Interpreting the Secondary School Provincial Report Card: Part 1

This fall you can expect a newly revised report card from your child’s school. The Ontario Ministry of Education is using new Elementary Progress Report Cards and Elementary and Secondary Provincial Report Cards in all of its public schools. One provincial report card for Grades 9 to 12 will be used for both Catholic and public schools. For semestered schools, the report card will include the first and final reports for a semester. For non-semestered schools, it will include the report for each of the first and second terms, as well as a final report for the year.


On the first two pages of the Secondary Provincial Report Card ( the student’s courses are listed with the corresponding percentage marks for each course. The course median, (the percentage mark at which 50% of students in the course have a higher percentage mark and 50% of students have a lower percentage mark), is also recorded here. Beside this, the student’s learning skills and work habits are recorded – these include: responsibility, organization, independent work, collaboration, initiative, and self- regulation. The student’s development of the six learning skills is represented by the following letter symbols: E – Excellent; G – Good; S – Satisfactory; N – Needs Improvement. A detailed descriptor for each learning skill is outlined on page 3 of the report card.


Next to the learning skills chart, under the heading ‘Comments’, there is space for teachers to provide observations and/or anecdotes regarding the student’s achievement of curriculum expectations. The comments should encompass the student’s learning, strengths and next steps for improvement. Rather than selecting from a prepared set of standard comments, the Ministry is encouraging school boards and teachers to provide opportunities to create personalized comments for report cards.


New to the provincial report cards this year is a tear-off section for students to include comments about their own progress. Students are encouraged to reflect on “[their] best work” and “[their] goal for improvement”. Students are expected to sign the document, have a parent/guardian acknowledge receipt of the report card (along with a request for dialogue with the teacher if necessary), and return it to school administrators.


Stay tuned for a follow-up blog with more details about report cards and the reporting schedule for public schools in Ontario.


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