Frequently Asked Questions

These are the questions you’ve asked us, organized by topic. 

Elementary Report Card (Grades 1-8)   
  1. What are the reporting periods for elementary schools?

According to Growing Success, page 53, there are three formal reporting periods for elementary schools. Schools will use the Elementary Progress Report Card between October 20 and November 20 of the school year. Schools will use the Elementary Provincial Report Card twice a year. The first Provincial Report Card will be sent home between January 20 and February 20 of the school year and the second will be sent home towards the end of June. The marks on the first Provincial Report Card must reflect evaluation of the work from September to January.

  1. With Growing Success, are we to follow the six week rule for all three report periods, or just for report period 1 and 2?

As stated on page 49 of Growing Success, both the elementary Progress Report Card and the elementary Provincial Report Card are placed in the student’s OSR. Also, on page 53, policy states that there are three formal reporting periods for elementary schools. Therefore, the six week rule applies for all three reporting periods. Guidelines regarding the six week rule can be found in Section 3.2 of the Ontario Student Record (OSR) Guideline, 2000.

  1. If a student is enrolled in a school for six weeks or more from the beginning of the second reporting period, between the elementary Progress Report Card and the January/February Provincial Report Card, is that school responsible for reporting on the achievement of expectations addressed in the first reporting period (between September and the Progress Report Card) when the student was in a different school?

Yes. The first Provincial Report Card will reflect the student’s achievement of curriculum expectations introduced and developed from September to January / February of the school year.

  1. What information is permitted in the unlabelled space on the Elementary Provincial Report Card?

Growing Success p. 59 states that “one unlabelled space is provided on the Elementary Provincial Report Cards for an additional subject chosen by schools and/or boards.”

  1. On the Elementary Provincial Report Card, how many strands must teachers report on for Language in January/February and June?

For Language, four strands are reported on in January/February and four strands in June.

  1. For the Elementary Report Card, the ESL/ELD and IEP boxes are shown at the strand level rather than subject level. Is this the direction that the Ministry is taking?

Yes, the ESL/ELD and IEP boxes are now checked at the strand level. The intent is to align the Report Card more closely with the IEP and students’ language learning needs.

  1. As Religious and Family Life Education appears on the first page of the Progress Report Card and the Provincial Report Cards, was it the Ministry’s intention to have the comments in this area for this subject?

The following paragraph appears on pages 50 and 51 of Growing Success. There is also a version of each of the two main versions of the Elementary Progress Report Card for the use of Catholic schools that includes a section called “Religious and Family Life Education”. All Catholic district school boards may organize the contents of this section to include a letter grade or percentage mark, or may choose to comment only However, the size and placement of this section may not be changed in any way. Reference should be made to school or board guidelines on the completion of this section of the Report Card.

  1. Can computer technology skills or financial literacy be reported on as a separate subject on the elementary report card?

ICT and financial literacy are to be integrated into other mandated curriculum at the elementary level. Computer-based learning or the studies of computers or financial literacy are not meant to be positioned as a “Subject”. Newly revised curriculum documents note the important role of ICT and financial literacy in each discipline.

  1. If students receive Core French in Grades 1-3, do teachers have to report on all four strands?

The Core French program is mandatory from Grades 4 to 8 for all students in English-language elementary schools. Some school boards have chosen to offer the Core French program in early grades based on local demand and resources. The decision on which strands and expectations to address, assess and report on in Grades 1, 2, 3 Core French is a local decision. If a board makes a decision to only assess and report on the listening and speaking strands in Grades 1, 2, 3, the teacher should leave the mark box beside the other two strands blank. An explanatory comment should be provided.

  1. For students who are absent as a result of suspension, how are they reported on the Elementary Report Card?

The policies for reporting on students who are suspended are aligned with policies established for the Enrolment Register Instructions for Elementary and Secondary Schools, 2013-2014 School Year.  Accordingly, students absent as a result of suspension are temporarily excused and would not count as absent. Those days are not counted in either “Days Absent” or “Total Days Absent” on the Elementary Progress Report Card or the Elementary Provincial Report Cards for Grades 1 to 8, or in “Classes Missed” or “Total Classes” on the Provincial Report Card for Grades 9 to 12.  According to the Enrolment Register Instructions for Elementary and Secondary Schools, 2013-2014 School Year, page 18-19, teachers are to enter “G” in the Daily Attendance Record for each day a suspended student is absent. In the Enrolment/Attendance Register, these days absent are shown as “G” (General Absence Days) and must not be counted as days of absence.

