There are four different progress reports at Calgary Catholic: Kindergarten, Elementary, Junior High and High School. The following information can help parents better understand progress reports and Parent Teacher Conferences.
- Kindergarten: Kindergarten programming within Calgary Catholic School District is guided by Alberta Education’s Kindergarten Program Statement which outlines learning expectations within seven learning areas. The expectations of the seven learning areas are interrelated and meet the social, physical, intellectual, cultural, creative and emotional needs of young children. Alberta Education Kindergarten Program Statement 2008.
Learner expectations are integrated through purposeful play activities that are developmentally appropriate for young children. The spiritual component of the Kindergarten curriculum encourages children to see traces of God within their everyday experiences. Learning expectations include awareness of God, self and of Jesus as the greatest of God’s love.
- Elementary: Elementary teachers in the Calgary Catholic School District use a common progress report to communicate the progress of their students. The progress report is based upon current professional literature, best practices, and recommendations of the Alberta Assessment Consortium. When completing progress report levels and comments, teachers recognize the links between programs of study, planning, course outlines, instructional strategies, and a variety of forms of assessment.
- Junior High: Brightspace by D2L is an online learning environment used in the Calgary Catholic School District in junior high and high school. It is a powerful tool that supports student collaboration and learning while providing meaningful communication between teachers, students, and parents. Each of your child’s classes has an associated D2L course and the Grades tool transparently manages student assessments. Students and parents can review grade details and the overall grade at any time to track progress. Junior High teachers in the Calgary Catholic School District use a common progress report to communicate the progress of their students. The progress report is based upon current professional literature, best practices, and recommendations of the Alberta Assessment Consortium. When completing progress report marks and comments, teachers recognize the links between programs of study, planning, course outlines, instructional strategies, and a variety of forms of assessment.
- High School: Brightspace by D2L is an online learning environment used in the Calgary Catholic School District. It is a powerful tool that supports student collaboration and learning while providing meaningful communication between teachers, students, and parents. Each of your child’s classes has an associated D2L course and the Grades tool transparently manages student assessments. Students and parents can review grade details and the overall grade at any time to track progress. Grades and feedback are entered regularly and as soon as possible after assessment completion. The overall grade is cumulative from course start-up, and will fluctuate, as items are entered, thus re-balancing existing item weights. Comments specific to your child’s progress are also available there. The comments provide more specific and timely feedback on student learning in the context of the assessments. Zeros will also have an accompanying comment to provide background and the potential for reassessment. Although, progress reports are printed at reporting times, Brightspace for D2L allows students and parents to review individual grades and overall average at any time throughout the year.
Deciphering a progress report can be complicated. These support documents will help you read and understand your child’s elementary or junior high progress report.
Elementary Progress Reports
Junior High Progress Reports
Parent Teacher Conferences
Parent teacher conferences are a great way for teachers and parents to communicate with each other in order to help realize a common goal. They provide an opportunity for teachers to identify and highlight to parents their child’s progress, areas of strength and areas of growth. Parent teacher conferences are also a good way for parents to participate in the school system and in their child’s education.
Generally, conferences are held three times per school year. The first takes place early in the school year to provide parents with an opportunity to share any pertinent information about their child with his/her homeroom teacher. The second and third conferences are academic in nature and are held after the progress reports go home. They are held at the end of the first and second terms. They are fairly short in duration, lasting usually about 15 minutes. Therefore, in order for parents to make the most of these conferences, parents are encouraged to come prepared with questions.
Before the conference
Parents should review their child’s progress report and make note of any concerns or questions about the grades or the corresponding comments listed. It is just as important for parents to discuss the progress report and school in general with their child and ask them how they think they are doing and what they like and dislike about each subject. To help familiarize themselves with what their child is learning and areas of difficulty, parents are encouraged to look over homework throughout the year so that come conference time, they will know what to discuss. My Child’s Learning: A Parent Resource
Preparing questions for the teacher ahead of time will help parents feel more at ease by making sure nothing is forgotten or overlooked.
At the conference
During the conference, the teacher will typically review the progress report with the parent and show samples of their child’s work.
The teacher will also bring to the parent’s attention recent successes and will raise any concerns as well. Since the parent teacher conference is not only an opportunity for the teacher to give the parent a report on their child’s progress but also an opportunity for parents to get involved, parents should ask about their child’s strengths and areas of growth and find out about problems before they happen.
Making sure to ask insightful questions will ensure parents make the most of their conference time and gain the most valuable information.
Examples of Good Questions:
- What are my child’s strengths?
- What skills does my child need to develop further?
- What activities can we do at home to strengthen those skills?
- Does my child complete his/her homework and are the assignments completed conscientiously?
- Is my child facing any struggles in class not related to his/her schoolwork?
- How does my child get along with other students?
In addition to asking teachers questions during the conference, it is also beneficial for parents to provide them with feedback on the work the teachers are doing. Teachers need to hear about the positive things about their class and their teaching. Parents should let them know how much their child enjoys their class, or how their child is enthusiastic about a particular subject. At the same time, parents can raise concerns they might have about the program.
While Parent Teacher Conferences can be a learning experience for parents, they can also benefit the child. Parents should talk to their child after the conference and let them know what was discussed. Stress the positive things the teacher said about them and their work. They should also discuss how they and the teacher are going to help with those areas where improvement is needed. This will help the child feel more encouraged.
If the child attended the conference, discuss their impressions of what was said and ask about their plan for improvement. Be supportive and discuss how you can all work together for your child’s success.