About Communicating Student Learning
Communicating student learning is a vital component of the learning process and fundamental to student success. This is an ongoing process throughout the school year that involves the teacher, the student and the parent.
The assessment information communicated to parents includes suggestions on how to improve student learning and how parents can support their child in the process. This communication can occur in a number of ways, from traditional report cards, to conferencing, to electronic communication.
The B.C. Ministry of Education requires schools to communicate with parents, regarding their children’s learning, at least three times a year. In Langley Schools, teachers provide a formative snapshot of student learning two times a year, with a third and final summative report card in June. All three report cards describe what the student knows (content), can do (curricular competencies), and understands (transfer of big ideas and concepts) as well as suggestions for ways to support the learning at home.
To indicate the student’s level of performance in relation to the curricular standards, performance standards will be used at elementary and middle; letter grades will be used at secondary. In addition, in Grades 10-12, percentages will also be included on the summative report cards.
The Langley School District is excited to announce that, as of September 2020, our Elementary and Middle schools are shifting away from assigning letter grades on report cards. Instead, teachers will use Proficiency Scales as a component of communicating student learning with families.
This change in reporting practice can be seen across the province, as school districts work to better align themselves with the Ministry of Education’s reporting policy and with BC’s redesigned curriculum. We believe it is important that Langley families receive meaningful information about their child’s learning. This shift will:
- Focus on learning as a continuous process
- Support a better understanding of learning; focus on next steps
- Encourage student reflection and goal setting
- Empower students to take ownership of their learning
- Foster hope, efficacy (belief in themselves) and a culture of learning
Research is clear that traditional letter grades signal the end of learning by suggesting that a particular subject is mastered or completed, but learning is actually a continuous process. The use of Proficiency Scales will allow teachers to share where a student is currently at in their learning, as well as where they are going next. This model fosters a growth mindset for students, the empowering confidence that our abilities will continue to develop with hard work, effort and determination.
Proficiency Scales, as seen below, describe student learning based on widely held expectations for the grade level and time of year. Proficiency Scales, and the language of ‘Emerging’, ‘Developing’, ‘Proficient’, and ‘Extending’, will be used to describe student progress in all subject areas within a model of communicating student strengths, areas for growth, and ways to support learning at home and at school. This is the proficiency scale currently being used by the BC Ministry of Education.
Key Findings of Research:
- Grades tend to diminish students’ interest in whatever they’re learning.
- Grades create a preference for the easiest possible task.
- Grades tend to reduce the quality of students’ thinking.
Further details about this transition were provided during an evening Family Information Session hosted virtually on October 15th. Click HERE to view recorded presentation
Related Articles and Posts
- Alfie Kohn — The Case Against Grades
- Edutopia – 4 Reasons Teachers are Going Gradeless
- Jordan Tinney – What do Letter Grades Have to do with Performance
BC Ministry of Education
- BC Ministry of Education- Student Reporting
- Reporting Pilots
- B.C. Curriculum (explore the competencies by grade and subject area)
For questions related to:
- technical issues accessing your child’s report card, please contact your child’s school office.
- the content of your child’s report card, please contact your child’s teacher(s).
- the Core Competencies Self-Assessment, please contact your child’s teacher(s).