  1. For students who are absent as a result of expulsion, how are they reported on the Elementary Report Card?

The policies for reporting on students who are expelled are aligned with policies established for the Enrolment Register Instructions for Elementary and Secondary Schools, 2013-2014 School Year. Accordingly, students who are expelled are to be removed from the Enrolment/Attendance Register if they are not enrolled in a program for expelled pupils. If expelled pupils are participating in such a program, the attendance will be recorded in the same way as the attendance of pupils in regular classroom programs. According to the Enrolment Register Instructions for Elementary and Secondary Schools, 2013-2014 School Year, page 24-25, teachers are to record the enrolment for expelled pupilsas “full-time” in the enrolment register of the program. The Ministry is currently giving further consideration to this issue as Growing Success does not include a specific policy statement regarding this inquiry.

  1. With the change to the French as a Second Language (FSL) curriculum from 3 strands to 4, what is the reporting policy for FSL on the Elementary Provincial Report Cards for Grades 1 to 8?

In 2013 the revised Ontario curriculum for French as a Second Language was released. One revision was to change the three strands (Oral Communication, Reading, Writing) to four distinct but interrelated strands: Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing. The 2014 Revised Provincial Report Card includes the revised strand names that teachers must use in their assessment and reporting. Although the strands have changed, the language regarding reporting for FSL in Growing Success (2010) remains the same.

  1. With the changes in the strands in the Social Studies curriculum, what is the reporting policy for Social Studies on the Elementary Provincial Report Cards for Grades 1 to 6?

In 2013 the revised Ontario curriculum for Social Studies Grades 1 to 6 was released. One revision was to change the names of the strands (Heritage and Citizenship, Canada and World Connections) to Heritage and Identity, and People and Environments. The 2014 revised Provincial Report Cards Grades 1-6 reflect that revision. Although the strands have changed, the language regarding reporting for Social Studies in Growing Success (2010) remains the same.

  1. With the changes to the Elementary Provincial Report Card templates for Grades 1 to 8, how are Art subjects taught in French to be reported?

The 2014 revised Provincial Report Card includes a separate French box with each of the four Arts (Dance, Drama, Music, Visual Arts). Teachers are to check that box if a particular Art subject is taught in French. This is a revision to the Growing Success (2010) policy in which teachers indicated in the comment box which subjects are taught in French; this is no longer required.


English Language Learners (ELL)   
  1. Can the ESL/ELD box be checked if the child is not on an IEP?

Yes. The guidelines for reporting modifications and accommodations for English language learners is outlined in Growing Success, page 76.

  1. If modifications are made for an ESL/ELD learner, is there a required statement that must appear on the Report Card?

No specific statement is required in the comments section when the ESL/ELD box is checked. The statement quoted on p. 61 of Growing Success refers only to the modifications of curriculum expectations related to the IEP for students with special education needs. This is a change in policy from the past and has been made because modifications for students with language learning needs are usually made on a more temporary basis.

However, for an English language learner, both the ESL/ELD and IEP boxes can be checked to indicate that modifications have been made to address both English language learning needs and special education needs. In this situation, the relevant parts of this statement would be included in the comments: “This (letter grade/percentage mark) is based on achievement of expectations in the IEP that vary from the Grade X expectations (and/or) are an (increase/decrease) in the (number and/or complexity) of curriculum expectation.”


EQAO   
  1. Can the Grade 9 EQAO mathematics assessment results be part of the final grade?

Yes, Grade 9 EQAO results may be part of the final grade. As stated in Growing Success, page 93: “teachers are given the option of marking all or a portion of their students’ work on the [EQAO] assessment and incorporating the marks in their determination of the students’ final grades for the mathematics course.” A board and/or its schools decide what percentage of the grade will count towards the final grade. It is important that all students should be made aware of the intended use of the Grade 9 EQAO mathematics assessment.

  1. What is the purpose of EQAO testing?

Large-scale assessments such as those administered by the EQAO are yearly measures that provide a system-wide snapshot of student achievement. The standardized content and administration procedures of large-scale assessment are used so that results for education systems can be compared over time. The results of large-scale assessments are used by governments and school boards to understand the strengths and needs of education systems, to develop education policies, and to allocate resources. Although large-scale assessments and classroom assessments are different in nature, they are both important and useful. It may also be helpful to refer to EQAO’s website and/or page 92-93 of Growing Success, regarding the purpose of provincial testing.

