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Advice on Primary Report Card Formats

The Federation has worked closely with the Primary PSA to develop advice on report card formats for Kindergarten and Primary.

Most school districts are currently holding discussions and making decisions about report card formats that must take effect no later than July 1, 2006. The BCTF previously advised locals to ensure that there is broad teacher input into local decisions about report card formats, and to lobby school boards and district administration to not implement Schedule 2 of the Student Progress Report Order until July 2006 (EC Dec 05).

The new reporting policy applies to K-12, but the most significant changes and serious concerns are at K-3. There are concerns about several aspects of the ministry policy. Overall the policy is not as problematic as some of the optional report card templates provided by the ministry, many of the report card formats developed by districts, and the formats in software programs, such as Report Writer, that are currently being marketed to districts. In addition, BCeSIS provides implicit incentives for districts to adopt report card formats that are antithetical to research and progressive assessment practices.

There is considerable confusion about what is required and not required by ministry policy. School and district administrators are often more familiar with the template examples that the actual policy, and assume that everything in the template is required.

The Federation is therefore providing the following specific advice on report card formats for Kindergarten and Primary (EC Jan 06):

  1. Locals are encouraged to engage in discussions within their school districts about new report card formats for Kindergarten and Primary in order to minimize the negative effects of the ministry’s new reporting policy on Primary children.
  2. Locals and members providing input into district decisions about report card formats for Kindergarten and Primary are advised to ensure that local school board requirements do not go beyond the requirements of ministry policy, M152/05 Student Progress Report Order (Schedule 2).
  3. Locals and members providing input into district decisions about report card formats for Kindergarten and Primary are advised to advocate for the following options that are allowable within ministry policy, M152/05 Student Progress Report Order (Schedule 2):
    1. that student progress be described in words, as allowed in Section 1 Interpretation, rather than on a graph or with a number indicating a level.
    2. that teachers be required to report with respect to social studies and science on no more than two student progress reports each year, as allowed by Schedule 2, Section 4 (3).
    3. that student progress for fine arts, personal planning, physical education, and social responsibility be communicated using written comments only, as allowed by Schedule 2, Section 4 (1) (b) and (c), rather than using performance scales.
    4. that teachers be required to report with respect to the individual areas of fine arts—dance, drama, music, and visual arts—on no more than one student progress report each year, as allowed by Schedule 2, Section 4 (4) (a) through (d).
    5. that teachers have the choice of reporting student progress with reference to the expected developments in a similar age range orally, for example in conferences, or in writing on the report card, as allowed by Schedule 2, Section 4 (5).
  4. Locals and members providing input into district decisions about report card formats for Kindergarten and Primary are advised to advocate for written comments to describe student behaviour, including information on attitudes, work habits, effort, and social responsibility.

The BCTF will develop resources to support local and member advocacy for developmentally appropriate reporting practices in Primary (K–3) and to dispel myths and misinformation about what the ministry’s new policy requires.

The new ministry policy on reporting is the Student Progress Report Order http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/legislation/schoollaw/e.htm.


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