Updated June 18, 2015
Will I get a report card for my child in elementary school?
No. Kindergarten to grade 8 students will not receive term two report cards. Instead of the term two elementary report card, on June 22, 2015, you will receive a placement letter from the school. That letter includes information about the placement for your child next year, and all the additional information we can provide at this time, including attendance and times he or she has been late. This letter will be part of your child's Ontario Student Record (OSR).
Will I get a the term two report card at a later date?
No. The placement letter replaces this year's term two report card.
Will principals and vice-principals provide parents with their children's marks?
At this point, some principals still may not have marks from teachers. The Peel board has decided that as of the week of June 22, principals and vice-principals will do their best to help parents who request marks. However, given the enormity of this task, principals will not be able to provide marks in June to all parents who request them. Our goal is that all parents who request marks will have them by September 30.
How will parents receive the marks?
That will vary from school to school, but may include by phone, by email, in person or in writing.
How do parents request marks?
As of June 22, parents should follow their normal process in how they connect with their child's principal.
Will teachers provide marks to students?
Teachers will not provide marks to students.
I really want to know how my child did this year. What can I do?
We know that our elementary teachers are skilled professionals and we are confident that throughout the school year they would have kept you well informed on the progress of your child. As always, if you have any questions, you may want to contact your child's teacher up to and during the week of June 22 to discuss your child's progress this school year. We have been told, however, that teachers have been directed by their federation to not give marks to parents or students. We know this is disappointing, but there is nothing we can do about this provincial directive.
Will principals/vice-principals provide Learning Skills for my child?
No. Principals/vice-principals will do their best to answer parent questions about marks, but this may not be until the fall. Principals and vice-principals will not be able to answer questions about Learning Skills.
Can I talk to the principal or vice-principal about the progress of my child?
While Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario members have been directed not to provide marks, they will still share information about progress. For questions on progress, you should contact the teacher.
Can I have an interview with the principal/vice-principal regarding my child?
With the volume of work, it is highly unlikely principals/vice-principals can have interviews with parents.
I rely on the final report card to know how my son/daughter has done. What do I do now?
The final report card should contain no surprises. It is not the sole nor is it the most important piece of achievement data we have for your child. It is just another update on progress. All prior formal assessment, evaluation and reporting that has been completed this year is part of your child's record and can be referenced moving forward.
How can principals make decisions about grade placement for next year?
Principals will make decisions based on all marks, assessments and achievement data recorded throughout the school year.
How will schools know, in the future, that my son/daughter did not get a report card due to labour action? I don't want my child disadvantaged.
The placement letter and the letter from the Peel District School Board's director of education will explain that the placement letter replaces the final report card—both will be placed in your child's OSR. This will be the case at many large Ontario school boards.
Isn't doing the report card part of the responsibility of the teacher? Can't you make them do it?
It is one of the duties—but they are in a legal strike position provincially and so can remove any and all services.
Teachers had a PA Day to write report cards. What did they do and why didn't you cancel it?
June 8, 2015, was a Report Card Writing and Assessment Day in elementary schools. It is part of teachers' contracts and had to be honoured. Teachers worked on assessment activities on that day.
What about students' Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)?
For students who have IEPs, these will be placed in their OSRs and will be available to view in the fall.
What about entry to regional learning choices programs? Don't they need final marks?
The Peel board understands this concern. In the fall, we will bring a group of Regional Program principals together and will revise the admissions process for this one year to accommodate the lack of term two report cards. Term one report cards will be used instead of term two report cards. The board will ensure that everyone is on a level playing field. No student will be disadvantaged.
If teachers are providing marks, why can't there be report cards?
Currently, public elementary teachers across Ontario are taking part in a lawful job action. This action includes not writing report card comments, and not inputting student marks electronically for the purpose of producing report cards. As a board, our production of report cards for over 100,000 elementary students relies on this inputting of data by teachers. Unfortunately, after exploring every possible solution, the Peel board is unable to provide parents and guardians with report cards for elementary students.
