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……


No Report Cards??? What you need to know about not receiving a Provincial report this June.

As you may know, elementary teachers in Ontario are taking part in strike action which includes not recording student marks electronically for the purpose of producing report cards. Will your child be assessed? Yes. Will those assessments be the basis of formal evaluations? Absolutely. Are they still being taught learning skills that they are expected to demonstrate daily? Of course. Are you going to be able to see this in the form of a provincial report card – not this year.

Teachers have taught the curriculum. They have assessed the learning. They have given students many opportunities to demonstrate this learning and finally, they have indeed evaluated this learning. They know exactly where your child stands in terms of being at, above or below the provincial grade level – which is a B. Teachers have given all of this information to your school principal. The difference is that no one is inputting these marks into a central system to produce report cards.

What can you do as a parent?

1.)    Contact the school principal and ask how they intend to handle the influx of parents wishing to see their child’s grades. Perhaps principals will develop a school based system for this, if you want to see these grades, your principal has them.

2.)    Speak to your child’s teacher. Ask specific questions such as “Is there a particular area of underperformance or weakness that we should be focusing on this summer?”

3.)    Speak to your child. Ask them to create a list of Strengths and Weaknesses. Ask them to think of 3 for each category. Talk this through with them if they are having difficulty.  Bring the list to the teacher and ask them if they agree or disagree. Ask for any additional information that you can add to that list and share it with your child.

4.)    Be patient and understanding. No one wants this. No one enjoys it and no one thinks this is good for the kids. Teachers are in a difficult position because at the end of the day – they are the ones that worked with your children every day for 10 months to help them achieve these results. Principals are going to be inundated with questions, calls and visits from parents, and they too are in a difficult position. But it is your children that will need your support, understanding, encouragement and praise for a job well done. Remind them that despite the final piece of evidence that proves their accomplishments to you – you saw their effort all year and that you are proud of them. Celebrate their accomplishments even if you don’t have documented proof in hand.

During the week of June 22 principals will be providing a letter confirming your child’s placement for the upcoming school year.  Either they will be promoted to the next grade which indicates that they are at or above grade level. Or, they will be transferred to the next grade which indicates that they are below grade level in certain areas.

If you have concerns and need more information, consider getting an academic assessment. This will provide you with accurate, standardized information about your child as a learner and give you accurate raw data and scores in all academic areas.  Contact us for any questions, concerns and support.

Until Our Next  Lesson…..