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Reflections from Katie: March 10, 2016

I wanted to share with you a recent conversation and analysis of the report card survey so that you can get a sense of where this leaves us in terms of next steps. We received more than 70 responses to the survey. While this clearly does not represent all families, it does provide a broader perspective than just families who can stop in for a conversation.

In terms of quantitative results, here is what we found. Overall 80% of parents understand the standards. About 80% did not think there were any big surprises. Only 7% said that the report card was NOT clear about their child’s progress. On the whole, people felt the report card length was just right. In terms of the short answers or comments that were more qualitative in nature, here were some take-aways from the survey analysis. Parents had a good understanding that MET means meeting grade level expectations. Most people had a good understanding of Met With Support, but also expressed a bit more ambiguity. Many of the additional comments indicated that this checklist of skills was a move in the right direction over last year’s report.

While there was some frustration expressed that this report card did not express much nuance regarding student progress, the school council members present at this discussion agreed that this was not the intent of the report card. We felt that nuanced conversations about a student’s relative strengths and weaknesses are better had in a conference.

The survey did also shine a light on some inconsistencies across how teachers used the report and explained it to parents. Hence we will be working together as a staff to calibrate how we approach and use this checklist of skills.

On a slight tangent, the school council has been a great place for families and teachers to come together to analyze data such as this survey data. The current school council slate will be turning over at the end of this school year. If you think you might be interested in these kinds of conversations, and can commit to one meeting per month, I encourage you to talk to a current school council member or to me about being on school council next year.

Current School Council Members are:

Parents: John Capello, Yossi Farjoun, Regina Holloway, Glenn Macdonald, Jimmy Selvitella, Ramya Swaminathan, Melissa Tonichel

Staff: Katie Charner-Laird, Justin Cravens, Sarah Baszto, Shirley Harvey, Jen Gehling, André Pelletier, Anna Tarshsish