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……


Are You a Level 3 Report Card Reader?

Todays Lesson:

It’s June.  Teachers are busily completing the final Report Card for the year; inputting their grades/marks and writing comments.  But, what does that grade/mark mean? What is it based upon and how accurate is it?  In 2010 the  Ministry of Education produced a document, Growing Success, which is the “bible” for assessment and evaluation in Ontario.  It is available on the Ministry of Education website:   It says, “determining a report card grade will involve teacher’s professional judgement and interpretation of evidence and should reflect the student’s most consistent level of achievement, with special consideration given to more recent evidence.”  The key word in this is, “evidence.”  Most teachers will use three samples as evidence, including; observation, conversation and student products. The report card should clearly indicate what was being assessed,  what students know and can do,  and  suggestions on what parents can do to further improve achievement.  Every teacher in Ontario uses the same achievement chart and criteria.  A Level 3 is the provincial standard for achievement, indicating a student has demonstrated the specific knowledge and skills with “considerable effectiveness.”  On the report card this translates into a B for grades 1-6 and 70%-79% for grades 7-12. Parents should not be surprised by what is on the report cards.  Most Principals instruct their staff to maintain ongoing communication with parents whose children are having difficulty meeting the provincial standard.  

Questions you should be asking as you read your child’s report card:

Is my child meeting the Ministry expectations?

Did I know my child was having difficulty meeting the expectations?

If my child is not meeting expectations, does the report card specify next steps?

 If my child is meeting expectations, are there next steps for him/her to work on to increase proficiency?

Do the comments clearly indicate what was being assessed?

Do I have a clear picture of what my child knows and can do?

Is the IEP box checked? Was I consulted in the writing of the IEP? (For those students who have been formally identified at an IPRC).

Does the report card reflect my child as a learner?

Hopefully, you will be able to answer all of these questions, satisfactorily.  If you still have questions or are unclear about any part of the report card, first ask your child about it, as they should be able to explain the criteria used for each assessment.  If you continue to have questions, contact the teacher.  In most situations, they will be able to provide a satisfactory explanation. 

 Until our next lesson...