Reporting methods could change this year

SD46

Five schools on the Sunshine Coast are experimenting with FreshGrade as a replacement for traditional reporting methods this year.

Langdale, Roberts Creek, West Sechelt and Kinnikinnick elementary schools and Elphinstone Secondary School are using the new online method of tracking student achievement as part of a pilot project. 

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FreshGrade is similar to Facebook in that it allows teachers to post pictures of students’ experiences and work to a website where parents can log in with a password to see and comment on what’s posted.

FreshGrade is a new reporting option tied to the new curriculum that School District No. 46 (SD46) is contemplating for the entire district.

“A number of our schools are involved in an innovation grant project, which allows them to do that sharing and to have the time to carefully investigate [FreshGrade] and research the differences in assessment in learning,” superintendent of schools Patrick Bocking said at the Oct. 12 school board meeting.

Teachers will be given the option to use FreshGrade or the traditional form of report cards to communicate with parents this year (or a combination of the two).

Both options have been detailed in a new administrative regulation that SD46 is now circulating for comment. The regulation will be online at www.sd46.bc.ca until Dec. 2.

Under the new regulation, Option A is the reporting framework that would utilize FreshGrade.

It says that rather than focusing on formal and informal reporting to parents, Option A is meant to provide “timely and responsive” reporting throughout the year. It would offer a written summative report at the end of the year; however, no formal grade would be given for students in grades K to 3 and students in grade 4 to 9 would receive a letter grade only “upon request.”

Grades 10 to 12 would still receive the regular percentage grades under the new regulation.

Option B would be similar to what parents are used to seeing – regular report cards and  letter or percentage grades – but it also includes a new stipulation for student self-assessment.

The change will require a change to how report cards are laid out and SD46 is working on what that will look like now.

“Something I’ll be bringing to the education committee [Oct. 24] is the report cards that need to be altered a little bit in the Option B case to meet the expectations of the new report order,” Bocking said.

“The Option A piece needs to be altered a little bit more, which I’ll be able to share at the education committee, what that will look like.”

The community is asked for their feedback on the new administration regulation No. 2840. Feedback can be given online through the regulation response form found at www.sd46.bc.ca/index.php/regulation, where a full copy of the regulation can also be found.

Feedback can also be sent to the district by fax at 604-886-4652 or by mail to School District No. 46, PO Box 220, Gibsons, BC V0N 1V0.

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