This week in the Toronto District School Board, report cards will be sent home with students. As formats have changed several times over the years, here are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Elementary School Reports.
Why don’t all the strands in Math have a mark?
There are 5 strands, or topics, in Mathematics. Some strands are taught during the first and second reporting period, and some are only taught during one. Teachers need to report on 4 out of 5 strands each report, and will usually leave one blank. It will be taught between now and the end of the year.
My child has an IEP- why isn’t that box ticked in some subjects?
The IEP box is only ticked in subjects where your child’s IEP includes modifications of the provincial expectations. If your child has accommodations, such as longer writing time, scribing, access to technology, etc., this does not change the expectations they are achieving, and therefore isn’t indicated next to their marks.
What are ‘Learning Skills’?
Educators realize that there are essential skills which have a great impact on student success, and this section of the report allows teachers to communicate how students are using and developing these skills. They include Responsibility, Organization, Collaboration, Independent Work, Initiative, and Self-Regulation. While “Needs Improvement” and “Excellent” don’t always correspond with lower or higher grades, there can be a strong pattern. This can be used for parents to see what specific classroom skills can be improved upon to help all subjects.
What is the student comment section for?
There is a box where children can comment on achievements and goals for improvement. This is a useful process and can ignite meaningful conversation between parents and children about learning. It should be signed and returned to the school.
While marks are a quick indicator of how your child is progressing, spend time to read the teacher comments as well, and have a discussion with your child about their learning. This is a good opportunity to acknowledge success and hard work, and set goals for improving other subjects before the end of the school year.
For more information about assessment and Ontario Provincial Report Cards, Read the ‘Growing Success’ document on Ontario Assessment and Achievement: http://bit.ly/dwPEsE
For information on individualized learning plans or academic support, contact Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space at (416) 925-1225 or visit www.ruthrumack.com.