What do they report on?
Does it tell you what you really want to know?
Ontario Progress Reports are sent home in November with the sole purpose of telling parents how their child is progressing toward the achievement of the curriculum expectations. It uses a rating scale of: Progressing Very Well, Progressing Well and Progressing With Difficulty. It also comments on your child’s learning skills and work habits. It does not communicate if your child has met the expectations, because it does not give grades or marks. It is a report on a student progress – not achievement.
For those students who have an IEP, this box must be checked off on the Progress Report. The report and comments must be based upon the accommodations and/or modifications stated in the IEP.
Parents need to know whether or not their child is “Progressing With Difficulty.” This is the information that schools need to share with parents at this point in the school year. Teachers want to alert parents that their child might not meet the expectations in a particular content area. It is a “red flag” that says you need to be aware and likely, some intervention is necessary.
Interventions can come in a variety of ways, such as: additional practice, goal setting or tutoring. Trying some of the recommended interventions now, may make the difference between your child meeting curriculum expectations or not. This is also the time to schedule a conference with your child’s teacher to try to determine why your child may be struggling and to work together to decide on “Next Steps.”
This is often the perfect time of year to consider a private assessment. School boards do not initiate standardized assessments until a considerable amount of time has passed, interventions have been tried, and the child continues to struggle. An Educational Assessment is NOT a psychological assessment. It is NOT an IQ test. It is a standardized assessment tool that compares your child to thousands of others their age. It looks at various aspects of reading, writing, expressive and receptive language, math problem solving and numeracy. The results are presented in percentiles and identify areas of strength, weakness and need.
It provides parents with precise information regarding their child’s academic achievement. Once you have this information you can advocate on their behalf to ensure they are receiving what they need to be successful in school. The information will help them progress toward meeting curriculum expectations and increase the likelihood of success in the classroom.
Hopefully, your child’s Progress Report will provide you with enough information so that you have a clear picture of how they are progressing. If it doesn’t, consider an Educational Assessment.