Academics and Programs

Academic Overview

Student Testing and Assessment
At Bancroft, it is our goal to know each of our students as learners in all academic areas. Students will engage in a number of assessments throughout the year that will provide us with the best information about the instructional plans that need to be devised for students. The goal of assessment is two-fold: 1) to give teacher(s) information about what a students knows and does not know to inform instruction and 2) to give the school and our stakeholders information about the effectiveness of our program. The matrix below* provides information about the myriad of assessments that will take place this school year. Assessment is critical to ensuring that every student succeeds academically.

*Please see the PDF version of the handbook for the matrix describing assessments.

Homework is designed to reinforce the day’s lesson either by practicing skills or using new skills in different contexts.  Homework assignments are designed to be developmentally appropriate for each grade level and to help students reinforce and review skills and concepts taught in class.  In addition, all students are expected to read at home on a daily basis.

Parents/guardians and other adult family members must encourage and monitor their child’s completion of homework.  This means having a nightly routine for homework.  Children should have a special, quiet, well-lit place to do their homework each night.  Parents should offer assistance as needed, and make sure that homework is returned to school the following morning.  However, parents/guardians should not complete their child’s homework assignment for them.  If a student cannot complete an assignment without assistance, families should contact the teacher so that he or she can re-teach the concepts.  Homework assignments will be given in both English and Spanish.  

Promotion and Retention
Promotion will be based on students meeting grade-level standards and will be determined by a student’s assessment information, teacher recommendation, and principal approval.  Students who are at risk of not being promoted will be identified during the third quarter, and a conversation with each student’s family will take place in April.  All students who are candidates for retention will receive additional academic support and be closely monitored.  Final decisions may be made as late as June as to what is most appropriate for the child and the circumstances.  If it is recommended that a student be retained, then the classroom teacher, principal and family will meet to discuss how the upcoming year will offer the student different and sufficient supports to ensure the student’s success.

Special Education and Inclusion 
We value the diversity of all members of our community.  Our strong belief is that all students, including those with disabilities, can achieve at high levels.  We also believe that all students benefit from the inclusion of students with disabilities in the general education classroom.  Our special education program is designed to provide access to our student with disabilities through Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and 504 Plans.  The goals of the inclusion program are to identify students with disabilities through a rigorous and timely referral, evaluation and eligibility process; and to provide excellent services to students with disabilities so that they may meet their IEP goals.  

The inclusion team is comprised of the special education coordinator, inclusion teachers, social workers, speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and a psychologist.  These team members collaborate with general educators to provide students with disabilities the necessary instructional environment, tools and support to access the general education curriculum.

Report Cards
Students receive standards-based progress reports that include information about literacy, math, science, social studies, work habits and social skills, music, art and health/physical education each quarter. At Parent-Teacher conferences you will receive an update on your child’s progress.

Student Records
Families can review their children’s school records and request copies if desired.  Written requests for student records must be submitted to Bancroft’s front office.  Please allow 24 hours for your request to be processed.   

Families must view records under the supervision of the school office personnel and may not remove records from the school office.  For more information see the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act in the Appendix.

Fieldtrips are an important part of the curriculum.  Fieldtrips may consist of a trip to the local library, a visit to a museum, or a trip to a building, park, organization, or historic site.  Parents/guardians give permission on the enrollment form kept on file for students to walk to the local public library and nearby playgrounds and parks.  
Teachers will send home specific permission slips for any trips outside the immediate neighborhood.  Students who have not returned signed permission slips from their parent/guardian will not be allowed to go on the fieldtrip.    Occasionally, there may be an additional cost for special fieldtrips (e.g. entrance fee).  Please notify the teacher or principal if you are unable to afford the cost.  In such cases, financial assistance may be available. 
Bancroft teachers and administration expect excellent behavior during fieldtrips.  If a teacher feels that a student’s behavior compromises the student’s safety or the safety of others, the teacher will not allow the child to go on the trip or may not allow the child to go without a responsible adult (e.g. parent/guardian or other family member) to oversee the child.  Bancroft encourages family members to volunteer as chaperones.  Teachers, however, may limit the number of family members who may attend.