Elementary schools in the district may be moving away from letter grades as part of a new reporting order in B.C.
Last week Director of Learning and Inquiry Marcus Toneatto talked about student report cards and how schools may no longer use traditional letter grades in favour of comments.
He noted this method of measuring student competency aligns nicely with the new curriculum.
“I really believe we’re going in the right direction (with this),” he hold trustees and staff at the May 9 Education Committee meeting.
Toneatto said this report card discussion is focusing on students in grades K-7 in the district.
The current interim reporting order for the province offers the option in grades K-9 of either providing letter grades or achievement indicators for students in grades 4-9.
There are no letter grades, just indicators for students in grades K-3 in the province.
Toneatto said School District 53 is still providing letter grades in grades 4-9.
“But with the new curriculum and talk that the new permanent reporting order may move away from letter grades, our elementary schools are discussing this option.”
Toneatto said the topic is a preliminary discussion and each school will talk about it with their parent communities over the next few months.
“The district is not mandating this change but the new reporting order may require us to move in this direction.”
Toneatto stressed the importance of having a lot of communication with parents since “we are moving away from what parents and teachers have known forever (letter grades on report cards).
School trustee Myrna Coates said letter grade reporting tends to set up a competition-like atmosphere among students.
Toneatto said there is a paradigm shift in education where teaching methods are moving away from rote learning (memory) to focus more on curricular competencies.
“They want kids to have the ability to think,” he pointed out.