April 6, 2020

What families need to know about assessment, evaluation and reporting during COVID-19 school closures

​Last week, the Peel District School Board released its Community of Care: The Peel District School Board Learning and Support Plan, which outlines how Peel board educators will provide lessons to students remotely to help prepare them for the next step in their education journey.​

The Ministry of Education has provided clarification regarding certain aspects of the earlier directions around assessment, evaluation and reporting. Below is important information on what families need to know about assessment, evaluation and reporting during COVID-19 school closures. A PDF version is also available, if you'd prefer to view it in this format.

In recognizing that these are not normal times, we do not expect that all students will be equitably well-positioned to learn from home. Some have limited access to technology. Others may have less support from family members because their parents/guardians are essential workers. And others may be struggling in other areas. All of this to say that educators understand the extremely difficult circumstances in which many of our families find themselves. 

Our goal is to support every learner, not to penalize them for the circumstances that they find themselves in. At the same time, it is our expectation, and the Ministry of Education's expectation, that students will do their best to complete all assigned work. The intention is not to lower grades; however, in secondary, students who do not "attend" or complete assigned tasks may be at risk of losing their credits. We will do everything we can to support all learners to be successful.

As always, students and families should connect with teachers directly if they have questions about assessment, evaluation and reporting, or any other class/course-related question. You can also direct questions to your vice-principal or principal, but please start with your teachers.

How will students be assessed/evaluated?

With care and compassion, teachers will assess and evaluate student learning during the closure period. Students' marks will reflect work completed up until March 13, 2020, and will only improve if students demonstrate further achievement of curriculum expectations after April 6, 2020.

Elementary – Kindergarten to grade 8 

Teachers will use assessments to gather evidence of how students are progressing in their learning and will provide meaningful feedback to students to support their continuous and ongoing learning.

Teachers will endeavor to conduct distance learning for all remaining strands in Mathematics, Social Studies, History and Geography, and Science and Technology. However, if it is not possible to evaluate a specific curriculum strand, that section of the Final Report Card will be left without a mark and a comment will indicate that the strand was not evaluated.

Secondary – Grades 9 to 12

Secondary teachers will assign learning tasks, projects and culminating activities for assessment purposes. Teachers will communicate results and feedback to students about these marked assignments and results will inform students' final course marks.

Will mid-term report cards be issued to secondary students?

Mid-term report cards will not be issued for all secondary students, including graduating students, as per ministry direction. Mid-term marks will only be provided to graduating (grade 12) students and will be reported to the Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC) and the Ontario College Application Service (OCAS) by April 23, 2020. Teachers will email mid-term marks directly to grade 12 students, and reach out by phone to those who may not yet have access to technology.

Mid-term marks will reflect work completed up until March 13, 2020. However, assessments completed under distance learning conditions can be used to improve marks should students demonstrate further achievement of expectations. Teachers may provide opportunities for students to submit a missed and/or additional assignment to demonstrate their learning. Teachers can adjust the weighting of assigned tasks in their determination of a mark, if needed.


Will Final Report Cards be issued?

All school boards will issue final report cards, including the Kindergarten Communication of Learning, for all students in June 2020. Mid-term marks will be issued for graduating (grade 12) students only by April 23, 2020.

Kindergarten Communication of Learning

The Kindergarten Communication of Learning will be based on educators' observations of key learning and growth in learning prior to March 13, 2020. Teachers may choose to include comments on growth in learning demonstrated during the school closure period when it is to the child's benefit.

Grades 1 to 8

Final grades and marks will reflect work completed and evaluation information gathered before March 13, 2020. Evidence of learning between now and June may be used to improve final grades in a subject area. Please note that marks will only improve if students demonstrate further achievement of expectations.

Reporting on Learning Skills and Work Habits should reflect information gathered prior to March 13, 2020. Teachers may choose to include comments on the final report card if they feel that doing so would support the student's progress.

Grades 9 to 12

Final marks will be reported in June 2020, and will be based on work completed until March 13, 2020, and after April 6, 2020. Only demonstrated improvements in learning will be taken into consideration when assessing a final mark.

Marks should represent the most accurate reflection of student work, based on what is reasonable and in the best interest of students during this time. Tasks will be assessed with a focus on improving student grades, given that distance learning is not an environment that is conducive to learning for all. Again, although our intention is not to lower grades, if students choose not to "attend" and/or do not complete their assigned tasks, they may lose their credits.

Reporting on Learning Skills and Work Habits should reflect information gathered prior to March 13, 2020. Teachers may choose to include comments on the final report card.


How will marks be provided for Civics and Citizenship and Career Studies half-credit courses?

For students enrolled in Civics and Citizenship and Career Studies half-credit courses in the second semester, their final mark for the half-credit course underway at the time of school closures will be based on work completed as of March 13, 2020. Where appropriate, teachers may adjust this mark in the best interest of students to be a more accurate reflection of their learning. Students are not required to complete any further culminating assignment for this course. 

Teachers will email final marks for the completed half-credit course directly to students. They will reach out by phone to students who may not yet have access to technology.

The other half-credit course will start between April 9 and 14, 2020. Teachers will communicate the start date directly to students.


Are students at risk of not graduating?

The Government of Ontario has made it very clear that no student will have their graduation compromised by COVID-19. The Ministry of Education continues to work with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities to ensure that there will be no barriers to accessing post-secondary education.

As we continue to explore this new method of learning, we will listen to the questions and feedback we receive from staff, students and families, and update our Community of Care Plan and Frequently Asked Questions.

We know our staff are committed to supporting every learner and will do so while keeping students and families informed. As always, if you have questions about what your child is learning, please contact their teacher(s).

For more information on distance learning, and for COVID-19 updates, please visit www.peelschools.org/coronavirus

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