What we are striving for is a better way to communicate with parents in a formal way to talk about the assessment going on in the classroom. This will get a conversation started about supporting your child and their learning in the future, beyond the next term, but with a continuous mindset of learning for success in society and adulthood. It also makes students more involved in the learning they are being asked to participate in; Self-Assessment, which is key in the growth of student learning. In particular, this will look very different in the intermediate grades where, letter grades will not be given (if a parent is unhappy with the conversation and direction of the conferences) then they can ask teachers for letter grades. We have seen that letter grades are arbitrary in the growth of children, summative and once achieved children stop looking at continuous growth and development of learning. Further to the letter grade, is that students do not take ownership of their own learning and growth, thus minimizing the extension of engagement required to go beyond a preconceived mindset of a mark that they deserve. Below are some thoughts about reporting that we are sharing in an attempt to be transparent and let you see what our thinking is.
When reporting to parents we think about:
- Using clear, straightforward language
- Providing information about the growth, progress and achievement of their child
- Outlining specific interventions and supports that are needed and/or enhance the child’s learning
- Helping parents understand the next steps in their child’s learning and development and ways they can further their child’s growth
- Including information about the child as a member of the learning community, their contributions, how they approach learning and that you know and care about their child
Reporting and 3-Way Conferences
Once you have had the conference with your child and teacher, a final report will be sent home to you after spring break. Teachers will make some edits and changes to the report card based on the conversations that have taken place between yourself, your child and teacher during those conferences.
We are working hard to help parent become more engaged in their child’s learning, as we have expressed in previous communications.
- Communicating Redesigned Curriculum :Writing , Reading, Numberacy & SEL (Evening Session staff and parents 2015-16)
- Communicating Mindset , Assessment & Reporting (January 2017)
- Communicating Student Learning Notices #1 to 4 over the past few weeks that came home as notices and on our list-serve
With a new redesigned curriculum and with a change in curricular and core competencies, teachers have a different focus on learning for students, making learners, students, more involved/engaged in the assessment and learning that is going on.
The Ministry of Education is listening to teachers & parents about assessment and reporting. Encouraging us to speak up about better ways to improve and engage students in learning. We are fully aware that with new initiatives there are challenges. As a staff, we have met numerous times to try and improve the way we communicate reporting with parents. We believe that this pilot process is the best way currently to share with parents, their child’s progress and plan to support them for the rest of this year.
Once the conferences are completed, as stated above, reports will be sent home December 22nd when the collaborative is fully completed, report card with all the various inserts in supports of your child’s learning.
We believe that this will be the beginning to a more open dialogue with parents about their child’s learning and ways to support it moving forward. Please understand that at the end of the year, we will be going back to the old report card, as directed to us by the Ministry of Education.
Finally, we will be asking for feedback from parents after the report card conference process. We will be asking parents,
- What did you liked about the reporting process?
- What would you do differently for the reporting process?
- What questions do you still have about assessment and reporting?
Claudio Bortolussi & Chaffey-Burke Staff