  1. How much time should be allocated for EQAO preparation?

According to the EQAO Tests in Secondary School: A Guide for Parents and Students:the content of EQAO’s tests is based entirely on The Ontario Curriculum, the tests should not require special preparation.” The Ministry expects that students demonstrate their curriculum-based knowledge and skills. The preparation component is a school-based decision.  It may be helpful to enquire with the officials at the school regarding the additional EQAO preparation.


Evaluation   
  1. How is a student evaluated individually in a group assignment?

Assigning students individual marks ensures that the process of evaluation is fair and equitable to each student. According to Growing Success, page 38, “A student’s achievement of the overall expectations is evaluated on the basis of his or her achievement of related specific expectations.” Assignments that are completed collaboratively by two or more students may be used for evaluation purposes if each student’s work within the task is evaluated independently and assigned an individual mark, as opposed to a common group mark.

Teachers are expected to exercise their professional judgement when designing collaborative tasks and using valid and reliable evidence to evaluate how each student demonstrates his or her learning of the specific expectations.

  1. Can teachers assign a mark of “zero”?

Our priority is to help students succeed and learn in Ontario classrooms. The ministry does not have a policy against providing a grade of ‘0’. We emphasize the importance of providing grades that accurately reflect student achievement. Students are responsible for submitting work on time; there are to be consequences for work not submitted or for cheating and plagiarizing. If in their professional judgment it is appropriate to do so, teachers may deduct marks, up to the full value of the assignment, which may include a grade of ’0’.

However, the goal must be to motivate and facilitate completion of work and improve learning. Mark deduction should not result in a percentage mark at the completion of a unit, term, semester or year that, in the professional judgement of the teacher, misrepresents the student’s actual achievement.

It is expected that teachers and school teams will use a variety of strategies to ensure that students submit their assignments for evaluation and meet timelines. Boards must work with their schools and communities to develop specific policies to deal with late or non-submitted work, but those policies must align with ministry policy as described in Growing Success.


Final Evaluation   
  1. Can the ten examination days from the school calendar be allocated to another month other than June?

According to the Education Act, Regulation 304, a board may designate up to ten instructional days as examination days. Boards have the discretion to decide on how and when these examination days are allocated. However, according to Ministry policy, the final 30% evaluation cannot be divided. As stated in Growing Success, page 41: “Thirty percent of the grade will be based on a final evaluation administered at or towards the end of the course. This evaluation will be based on evidence from one or a combination of the following: an examination, a performance, an essay, and/or another method of evaluation suitable to the course content. “Towards the end of the course” has generally been interpreted to mean three to four weeks in semestered schools and six to eight weeks prior to the end of the course in non-semestered schools.   From the perspective of the Ministry, conducting the final 30% evaluation too early may not allow an opportunity for the student to demonstrate comprehensive achievement of the overall expectations for the course.


Individual Education Plan (IEP)   
  1. Does the Growing Success policy change current policy for the development of an IEP in the elementary grades?

Currently, an IEP must be developed and in place within 30 school days of the student’s placement in a special education program/service. The formal review and update of the IEP should take place at least once every formal reporting period.

Growing Success policy has introduced a fall Progress Report Card to be issued between October 20 and November 20. In addition, a revised provincial report card is issued in January/February and June. As in the past, Growing Success policy indicates that there are three formal reporting periods. Therefore, the number of IEP reviews in the elementary grades continues to be three (3).

  1. Under what conditions can a teacher check the “progressing with difficulty” box on the Progress Report Card for students with IEPs?

There is no rule in Growing Success restricting the use of “progressing with difficulty” for students with IEPs. The purpose of both the Progress Report and the Provincial Report Card is to ensure that students and parents receive clear information about student’s performance based on the program outlined in the IEP. However, if “progressing with difficulty” is selected for a student with an IEP, it may indicate a need to revisit the accommodations on the IEP itself. Strategies regarding adjustments to IEPs can be found on page 74 of Growing Success under the section titled, “Ongoing Assessment and Program Adjustment.”

  1. Growing Success policy states that if the expectations in the IEP are “modified” so that they vary from the expectations in the regular program for the grade, teachers must check the IEP box and add the comment: “This (letter grade/percentage mark) is based on achievement of expectations in the IEP that vary from the Grade X expectations (and/or) are an (increase/decrease) in the (number and/or complexity) of curriculum expectations”. Does that entire statement have to be included or only the relevant sections?

