Today's Lesson

In our experience we have met 2 types of parents; parents looking for the best school (‘best’ based on a set of criteria predetermined well before they speak to us). And - the other type of parent.  Parents who are determined to find the best school for their child.


If you are the first type of parent, best of luck to you on your search. We are confident you will find an amazing school (as many do exist) and your child may (or may not) bask in their glow of excellence. Unfortunately, excellence does not breed through osmosis. We believe that one rather, should approach selecting their child’s school with a grain of realism. 


Which brings me to the most important question you can ask yourself to launch your search: “What is the best school for my child?”


At Wolff Educational Services we conduct needs assessments that breaks this criteria into 3 selection houses. They are the Social, Emotional and Academic Houses of your child’s success and achievement at school. We have broken these houses into realistic criteria based on actual achievement data (the learning skills) and are written in academic language (reflective of curriculum expectations). Once the assessment is completed, it is simply a matter of matching the results (your child's area of strength and need) with the schools that offer programming in these areas. The equation breeds student success and achievement. Its flawless in its design.


Parents, education today is comprised of these 3 houses working together in unity and harmony. Students must demonstrate learning in all 3 of these areas in order to be successful. The way the curriculum is taught and learned is not inherent of 20th century practices anymore. 21st century classrooms are much more layered in there design and learning platforms are reflective of differentiated instruction, individualized for your child to demonstrate learning and skills. 


Before you begin your school search, know what it is your are looking for. Know what your child's strengths and areas of need are in each area (house) of the learning platforms and how they relate to both the classroom and school. Understand what the classroom does and can do, map the landscape as you would any foreign environment. 


And if you feel like you need an education in all things education before you try and map out a route for your child - call us! We can help - however, we will only find the best school for your child….not necessarily what you think is the best school.


Until Our Next Lesson……


Progress Reports

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.