Parent Information

Parents as Partners in Learningsliderreporting01

For the past few years, staff in School District No. 42 have been exploring a better way to communicate student learning. Instead of producing a formal written report card, teachers meet with students and parents to conduct a reporting conference. Through the use of student portfolios, parents are able to see a sample of student work in several learning areas and are able to look at their child’s progress over time.


What Can You Expect?

Teachers are required to communicate with you on student progress 5 times during the school year.

  1. One parent/student/teacher conference at the end of Nov or the beginning of Dec.  This will be in-depth and will be based on a collection of student work.  Teachers and students will comment on individual learning in a conference format rather than a formal written report.  At the conference, a future learning goal will be determined by the student, parent and teacher.  Notes of each conference will be kept on a conferencing summary template and these, along with Language Arts & Mathematics learning achievements will be kept in the student’s file.  Parents will receive a copy of the notes from the conference.
  2. A second parent/student/teacher conference will be completed around Spring Break. This process will be identical to that in the first term.
  3. A formal written report will be given at the end of the school year that details learning in the third term and summarizes learning through the year.
  4. Two informal communications will also be done throughout the year.  These can take many different forms (e.g. sending work samples home for you to review, phone calls, informal or formal meetings, shorter progress checklists throughout the year).

Our research indicates that this method of reporting is more meaningful and informative for teachers, parents, and students.  As always, please do not hesitate to contact your teacher if you have any questions.


The Data Review and Reporting Committee


What to Expect at a Conference (For the Parent)

What will the conference look like (Intermediate)?

Exactly how the conference will be organized is not standardized across the school district or even the school, but several guiding principles do provide a focus. The conference is ‘student-inclusive’. The teacher will not do all the speaking. There should be equal opportunity for all parties at the conference to have input. There will be time dedicated to looking at the student’s work. This may be in the form of portfolios or work samples. Student, parent and teacher will discuss the student’s work and progress in class using the core competencies (communication, thinking and personal/social responsibility) to focus this discussion. There will also be specific discussion about the student’s Language Arts and Math skills. The student will be presenting one or two goals for the coming term, and consensus on these will be sought (see additional information on goal-setting provided by the committee). Parents will have time to ask questions. A document will be generated, from this conference, which will serve as the formal report.

What will the conference look like (K/Primary)?

How conferences are organized will vary between classrooms and schools across the district however the following commonalities provide a focus for the conference. The conference is student-inclusive which means that the student, the parent(s) and the teacher will all participate in the dialogue. There will be time dedicated to discuss the children’s work – samples, photos, portfolios and so forth, and to talk about areas of strength and areas of growth. In Kindergarten the focus is on the core competencies (communication, thinking and personal/social responsibility) and the 5 areas of development. In the primary grades, the focus is on the core competencies as well as Language Arts and Math. During the conference, parent(s), child and teacher will develop a goal for future learning and will identify how to support that goal.

What sort of preparation will the student and teacher have done before the conference?

The student and teacher will have worked together to gather or organize some sort of body of work for the conference. The student will have learned about the competencies and will either have completed a self-assessment on these competencies or be prepared to do so at the conference. The student will have generated ideas for their goal setting, or arrived at the conference with a proposed goal(s).

Student Inclusive Conferences / Discussion Prompts for Parents

Parent/Guardians, this is an opportunity for you to ask your child questions about their year so far. Below are some discussion prompts you may have questions about; some of these may have already been covered within the conference.

  1. What do you enjoy most about their class?
  2. What accomplishments are you most proud of?
  3. What do you think is/are the most important thing(s) you have learned this year?
  4. Are you able to stay up to date throughout the term? Why or why not?
  5. Do you produce your best work with a group or independently? Why do you think this works for you?
  6. What do you feel you need to improve on at school?
  7. If you could change something about your school/classes to make them better, what would you do?
  8. What contributions do you think you have made to the school?
  9. How have your teachers helped you learn?
  10. What school activities have you enjoyed most this year?

Glossary of Terms (Parents)

Questions and Answers for Parents:

How will I know whether or not my child is learning and developing at an age or grade appropriate level?
This conferencing and reporting is based on provincial performance standards that define expectations in math, reading and writing for each grade level.

This report is so different from the traditional format.  Will I really know how my child is doing?
This style of reporting has been well-researched and piloted in our district in a number of classrooms. Feedback has been very positive and parents are reporting that they have a better understanding of how their child is doing in school than before.  You can see videos of parents commenting on the reporting process on the district website.

Where are the letter grades?
Letter grades have always been subjective, and were developed for a comparative system.  The new reporting system focuses on the richness of the academic and social conversation, and focuses on the whole child.

Why do I need to attend the conference if my child is doing well in school?
Research indicates that one of the reasons your child will continue to do well is the interest you take in their learning.  The dialogue that you enter into with the student and the teacher at this conference and the relationships that are built through this process.

Will I see all of my child’s teachers?
You will see your child’s teacher.  You may not see all of your child’s teachers at the same conference, but you can email, make an appointment, etc., with any teacher at any time.

I cannot attend on that day.  What do I do?
Contact the teacher and discuss an alternate time or date.

How long will it take for me to prepare for student-led conferences?
Your child and the teacher will do much of the preparation in class time as part of their learning/teaching experience.  You may want to look over work/ assignments that have been brought home over the term, as you would anyway.

How long does the conference last?
In order to review the student’s learning, do the goal-setting and generate the report document, the conference will take about 30 minutes.

Parent Videos

Mrs. Black, a parent from Kanaka Creek, discusses the student inclusive conferencing model.

Mr. and Mrs. Baines, parents from Kanaka Creek, discuss the student inclusive conferencing model.

Mrs. Fawdry, a parent from Pitt Meadows, discusses the student inclusive conferencing model.

Mrs. Henderson, a parent from Pitt Meadows, discusses the student inclusive conferencing model.