Making Report Cards Parent Friendly

Teachers need to find ways to communicate what students know and can do in parent-friendly language. Few parents have the time or the inclination to read excessively long documents, nor do they typically understand the educational language that is used in written curriculum. Parents want to know what their child has achieved, and what the next steps are in furthering their learning.

Helping Parents Understand Performance Standards

Exemplars of student work at various performance levels are an effective way to share standards with parents. Sharing their child’s work alongside exemplars helps them to see their own child’s strengths and areas for improvement.

Video: Using Exemplars

Using Exemplars

Dorothy describes the power of using student work to illustrate standards.

Providing a Meaningful Summary of What Students Know and Can Do

A single mark cannot provide sufficient information about what a student knows and can demonstrate relative to curriculum outcomes. Comments with respect to what the child does well and where additional support may be required provide a more comprehensive picture.

Video: The Value of Comments

The Value of Comments

Janice describes the limitations of a single mark when reporting to students and parents.

Video: Curriculum Based Comments

Curriculum Based Comments

Lois discusses the need to find the right balance with curriculum based report card comments.

Video: Providing Teachers with Illustrative Examples

Providing Teachers with Illustrative Examples

Colin speaks to the work of the district in providing guidance to teachers.

Collecting Consistent Evidence about Student Behavior

Teachers often feel the need to report on other facets of the student as a learner, such as work habits and behavior. Since judgements made with respect to these areas may be somewhat subjective, it is critical to carefully consider the most effective way to communicate this information to parents.

Teachers need to have consistent mechanisms and processes to collect information about student behavior. Students need to be aware of how this information is being collected, and the consequences associated with inappropriate behavior. Concrete evidence must be available to support the judgements that have been made.

Teachers need to be cognizant that report cards are legal documents that may have long lasting impact. It is worth considering that reporting on behavioral issues might be more effectively done through face-to-face conferences with parents rather than through written comments on the report card.

Video: Keeping Performance Separate (Bryan)

Keeping Performance Separate (Bryan)

Bryan describes rubrics that have been developed to assess behavior and effort.

Video: Keeping Performance Separate (Lois)

Keeping Performance Separate (Lois)

Lois explains the categories and rating scale used for personal growth and work habits in her jurisdiction.

Video: Benefits and Limitations of Reporting Behavior/Effort

Benefits and Limitations of Reporting Behavior/Effort

Bryan discusses benefits and limitations of including student behavior on the report card.

Video: Separating Performance From Behavior

Separating Performance From Behavior

Lois describes the challenges of separating performance from behaviour.

Video: The Value of Face-to-Face Interaction

The Value of Face-to-Face Interaction

Colin describes the legal responsibilities associated with reporting behavior.

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