The statement which must appear in the section “Strengths/Next Steps for Improvement” may be an edited version of the official statement as long as the edited version is accurate and clear.  The edited version must still use the wording of the approved policy statement. For example if you have a student in grade 4 working on Grade 2 expectations, could the statement read: “This letter grade is based on achievement of expectations in the IEP that vary from the Grade 4 expectations.” Or, for example, if you have a student in Grade 4 working on Grade 4 expectations but vary in the number only, could the statement read: “This letter grade is based on achievement of expectations in the IEP that are a decrease in the number of curriculum expectations”

  1. If a student has an IEP, does a teacher have to put in a rider statement in the Learning Skills section?

In the case of the Learning Skills and Work Habits, there are no IEP boxes  In addition, teachers are not required to include the rider statement in the comments box.

For a student with an IEP whose special education programs specifies learning expectations related to Learning Skills and Work Habits, the reporting of these learning expectations should be in consideration of the student’s IEP. It is recommended to note the reference to the student’s IEP on the Report Card.

The IEP boxes are checked for the subjects/strands/courses only, in order to indicate that modifications have been made to the curriculum expectations and the rider statement is used to further describe the modifications.

  1. If a student has an IEP and/or an Alternative Reporting format, should all of the Learning Skills and Work Habits be reported on the Report Cards and to OnSis?

In most cases when a student has an IEP, all of the Learning Skills and Work Habits should be reported on the Report Card. However, in very few cases, the reporting may only be on the learning expectations as outlined in the student’s IEP.

  1. Can a teacher use an alternative reporting format to report on students with a Developmental Disability (DD) and/or Multiple Exceptionalities (ME) that are in intensive support classes or integrated in regular classes?

In very few cases, alternative reporting formats can be used to report on students’ progress/achievement of alternative expectations/programs/courses when students do not access the provincial curriculum, regardless of their exceptionality or placement. It may also be helpful to refer to the memo to Directors issued on February 10, 2012: Elementary and Secondary Provincial Report Cards: Codes ALT and NM in place of Letter Grades and Percentage Marks and pages 70-74 of the Growing Success policy document


Learning Skills and Work Habits   
  1. Can the section of the elementary Provincial Report Card established under “Learning Skills / Work Habits” for “Strengths / Next Steps for Improvement” be used for other types of comments such as statements on “retention and placement”?

In the last paragraph on page 55 in Growing Success, the purpose and use of the comment box in the “Learning Skills and Work Habits” section of the elementary Provincial Report Card is articulated:
“In the space provided for anecdotal comments, the teacher will elaborate on the student’s demonstration of the skills and comment on “strengths” and “next steps for improvement”. Other teachers wishing to highlight some aspect of a student’s development of learning skills and work habits may comment in this space as well”. A separate space is provided at the top of the Report Card “Grade in September” to indicate promotional status of the student.

  1. For the elementary Progress Report Card and Provincial Report Card, should all teachers who teach a particular student be able to enter an evaluation (E, G, S, N) for the learning skills and work habits? Should all teachers be able to enter comments?

Growing Success (p. 55) states: “For Grades 1 to 8, in most cases, the homeroom teacher will complete the learning skills and work habits section…Other teachers wishing to highlight some aspect of a student’s development of learning skills and work habits may comment in this space as well.”

  1. If a student has an IEP and/or an Alternative Reporting format, should all of the Learning Skills and Work Habits be reported on the Report Cards and to OnSis?

In most cases when a student has an IEP, all of the Learning Skills and Work Habits should be reported on the Report Card. However, in very few cases, the reporting may only be on the learning expectations as outlined in the student’s IEP.


Median Reporting   
  1. When calculating the median for a small class, it is conceivable that the median could be ‘I’. This could be a privacy issue, which could identify the mark that several students earned. Should the median be suppressed if it is an ‘I’?

It is expected that teachers will use the code ‘I’ on the Report Card. for very few students, that ‘I’ would not be the median, and that it would not be necessary to suppress the median. Note that the code ‘I’ is not a mark. The code ‘I’ is explained on page 42 of the Growing Success policy document. In determining the median, the code ‘I’ is ranked below the percentage marks.

  1. If a student withdraws from a Grade 11 or 12 course before the completion of the term should the student’s mark at the time of the withdrawal be used to calculate the median for that reporting period?

