In September, parents felt a sense of excitement to send their children back to school. Let’s face it… almost two years of online learning for students under the age of 12 was HARD. Now that Progress Reports are out, there is a clear aftershock from the affects of the pandemic and online learning. So let’s take a deep breath and dissect that progress report to learn what it really means.
Learning Skills and Work Habits:
Learning skills and work habits are broken up into six categories. With the change of environment and expectations, learning skills and work habits have been tested immensely since the start of school. If your child received some “Needs Improvements”, this does not mean their final Report Card will reflect the initial mark. It means that these are skills they will be focusing on as the year progresses and the student gets back into the groove of school.
Here are some questions that teachers ask when constructing these comments and marks for learning goals.
- Does the child bring what they need and take care of their belongings in class?
- Do they come to class ready to learn?
- Are they able to adhere to COVID protocols?
- Do they take responsibility and try and manage their own behaviour?
- Do they keep their area clean and organized?
- Do they return borrowed materials?
- Do they begin their tasks quickly?
- Are their folders organized?
- Do they use their resources to complete a task?
- Are they able to follow instructions?
- Are they able to complete their work on their own?
- Do they need constant supervision?
- Do they use their time wisely to complete their work?
- Are they kind to their peers?
- Do they try to include others?
- How do they work with their peers?
- Are they interested in learning?
- Do they try new things with a growth mindset?
- Are they eager to help their peers learn?
- Do they ask for help when they need it?
- Do they make good choices?
- Do they try their best?
- Are they able to self-advocate?
Again, these are all skills that will be taught and improved upon as the year progresses. Teachers will include “next steps” that often includes suggestions on how to improve these skills. If and when you meet with your child’s teacher, you can always ask for ways you can help at home.
On progress reports, students can receive one of three letters for each subject:
- V, meaning progressing very well
- W, meaning progressing well
- D, meaning progressing with difficulty
On each subject, you will also see boxes for ESL/ELD, IEP and NA. ESL/ELD means that the student has English as a Second Language or is English Language Development. As a result, achievement is based on expectations that have been modified from the curriculum expectations to ensure their learning needs are met. IEP means Individual Education Plan and again relates to student achievement based on expectations modified from the curriculum. Finally, NA stands for not applicable, meaning that there is no instruction for subject/strand for the current reporting period (i.e. they may not have started dance yet).
It is also important to note, Language (English) on the progress report combines the strands of writing, reading, oral communication and media literacy into one letter. Even if your child is a phenomenal reader (meaning they can read tricky words), they still may receive a progressing with difficulty if their reading comprehension, writing and/or oral communication skills aren’t up to grade level. The most important thing to look at on these report cards is the comments. Teachers will try their best to break down where the child is struggling.
On both the progress report and report card, Mathematics is kept as one grade. There are no broken up strands. Rather the one grade combines, Number, Algebra, Data, Spatial Sense, Financial Literacy, and Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Skills in Mathematics and the Mathematical Processes. Again, even if your child seems to be strong in one area, there are still another 5 areas to report on.
Progress reports aren’t meant to scare you, there meant to show you were your child falls and provide next steps to guide the child to where they need to be.