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Report cards are coming and they look different?!

Education
8 min read
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The first report card is coming in December. If your child is in Grade 5 or higher, it’s going to look quite different because letter grades will no longer be given for children in grades K-9 and will only be given out in grades 10-12.

We reached out to the Ministry of Education and Child Care to get some details to share with you about these changes.

What is Student Reporting?

Student reporting is the assessment and communication of student learning to students, parents, and caregivers. Every student in B.C. receives communications from the school throughout the school year that provide parents, caregivers, and students with information about student learning. The way teachers and schools communicate student learning, and the format of traditional report cards are shifting

In 2016 the Ministry of Education and Child Care began implementing a redesigned provincial curriculum that is flexible, focuses on literacy, numeracy, and the First Peoples Principles of Learning, and supports deeper learning through concept-based and competency-driven education. This educational shift to how and what students learn in the classroom requires a corresponding change to student reporting policies and practices.

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The goal of communicating student learning is to ensure that:

  • Students are engaged in meaningful conversations that help them develop responsibility for engaging deeply with their learning 
  • Parents and caregivers are well informed, involved in dialogue about their child’s learning, and understand ways to support and further student learning  
  • Teachers provide timely and meaningful communication with students, parents, and caregivers 

Why is student reporting changing?

It began with the curriculum redesign. When you were in school, were you asked to memorize information and repeat it on a test, only to forget it soon after? We now know learning is not just memorizing – it’s being able to use what we know and apply it in real-world settings. Universities, colleges, and employers today care more about how students think than how many facts they can repeat. 

The learning students do today is more complex than ever. British Columbia redesigned the provincial curriculum to respond to the needs of today’s learners. The curriculum continues to give your child a strong foundation in reading, writing, and math. But it also teaches your child how to think, communicate, solve problems, and use their knowledge in ways that both matter in school and will matter in a rapidly changing future. 

The new curriculum has been in place in all grades since 2019, but report cards and the way student learning is communicated haven’t really changed for decades. Report cards are now changing to align with the curriculum and to help ensure that every student in the province is set up for success in their learning.

The policy is backed by Research

Meaningful Communication
Researchers stress the importance of ongoing and timely communication with parents and caregivers. Effective communication between home and school has a positive impact on student learning and engagement.

Student Self-Assessment
Student self-assessment leads to an increase in student confidence in their abilities, greater responsibility for their own learning, greater student satisfaction.

Focus on Proficiency
Today’s classroom is different from when you were in school. You may remember working only from textbooks or worksheets. Students now learn and show their learning in a variety of ways. Assessment that focuses on learning rather than just marks, leads to increased student engagement.

Formative Assessment
Globally, there is a shift toward assessment practices that clearly tells students where they’re at in their learning and how to move them forward. Rather than just providing information on what learning has happened in the past.

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What is my child being taught and assessed on? 

Areas of learning

The areas of learning are the subjects your child will be taught from Kindergarten through Grade 12. These include English Language Arts, Français langue premiere, or Français langue seconde, as well as: 

• Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies (shop, foods, accounting, computer programming, etc.) 

• Arts Education (dance, drama, music, art, etc.) 

• Career Education • Languages (First Nations Languages’, French, and other languages) • Math

• Physical and Health Education 

• Science (life science, environmental science, physics, etc.) 

• Social Studies (BC First Peoples, law, world history, 

• Francophone history and culture, etc.) 

All areas of learning are important for developing educated citizens. What your child is learning at a particular time will depend on the time of year and the schedule your child’s school uses. 

Learning Standards

Each area of learning has learning standards that lay out what your child should know, be able to do, and understand. The learning standards are what your child is taught at each grade level and what they are assessed on for their report cards. 

Core Competencies

The Core Competencies are integrated into all areas of learning. They are the communication, thinking, and social skills your child needs to be successful now and in the future. 

Students are not assessed by teachers on the Core Competencies. Instead, your child’s written report cards will include their self-reflections on the Core Competencies and their goal setting for learning

What will my child’s report card look like?

  • information on how your child is doing in each area of learning 
  • written comments (descriptive feedback) on your child’s strengths and areas they need to work on, as well as their work habits and behaviour 
  • information on the communication, thinking, and social skills that your child needs to be successful (Core Competencies) and your child’s goal setting 
  • information about your child’s attendance

What about the Provincial Proficiency Scale?

If your child is in Grades K-9, you won’t see letter grades on their report card. Instead, you will see information on where your child is on the Provincial Proficiency Scale. The scale uses the terms “Emerging,” “Developing,” “Proficient,” and “Extending” to describe student learning. The scale maintains high standards for student learning.

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What is Descriptive Feedback?

Descriptive feedback is the written comments you will see on your child’s report card. Descriptive feedback is valuable for all students in all grades, from Kindergarten to Grade 12. 

In Grades K- 9, your child may get a “Proficient” in math and a “Developing” in English. At first glance, you might assume that your child is “good” at math and “bad” at English. But this isn’t the case. All students have both strengths and areas they are still working on. 

In Grades 10-12, letter grades and percentages alone won’t provide the whole picture of who they are as a learner. This is where descriptive feedback comes in. 

In K-12, Teachers will give you written feedback that clearly explains what your child can do. It will also tell you what your child needs to work on to move forward in their learning.

How will I be informed of my child’s behaviour and work habits? 

Your child’s marks (on the proficiency scale, or letter grades and percentages) reflect their learning in each area. The written comments is where you will find information on your child’s work habits and behaviours. 

Grading and reporting are not disciplinary tools. For example, students can’t lose 10% of their grade for not bringing gym clothes to class, and they can’t have marks taken away as a punishment for being late. 

But behaviour in school is still important. If a student does not attend or participate in class, it will be difficult for teachers to assess their learning and provide them with a mark. 

What are the self-assessment of Core Competencies and goal setting components?

Our world is constantly changing. It’s still important for students to learn facts and information, but it’s also important for students to learn how to think, communicate, and interact with others. This is where the Core Competencies come in. The Core Competencies are part of BC’s curriculum, so every day your child goes to school, they will be building these skills. 

Self-reflection and goal setting are important life skills for students to learn from the earliest age. These skills will help them succeed both in school and in their future, including in the workplace. Self Reflection and goal setting will help your child understand themselves better, work toward and meet their goals, and celebrate their successes.

If you have questions about the changes coming to student reporting in BC, please reach out to the ministry via email at student.reporting@gov.bc.ca or visit curriculum.gov.bc.ca

For more specific questions about report cards, you can connect with your child’s teacher, principal, or school district staff. They will be able to provide you with information about what reporting looks like in your child’s school or school district.

Source: https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/sites/curriculum.gov.bc.ca/files/pdf/reporting/k-12-student-reporting-webinar-series-presentation-slides.pdf

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