As stated in Growing Success, page 60: “All students who are taking the course should be included in the calculation of the median for the course.” However,Ministry policy does not make specific reference to students that withdraw from the course before completion. It is recommended that the course median should include students who are actually in the course and receiving a mark when the median is generated, not students who were in the course at some point

  1. How should the course median be calculated? Should the medians of semestered courses be separated from non-semestered courses? What about different course types, such as early completion, credit recovery, e-learning, and co-op?

The course median is calculated for all students taking the course. Semestered and non-semestered courses should have separate medians since students are at different points in the course when Report Cards are issued. Students taking the course through e-learning are included in the calculation of the median. The Ministry is currently giving further consideration to this issue and how marks and medians for students in e-learning courses are entered on Report Cards and the Ontario Student Transcripts. A cooperative education course and the related course are listed as separate entries on the Report Card and OST, using the name of the related course and its course code for both courses. The cooperative education course is identified by the inclusion of “co-op” after the course name and, on the OST, by the notation “C” in the “Note” column. A median is calculated for the related course. A median should not be calculated for the co-op course and the space for the median on the Report Card for the student taking co-op should be left blank.

A student taking credit recovery should have the final mark recorded on the final secondary Report Card (semestered or non-semestered). That student’s credit recovery mark should not be included in the calculation of the median for the other students taking the course. The space for the median for the credit recovery student on the final Report Card should be left blank. The marks of students doing early completion of a course should be included in the calculation of the median, even though they may complete their work earlier.

  1. In a small school, where only two students are taking a subject/course, and one student has an “I”, what is the median? Does the same apply when one of the students has an “R”?

In these special cases, the space for the median should be left blank.

  1. How is the median calculated when there is an even number of students? For example, 40 students are taking the course, the 20th student has a percentage mark of 60% and the 21st student has a percentage mark of 63%.

The median is the arithmetic mean of the two middle scores. In this case, the median is (63 + 60)/2 = 61.5.

  1. In a small school where very few students are taking a subject/course, should the median be suppressed due to privacy concerns.

No. The median on a Report Card provides very little information about the marks of other students. For example, the marks 90, 80, 70, 60, and 50 have a median of 70 as do the marks 72, 71, 70, 69, and 68.


Progress Report Card (Grades 1-8)   
  1. For the Progress Report Card, can teachers provide the same comment to more than one student?

The guidelines for writing comments are set out in Growing Success, page 64. It is expected that teachers, with the support of their principal, ensure that “personalized comments” are clear, meaningful and precise for each student. Students with similar learning profiles may have comments that are the same or similar, however teachers are required to have evidence to support their comments and assessments.

  1. Can a principal or a board require teachers to comment on all subjects on the Progress Report Card?

In Growing Success, page 2, it states: “Recognizing that the needs and circumstances of individual boards may vary widely, the policy outlined in this document provides flexibility for boards to develop some locally focused guidelines and implementation strategies within parameters for consistency set by the Ministry.”

The parameters for comments on pages 64 and 66 of Growing Success establish that it is expected that principals will support effective practice in writing comments in language that parents will understand, and will ensure that parents have the information they require to interpret their child’s Report Card. While Ministry policy does not require teachers to comment on all subjects/strands, it does not prohibit boards or schools from doing so if the established parameters are being met.

  1. For the Progress Report Card comment field, is this one comment field for all teachers to share or subject specific for each teacher?

Ministry policy does not require teachers to enter comments for all subjects/strands on the Progress Report Card. The comment area on the Progress Report Card is not designed to be subject specific; one teacher may enter more comments than another when identifying improvements and next steps. The position of the Ministry is that students benefit when teachers collaborate in the assessment of their student’s work. Teachers are to share this space and if possible, the electronic versions should facilitate the sharing.

  1. Are teachers required to write learning skills / work habits comments on the Progress Report Card?

Page 55 of Growing Success states “In the space provided for anecdotal comments, the teacher will elaborate on the student’s demonstration of the skills.” This applies to both the Progress Report Card and Provincial Report Card.

  1. On the Progress Report Card, are “Progressing Very Well, Progressing Well and Progressing with Difficulty” directly aligned with the achievement chart?

