Report cards, sometimes called progress reports, provide written records of student performance on curriculum outcomes over a period of time. The School Act states that one of the roles of teachers is to “regularly evaluate students and periodically report the results of the evaluation to the students, the students’ parents and the board” (2000 cS-3 s18(e)). The Guide to Education (2013) states that “The assessment of student progress in relation to outcomes outlined in the programs of study is important…” and “…required for reporting student progress clearly to students and parents.” These two documents provide the legal basis for reporting student performance to both students and parents.
An effective report card is a document that can be easily understood by those for whom it is intended – parents and students. The report card should provide straightforward information about what a student knows and can demonstrate relative to the graded curriculum and what the student needs to do next. Educators have a responsibility to ensure that the judgements reported are an accurate and current reflection of student learning. Elements not related to the curriculum or not reflective of the student’s typical performance must be factored out. The report card should acknowledge actions that need to be taken by partners in learning – student, parents, and teachers.