Province’s new grading system works with direction SD72 has been going

Assessment in the new curriculum continues SD72’s move away from periodic report cards

In looking at student success, it used to be that teachers could simply assign a letter grade or a percentage point to a project or period of time, which would tell a student – and their parents – how well they were doing in a particular subject or discipline.

That’s been changing, however, and will continue to do so.

“We’re actually really pretty pleased with the direction the ministry is going,” superintendent Tom Longridge told the School District 72 (SD72) Board of Education at their last public meeting when updating them on the curriculum implementation and grading practices, “not only in the curriculum improvement pieces that we’re seeing, but also in the assessment practices and being consistent in giving districts the ability to actually do that and have that conversation and change the conversation in regard to assessment within the school community.

“This, we believe, is an exciting time in regard to assessment.”

Assistant superintendent Nevenka Fair also outlined for the school district board last week how this process has been going here in Campbell River in anticipation of coming provincial changes.

She says the government started letting districts decide on grading practices a few years ago, at which point SD72 did away with the traditional “report card” model in elementary school and moved towards having open lines of communication between teachers, students and parents about how a child is progressing.

“A letter grade or a percentage doesn’t actually help the student understand what they need to do next. We need to be engaging students in their self and peer assessment and just constantly be moving forward,” Fair says.

“So we started looking at the research around assessment for learning, where you’re not stopping and judging kids,” Fair says. “We’re not stopping their learning and asking them to prove their learning. We are, along the way, asking them to help us in co-creating the criteria for success and understanding what the destination looks like.”

And teachers and parents within the school district are seeing the benefits of this strategy, Fair says.

“As we’ve been doing that, some of the benefits that we’re seeing – at least in anecdotal comments from parents and teachers – are that kids are more engaged; kids can talk about their learning.

They can say, ‘what am I learning, how am I doing in my learning, and where do I need to I go next.’ And that’s really exciting.

You talk to some middle school educators, and they’re saying that kids are less saying ‘what did I get?’ or, ‘does this count?’ and rather the conversation is about their learning.”

As the school district has been engaged in this process, Fair told the board, the Ministry of Education has been developing their own structure for educational assessment and reporting, “and we’ve been waiting for some policy and sort of been crossing our fingers that what we’re doing is aligned with that.”

It turns out the Ministry of Education is seeing the same things as SD72, because much of the ministry’s new interim assessment and reporting policy, released to districts in August, “falls in line with what we’ve been doing,” Fair says.

“We know there are improvements to be made, as there is with any initiative – and this was a huge initiative – and so we’re looking forward to getting feedback and helping support not only kids but also teachers as we move forward,” she says, and acknowledges that one of the improvements that needs to be made is that, “we have to do a little more engagement with parents.”

But most importantly, Fair says, is that the school district – along with the Ministry of Education – is moving towards a place where, “instead of looking at, ‘what did kids get?’ – whether it’s awards or how many ‘A’s or whatever – we want to look at improvement made.

We want to look at how many kids are actually improving each year.”

Just Posted

UPDATE: Two ATVers dead after trying to cross creek south of Campbell River

Search involved search and rescue, the coast guard and 442 Squadron from CFB Comox

Firefighters on the scene at Masters Road residence

Firefighters were called to a residence fire on Masters Road shortly before… Continue reading

Campbell River fire crews rescue two seniors trapped by mudslide, four homes evacuated

The City of Campbell River issued an evacuation order for four homes… Continue reading

Smoking ban arrives on BC Ferries

No crackdown, just education as BC Ferries enacts smoking ban

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

Road conditions wreak havoc for Comox Valley drivers

Icy road conditions early Monday morning kept first responders very busy throughout… Continue reading

Brother of B.C. teen killed by stray bullet says the death left a void

Alfred Wong, 15, was gunned down in Vancouver while on his way home from dinner with his family

Movie filmed in Castlegar B.C. opens Friday

Hollow in the Land starring Dianna Agron will be playing in select cinemas.

Cougar window shops at Banff grocery store

An RCMP officer spots a cougar outside an Alberta grocery store

VIDEO: Massive waves destroy chunks of Ucluelet’s Wild Pacific Trail

Some viewpoints will be closed for the foreseeable future because you won’t even know they were there

Tofino and Ucluelet wowed by biggest waves in a decade

“Even in pictures you show the kids and that, unless you’re witnessing it live, it’s like no other.”

Most Read