The phrases “Progressing Very Well, Progressing Well and Progressing with Difficulty” are new terms and are not meant to be directly aligned with the four levels of the achievement chart, letter grades or percentage marks. The Progress Report Card uses these new terms to indicate early on in the school year areas of strength and possible areas for improvement in student learning or in achieving expectations by January/February or June. The Comments section provides teachers, through the use of personalized and meaningful comments, with an opportunity to clarify for students and parents how a student is progressing towards meeting the expectations of the subjects, identify significant strengths, areas of difficulty, next steps for improvement and help parents understand how they can support this progress at home.

  1. What does “complete the design of the Elementary Progress Report Card” mean?

Suggestions for completing the two spaces on the Elementary Progress Report Card designated for board use are provided on page 50 of Growing Success. For example, the tear-off space on the bottom of the second page might be designed to look similar to the tear-off section of the Elementary Provincial Report Card. Boards should work closely with their vendors to design these spaces.

  1. On the Progress Report Card, why is there is no delineation of strands for Language and Mathematics? The Health and Physical Education are broken into complementary parts. Is this open to change or is the template fixed?

No changes are to be made to the template. The template is standard and is Ministry policy. In the case of The Arts, the four areas are considered to be subjects or disciplines. In the case of Health Education and Physical Education, Ministry policy now requires teachers to report separately on Health Education and Physical Education which are two components of this subject or discipline. There are no changes anticipated in the template. If appropriate, teachers may comment on individual strands in Mathematics.

  1. When the Elementary Progress Report Card is printed, do the sections designated for board design remain blank?

No. Each board must work with their vendor to design the two sections on the Elementary Progress Report Card that appear at the top of the first page and at the bottom of the second page. The resulting design will be used consistently in all the elementary schools in the board.

  1. Will the information on the Elementary Progress Report Card for Grades 1-8 be included in the OnSIS data submissions beginning in 2010?

No.


Reaching Ahead   
  1. Does the Ministry have a formal policy or guidelines on student promotion from one grade to another? Or are these decisions made solely at the school/school board level?

With respect to promotion policy, according to the Education Act, it is the responsibility of the school principal to decide whether a student is prepared for work at the next grade level, or whether it would be in the best interest of the student to repeat the grade. This decision is made in consultation with the child’s teacher and parents, who know the characteristics of the particular child, and which approach would be more beneficial for his or her continued learning and progress.

  1. Can a student in grade 7 “reach ahead” and take a grade 9 credit course?

No, it is not possible for a grade 7 student to “reach ahead” to take a grade 9 course. The policy regarding students reaching ahead is set out in the policy document Ontario Schools Kindergarten to Grade 12, Policy and Program Requirements, 2011 (OS). As stated in Section 2.5.2.1: “Under exceptional circumstances, an individual student in grade 8, with parental consent, may be given permission by the principal of a secondary school to “reach ahead” to take secondary school courses, either during the school year or in the summer prior to entering grade 9. The principal of the elementary school and the principal of the secondary school will decide, on a case-by-case basis, whether “reaching ahead” to take a secondary school course is in the best interest of the student. The principal of the secondary school will assume responsibility for evaluating the student’s achievement and for granting and recording the credit.

  1. Can a student in grade 8 "reach ahead" and take a grade 10 course?

The policy set out in  Ontario Schools Kindergarten to Grade 12, Policy and Program Requirements, 2011 (OS) was intended for an individual grade 8 student to reach ahead to take grade 9 courses if required. However, if there is a need for a grade 8 student to reach ahead to a grade 10 course, there is nothing in policy restricting a student from doing so. It is possible under very exceptional circumstances for a student to take a course above the grade 9 level provided that the course does not have a prerequisite. As stated in Section 2.5.2.1: “Under exceptional circumstances, an individual student in grade 8, with parental consent, may be given permission by the principal of a secondary school to “reach ahead” to take secondary school courses, either during the school year or in the summer prior to entering grade 9. The principal of the elementary school and the principal of the secondary school will decide, on a case-by-case basis, whether “reaching ahead” to take a secondary school course is in the best interest of the student. The principal of the secondary school will assume responsibility for evaluating the student’s achievement and for granting and recording the credit.”


Reporting General   
  1. Are schools expected to follow Growing Success Policy or the Guide to the Provincial Report Card?

The Ministry expects schools to adhere to the Growing Success document as it supersedes the Guide to the Provincial Report Card. A list of documents and memoranda Growing Success supersedes can be found on page 1 of Growing Success.

