but he knows he never should hit anybody.

    Any ways. I'll get back to school work. I have to print off paper work to renew Travis' passport as well. We're off to Scotland to visit the embassy (and to vacation) at the end of October!

  17. #43547
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    Erin! We've missed you. How are the kids doing?

    Ash, what a day! Poor Travis. He was probably just really out of sorts. Let's hope he has a better day tomorrow.

    Jealous of a trip to Scotland.

    I'm feeling grumpy because I took two days off work due to a cold and I've been running around making up the sessions I missed when I was out. It's not that much of a big deal, but one of the schools I go to is just icky to deal with and they're making me crazy. I missed last Monday because I was sick, the Monday before that was Labor Day and no school, and the Monday before that he was out sick. They're acting like I'm avoiding seeing him. Seriously, people - I scheduled a make-up session this week to make up for last week. Seeing him twice this week, and the next two mondays, will make it four times in September, which is exactly the amount of time I am supposed to give him. No harm done, seriously. Stop acting like I'm a deadbeat (okay, they didn't act that way - but I'm reading between the lines and I feel like they are thinking it).
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  18. #43548

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    Josh got his first homework and a little project to do today. He had to do some quick math problems and copy his spelling words. For his project he has to bring in some things about himself to share with the class. He had to draw a picture of one of his favorite places and I suggested his grandmother's house. He said "That's a good idea" and I came back to look at it when he was done and he had drawn a picture of us on the Disney cruise

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    Aww. That's sweet.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  20. #43550
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    Nowhere near there, fortunately. Just sick of all the mass shootings. We'll just close our eyes and pretend this country doesn't have a problem with gun violence, of course.

    Poor Travis! It's tough, being tired, and not being old enough to know how to deal with the accompanying grumpiness.

    Weren't you worried Josh didn't enjoy the cruise?

    Mandy, ya slacker, quit making excuses!

  21. #43551

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    Kids are doing well. Ky is settling in well with his new middle school schedule. Elle is enjoying pre-k. Her teacher told her, in front of the other kids that she is the smartest child in both pre-k classes, which I didn't like. Nor did DH. I thought it was uncalled for and could potentially make other kids tease her or not like her or make her dumb herself down or something. I am still kind of upset that she didn't get to go to kindy this year because her preschool last year covered everything for pre-k but I was getting used to it until Elle told me that. Now I am worried again that she is not being stimulated so I will have to find more time to explore her interest.

    She said recently that she wants to be an astronaut who bakes bread and cakes in space to see how they will cook in zero gravity so I am thinking of doing some exploration of space with her via a science center and some books. If you all have any book suggestions, let me know.

    Ash that is too cute about why Travis hit the lunch monitor even though I also know he shouldn't I would probably have giggled about that one!

    And L I totally understand the writing woes you speak of with the twins. Ky failed his 5th grade writing assessment last school year even though he is an excellent writer when it comes to creativity. He is a poor speller though and I wish I had been more of a stickler when he was younger.

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    Oh, I would have been angry, too, to hear a teacher say that. Although I have no doubt it's true! I love her idea of baking cakes in space. She is awesome.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  23. #43553

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    Baking a cake in space, that's awesome!

    I'm so sick of these shootings, too. So sad. And he was working there! Interested to find out the motive, so far I've heard no speculation.

    Mandy, that's frustrating. Hopefully in time everyone will forget about the bad timings!

    I'm in the midst of another IUI cycle. We're being really aggressive this time, and I find myself thinking that maybe it might actually be possible this cycle. And then, surprisingly, I find myself thinking "What if it does???". I think I'm adjusting to the idea of life with an only child, and now thinking that maybe one day I'll have a second is turning my world upside down again. Maybe I'm finally nearing the point where I'll be emotionally ready to give up on a second kid? Between that and the horrendous headaches I get from the Menopur, this may be my last attempt! It's kind of nice, in a way.



  24. #43554
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    Good luck, Janet. I hope it works out for you, but it is nice to know you can accept the outcome either way.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  25. #43555

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    Janet, it sound like you are in a good place. Happy for you. I can't believe you have to deal with horrendous headaches! I get them on occassion and they are debilitating to me. I'd almost rather any other pain.

    Erin! I miss you so much around here. Glad to hear the kids are doing well. I am shocked that a teacher would say that! How totally inappropriate!

    We have been having a lot of exciting adventures and I keep thinking when winter comes, if we are stuck inside, my kids might go crazy and I'll be on that train right along with them! Although, it looks like next week we are going to have record high temps for Sep so don't have to worry quite yet.

  26. #43556
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    Janet, I have been missing you! S. was just asking about having another playdate with you all the other day. I'm excited and hopeful for you.

    DH is out of the country for a brief while, just as we found a crack pipe in our front yard last week, two neighbors a block away were robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight last weekend, and a body full of bullets was dumped in the super-ritzy neighborhood half a mile away yesterday. The neighbors who were mugged were actually being really careful. They got home, checked to make sure nobody was around before getting out of the car, made sure keys were in hand, got up to the house, started unlocking the door, and a couple of guys jumped out from the bushes. The friend, who was still in the car with the engine running to make sure she got in the house safely, opened the door for her as she ran back down the steps and tried to get inside. The guys chased after her and pulled a gun before she could get away.

    It is feeling like no matter how many precautions we take, there is still a lot of violence and crime and it will probably happen no matter what. It's just a matter of time.

