More changes coming for report cards

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Education Minister Karen Casey announces changes

HALIFAX – More changes are coming to further improve how report cards are written as students, teachers and principals head back for another school year.

Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey announced changes Friday that will take place over the next year to build on the work already being done by teachers to improve communication with families and students.

Based on feedback from the report card survey and analysis by the Report Card Review Committee, the department is working with school boards on the following changes to report card templates:

- add a comment section to the learner profile for specialist teachers such as physical education and music for grades P-8

- add a comment section to the learner profile for grades 7-12. The current template does not allow for a comment about student performance

- add percentage grades for grades 7 and 8

- revise the Primary report card to add a learner profile, comment section and attendance, among other changes

The department will also provide professional development to all principals to ensure they have a good understanding of the changes. Over the next year, the department will develop an assessment, evaluation and reporting policy to ensure report cards provide the right information on student performance.

"Parents, students, teachers and principals made it clear they wanted changes and improvements to report cards and we are doing just that," said Casey. "Students and parents can take comfort in knowing that report cards will provide more insight and information into student performance. Teachers and principals will know that they are encouraged to provide open and honest feedback to help the student continue to learn, both at school, and home."

Teachers and principals will continue to ensure report card comments are personal, identify students' strengths and areas for improvement, and make suggestions to support student learning at home.

In May, the minister asked all teachers and principals to immediately ensure comments on the June report cards were more personalized about individual student performance.

"I want to thank the thousands of teachers who took the extra time to ensure comments were useful and helpful for students and parents," the minister said. "Their efforts were greatly appreciated and I look forward to their continued co-operation as we move forward with even more changes to improve the way report cards are written."

The department will monitor changes to the report cards. It will meet with the Report Card Review Committee later this year to update progress and discuss whether more improvements are needed.

In total, 5,811 students, parents, teachers and school administrators from across the province filled out the survey from March 19 to April 11.

An overview of the survey results and more details on the improvements being made to report cards is available at www.ednet.ns.ca .

Organizations: Report Card Review Committee

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