  1. What does the “6 Week Rule” mean?

The policy regarding the 6 Week Rule is set out in the Ontario Student Record (OSR) Guideline, 2000. As stated in Section 3.2: A completed Provincial Report Card, grades 1–8 (all three pages), or an exact copy of it, will be filed in the OSR folder for each student who has been enrolled in the school for more than six weeks from the commencement of the reporting period.”

  1. What date range should be used to calculate the days absent and times late? When producing the first of two Provincial Report Cards should the date range start with the first day after the Progress Report Card period ended, or the first day of the school year? Are the total days absent and total times late calculated from the first day of the school year?

There are three reporting periods. For each of the three Report Cards, for days absent and times late, report the student’s attendance and punctuality record for that reporting period. For each of the three Report Cards, for total days absent and total times late record the accumulated attendance and punctuality totals from the start of the year to date.

  1. May we print page 4 on the back of page 1 and renumber the pages in order to be green and save collating effort and paper?

The design of the Report Cards must not be changed in any way.

  1. For the statement, “No changes of any kind should be made to these documents” for the Provincial Report Card, does adding a teacher’s name in the subject box of the Report Card constitute a “change” to the document?

Growing Success policy does not include a specific policy statement as to whether the addition of the teacher name constitutes a "change to the document" on Report Cards for grades 1 to 8. The Ministry leaves that determination to the board. Any costs associated with such a decision, would also be the sole responsibility of the board. It is permitted and expected on the Report Card for grades 9 to 12.

  1. What name is to appear on the Report Card in the opening section (e.g. ‘legal name’ and/or ‘preferred name’)?

According to Growing Success, page 54, only the student’s full legal first and last name is to appear on the opening section of the Report Card. OnSiS matches against the legal name only; however, in the OEN application, both legal and preferred names are to appear.
  • Completing Basic Information for All Reports: Chapter 6, Page 54

  1. Has the size of the font and/or the type face itself been determined or can we establish this with our vendor?

Comments about student achievement should be in nine-point type, for legibility. No type face has been determined.

  1. What flexibility, if any, do we have in determining the size of comment boxes on the Provincial Report Card or the Progress Report Card? Can we change the size to suit our needs?

The design of the Progress Report Card and the Provincial Report Card is standard. The size and location of boxes must not be changed.

  1. The last page of the Provincial Report Card includes a tear-off for the parent/guardian to write comments and sign. Can these be changed to a separate page in order to provide more space for parent comments and/or to make it easier to file?

No changes of any kind can be made to the Report Cards. Schools can allow additional notes from parents to be stored in the OSR with the PRC.

  1. What does the code “I” on a student’s Report Card mean?

As stated in Growing Success, page 42, the code “I” indicates that insufficient evidence is available to determine a letter grade or percentage mark on a student’s Report Card.

  1. Should a letter grade or a percentage mark be assigned along with the code “I”?

No.

  1. What is the numeric equivalent of ‘I’?

There is no numeric equivalent for the code ‘I’. The policy for this code is provided on page 42 of Growing Success.

  1. If a student has missed a lot of classes, or has not handed in a substantial amount of work during the year or reporting period, can a teacher enter an “I” indicating they do not have enough evidence to make an evaluation if the reasons are not based on protracted illness or late enrolment? Can an “R” be used if the teacher does not have enough evidence to determine if a student’s achievement falls below level 1?

“Late enrolment” or “protracted illness” is only given as examples of extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control – they are not intended to be exhaustive. The teacher using his/her professional judgment and working with the principal is in the best position to make the determination on the use of an “I” or an “R”, or a percentage below 50%. Grades, letters and levels of achievement indicate the extent to which a student demonstrates expectations of the subject or course. If insufficient evidence exists, and extenuating circumstances do not exist, then an R or grade below 50% may be the best way to communicate the need to develop strategies to address the student’s learning needs in order to support success. These may be based on academic support, program modification, development of learning skills and work habits or personal support and intervention.

  1. Is it appropriate to place an “I” at the end of the year in French strands for special education students?

Teachers will use their professional judgement to determine when the use of “I” is appropriate and in the best interest of the student. This may be because “there were issues or extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control”. If a student’s IEP indicates that certain strands would not be evaluated, the IEP box has to be checked and not all strands have to be checked. The reasons should be made clear to the parents.
There may be cases where a student who is identified with special education needs is exempt from taking French. This would be recorded in a student’s IEP and it would be appropriate to check N/A.