    My kids got 100% on their spelling tests last week and did not get the letter grades on their sentences, just smiley faces. There were still case errors and a missing letter, but no C or B+. I wonder if someone said something. Tomorrow is back to school night and I'll get a chance to talk to the teacher. Our teacher is the only teacher who was giving grades, to my knowledge.

    I got an injection in my foot this morning and it seems to already be helping. I'm very happy.

    Okay, have to get back to work.


  27. #43557
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    Wow, L that sounds really scary. I'm sorry that the neighborhood and people are like that. Glad that the injection is helping...was it steroids? I think my parents have each done that. I get issues with heel spurs every so often....usually takes about 9 months to go away and really kind of sucks. Found out that I have flat feet a few years ago and was told to not go walking around barefoot. So I pretty much always wear shoes or slippers that have a thicker sole and at least a little support. That seems to help. That and foot stretches before getting out of bed.

    I just read something about the Milwaukee school district is doing away with letter grades for k-8. MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The state's largest school district is doing away with letter grades for its K-8 and elementary schools, in favor of a system of broader evaluation.
    A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report says Milwaukee Public Schools will offer an updated report card. It will identify the skills students need to master in each grade level. Letter grades will be replaced with an AD for advanced, PR for proficient, BA for basic and MI for minimal.
    Some skeptics accuse MPS of eliminating letter grades to blur the line of failing students. MPS spokesman Tony Tagliava says students are still graded, but just without traditional grades.
    Feedback about a student's work habits, behavior and effort are separated into a different measure, rated on a scale of 1 to 4.


    Um, not sure how I feel about that.

    HI Erin!

    Janet, I have fingers crossed for you! The emotional roller coaster is so hard and especially being back and forth.


    We have been busy too. Got THE LETTER finished and attached the new family picture. I am meeting up with the social worker tomorrow to turn that it. I also did a page (and duplicate) of Molly for the portfolios. It's a set number of pages we get but I can easily pull out one that doesn't add much and add her next to Cosmo. I figure with the 24 or 26 pages we get, one per dog isn't overdoing it. DH is still really uncertain about this kid thing and if it was up to him alone, wouldn't go for it. But he has been ok with my buying baby stuff last month. I know have a bouncy vibrating seat and baby tub in the closet. If he was really that against, he wouldn't have let me buy stuff. He was the same way about building or buying a house. Just one of those people that is scared of unknowns. Oh I also picked up bedding for a twin bed in the nursery...matches the red in snoopys dog house. Putting a twin bed there in case I want to sleep near a sick baby or we have company or really just a place for me to sit and change diapers and such. I'm just NOT going to be sitting on the floor all the time like I might have thought about 10 years ago, especially in the middle of the night. Never quite pictured myself being an older mom....but looking like it's going to be that way. It's funny...my boss is just a few months younger than my DH....and he's got one kid in college and one starting high school next year.....and here we will be with a new baby hopefully. LOL

    Still just thinking about when to get the room ready. On one hand, I want to do it before a match and not be scrambling last minute. ON the other hand, I don't want it sitting for a year or two. I don't know, maybe that is a good winter project?

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  28. #43558

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    Good luck, Janet!!

    L, that is really scary. I'm sorry you have to feel unsettled in your own neighborhood and home. I didn't jump in on the letter grades convo as I thought everyone else said what I would have, but I'm glad this week there were no letters. Thank goodness your foot is feeling better. I had a bout of plantar fasciitis a few years ago and it was very painful. I got better eventually with consistent use of more supportive shoes and sandals, but I'm sure you are doing that already. I hope the shot gives you continued relief.

    Erin, how great that the kids are doing so well! It is tricky with little ones and smarts. The teacher surely should have been more tactful, though I'm sure she thought she was just giving her a compliment, and obviously she was telling the truth!

    Jennifer, I hope your new letter gets some good results, and fast!
    The letter grades article was interesting. Inge never had letter grades at school until middle school - it was rated 1-4 with the same guidelines as it looks like they're doing there -- needs work, basic understanding, proficient, advanced. I found it very helpful as it geared completely towards mastery of skills. Letter grades to me always seemed more nebulous somehow, though honestly it's really all the same judgements being made by the teachers.
    -- mom to DD1 1/98 and DD2 10/09


  29. #43559
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    I have to wonder if maybe Milwaukee is doing it because they suck. State report cards just came out and they got a failing grade. Something like a 51. When B's district for a 72 I think and mine got a 70 so both are ok.

    But I have always had letter grades...at least that i can remember. So my brain is very trained to strive for that A. B's ok but I want that A. But it sounds like maybe they are still doing that but just would go for the 1 score? So you have only four choices to judge the work and not the five letter grades? Not sure that is any better.

    Advanced, proficient, basic....those sounds like terms that would be used to describe job skills.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  30. #43560

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    Ky's school actually doesn't use letter grades for K-3. They do them only for 3-5 for show. They do have an average for 3-8 (they are only K-6 now but will eventually be K-8) which is based on 100% so one can easily figure out a grade based on their average. I was actually one of the parents who complained about having no grades so they changed it and my concerns were for the kids who are looking to go to competitive high schools or independent schools that our report cards would not really measure everything. So now we have lengthy descriptions of where kids are at, their corresponding grade level, and whether or not they are approaching, meeting, or exceeding expectations on all report cards and the older kids have an average that corresponds to a letter grade. BTW, for some reason I still cannot press "enter" on this site when on a PC and have it make a new paragraph so sorry for the long run-on paragraph. Maybe if I hit space until a new line it will let me so here it goes Did a bunch of space, will see if it works cause it is bugging me.

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