Why can't principals/vice-principals do this if teachers are providing marks?
The board considered this option. There are 112,000 students, so about three million pieces of data to enter. Three hundred and fifty principals and vice-principals cannot do the work of 5,000 classroom teachers. Also, we are unlikely to have marks before June 15 in some schools—trying to produce report cards in that short a timeframe is not possible.
Couldn't the board have hired people?
This was considered. First of all, it would be expensive—around a million dollars—and the provincial government will not fund these costs. There are significant issues about who has access to the highly confidential information that is part of a child's report card. Finally, without knowing how the marks will be submitted to the principal—maybe they will be handwritten—there is no clear way to check the accuracy, and there were concerns about the integrity of the card.
Can parents volunteer to help generate report cards with marks?
There are significant issues about who has access to the highly confidential information on students' report cards. Due to privacy laws, student information, including student numbers, cannot be made available to anyone without significant due diligence, adding other layers of complexity to the process.
My child is changing schools/school boards? They've asked for his/her report card. What do I tell them?
The placement letter replaces the term two report card and will be kept in the child's OSR, which travels with them to their new school/school board. The Ministry of Education has indicated that the placement letter will be an official record of grade promotion.
Isn't a report card required by the province?
The Ministry of Education has communicated to boards that, from their perspective, a placement letter is an acceptable option this year.
I hear other boards are doing report cards. Why not Peel?
We can't comment on the decisions of other boards—each is different in their processes and structures.
If principals and vice-principals aren't proofing report cards, why don't they have the time to enter the marks?
Three hundred and fifty people cannot do the work of 5,000 classroom teachers, while doing their roles of running schools. Also, while they are not doing the usual work related to report cards, principals and vice-principals still need review student assessments, and view and sign all placement letters. They also pick up a significant amount of work normally done to update and file information into OSRs. This alone will be a full work-week of time for many school administrators.
Why can't the board take the money it saved from the secondary teachers' strike and use it for this?
That is not possible. The Peel board does not keep the unspent salary money. The funding from the secondary teachers' strike is returned to the province. The board only gets reimbursed for expenses directly related to that strike.
Can't you post the marks in the school entrance using just the OEN number?
No, that is in violation of privacy laws.
Won't my child need a term two grade 8 report card as he/she transitions to high school?
All transition meetings for students entering grade 9 have taken place. Students have been placed in level-appropriate courses, and supports have already been made for students with special education needs.
Secondary school staff will not need to refer to students' term two report cards as this is only one indicator of achievement. Staff have a variety of other ways to learn about a students' learning abilities and needs.
Why are some schools giving parents all the marks and Learning Skills and some just marks?
The board has said the decision is school-by-school based on the circumstances at the site and parent requests.
If Toronto District School Board (TDSB) can do report cards, why can't you?
The TDSB is not doing report cards—they are providing marks to parents in written mark summaries. Based on the Peel board's decision, we are also providing marks to parents in a variety of ways based on the school. The goal is to have marks provided by the end of September for all parents who request them.
Can I call my trustee and ask him/her to make you give me the marks now?
You can always choose to call your trustee. However, you should know that trustees fully support this process.
So, my child worked hard all year and will not find out how they did until September 30?
No—that is not the case. First of all, they would have received a progress report in November and a complete first term report card in February. Also, we are sure the teacher has kept you updated on progress by sending home marked tests and other evaluations so the final report card should contain no surprises. We will try our best to provide marks as of the week of June 22 and our goal is to respond to all parent requests for marks by September 30.
How will I get the marks from the school? Should I call or email?
Use your usual process for contacting the principal or vice-principal. Remember that the teacher is always first point of contact for information about student progress.
What will I get—just verbal marks?
The board has decided that is a school-by-school decision. In some schools it may be verbal and parents can write the marks down, in others it might be by email, or in other written formats. All are acceptable.