Nov. 16, 2021
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, students, families, and educators have encountered unprecedented challenges. Disruptions to learning have understandably resulted in increased concerns related to student achievement and well-being. And yet, students, educators and families have demonstrated resiliency and flexibility in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and students have continued to learn and grow.
As we look ahead to the 2021-22 school year (and beyond), we share a commitment to supporting the health and safety, mental health, well-being and achievement of all students. This includes building on the skills and capacity students and educators have gained during the pandemic, both in the classroom and during periods of remote learning. As staff have welcomed students back to school this fall, they have honoured a variety of starting points for learning and continue to be responsive to the needs of all learners. As part of a system-wide commitment to learning recovery and renewal, staff have prioritized student well-being, engagement in learning, and growing meaningful partnerships with families.
Home and school communication is an essential component to learning recovery and student success. On Nov. 17, 2021, your child will receive their first formal “progress report”. The fall progress report card is designed to encourage early and on-going communication between you and your child’s teacher. Teachers’ early assessments and feedback will allow you to understand how well your child is developing learning skills and work habits we know are essential for success. The progress report provides a measure of “progress” for all academic subjects – such as language, math, social studies, science and technology – but instead of assigning a grade or mark, it will tell you how well your child is progressing: “very well”, “well” or “with difficulty”. This early assessment and communication will highlight strengths and areas to improve before evaluations are completed – for example, during end-of-term report cards.
It is important to note that levels of progress do not equate to letter grades of “A, B, C, D” and do not necessarily lead to report card grades in any specific range. As we move through this year, students will continue to access opportunities to practice and develop the knowledge and skills required to achieve the curriculum expectations. If your child receives a “progressing with difficulty” it is our expectation that the teacher would have already contacted you to create a collaborative plan that focuses on next steps and how those steps will be achieved through both home and schools supports.
The progress report is followed by an opportunity for parents/guardians to meet with their child’s educator(s). Parent/Guardian and Teacher interviews provide families with an opportunity to identify additional ways to support their child effectively and help to foster home and school partnerships. When families, educators and caregivers work as partners they develop a meaningful relationship and share valuable communication that can help to grow a student’s sense of trust, belonging, well-being and success as a learner.
Superintendent of Education