  1. The achievement level/percentage mark range fails to include the mark of ALT. ALT may be used on the OST for alternative courses that do not lead to credit.

Please refer to policy on page 63 of Growing Success under the heading IEP with Alternative Learning Expectations. It may also be helpful to refer to the clarifying memo issued on February 10, 2012: Elementary and Secondary Provincial Report Cards: Codes ALT and NM in place of Letter Grades and Percentage Marks.

  1. “Intensive Core French” is not an option under French on the Progress Report Card or Provincial Report Card. Are these students identified as Core French?

Yes. “Intensive Core French” is to be checked as Core French. Intensive Core French is still a pilot program.

  1. Our board does not provide instruction or report student achievement for Native Language. May we exclude it from the Report Card? We do not include it on the current Report Card.

Native Language must not be removed from the Report Cards.

  1. Can a teacher use an alternative reporting format to report on students with a Developmental Disability (DD) and/or Multiple Exceptionalities (ME) that are in intensive support classes or integrated in regular classes?

In very few cases, alternative reporting formats can be used to report on students’ progress/achievement of alternative expectations/programs/courses when students do not access the provincial curriculum, regardless of their exceptionality or placement. Please refer to policy on page 62 of Growing Success.

  1. If a principal feels a particular Report Card does not meet the policy and criteria outlined in Growing Success, can the Report Card be sent out without the principals signature?

According to Growing Success, reports must be signed by the principal or his or her representative (usually the vice-principal) before they are sent out to parents. The requirement that the principal sign the Report Card does not mean that the principal must sign every Report Card irrespective of its quality. This practice would be inconsistent with the tone and objective of Growing Success which states that school leaders are to coordinate, support and guide the work of teachers. This particular situation must be resolved between the principal and the teacher. It may also be helpful to refer to the Education Act, Section 265 (1) and Section 264(3) for more information regarding the duties of the principal.

  1. In non-semestered schools, what mark is given to the universities and colleges in February for early admissions?

According to Ministry policy, non-semestered schools are obligated to provide three formal Report Cards to their students. Growing Success stipulates the first Report Card is to be issued in October/November, and the second in March/April. The marks which go to OUAC and OCAS in February are not mandated by the Ministry. They may be taken from the fall Report Card or they may be updated marks submitted by teachers in January. In some cases, non-semestered schools have an additional reporting period in January/February in order to provide the most up to date marks to OUAC and OCAS.


Secondary Report Card (Grades 9-12)   
  1. For the semestered Report Card, are the page numbers to be printed as part of the form? Most of our semestered students have four courses so would require three pages instead of four.

Yes. The page numbers on the semestered Report Card must be printed as part of the form. There should be no changes to the pages of the Report Cards and their numbering. While most students take four full-credit courses per semester, some students take part-credit courses and will require both pages. The Report Cards must be standard for all students.

  1. The columns for credit earned, percentage mark, total absences, total lates, and perhaps telephone appear to be too narrow for the largest data value that could be printed there. For example, a credit value of ‘0.50’ or absences of ‘88’ may not fit in their columns. If the data cannot fit, is it acceptable to reduce the font size to 8 for those fields?

Yes. If it is necessary, font size for these columns may be reduced to size 8.

  1. The code “I” is not assigned on Report Cards for students in Grades 11 and 12. Does this apply to the students’ enrolment grade or the grade level of the course?

The policy applies to the grade level of the course.

  1. We determine Grade 9 and 10 courses by the fourth character of the course code, so we would consider courses with a 1, 2, A or B as junior courses. However, for any LVxBx courses, full disclosure rules consider them to be senior courses even though the fourth character of the course code is B. Is it correct to assume that these courses would not be assigned the code “I”?

Yes

  1. For students on the OSSD 1989 or OSSC, what do we print for the “Completion of Requirements for Graduation” page? Given that the requirement areas and required credits are part of the form and not to be changed, how valid is it to produce this page for these students?

The section headed “For School Use” on the “Completion of Requirements for Graduation Page” may be used to record local requirements, specialized programs completed, or certificates earned by the student. Therefore, as in the past, the credits earned should be recorded on this page with appropriate information and comments in the “For School Use” space.

  1. On the “Completion of Requirements for Graduation” page, is the purpose of the ‘For School Use’ text box for a common message to all students? Or can this space contain information applicable only for this specific student?

This space can be used for information for all students and for individual students.

  1. Who in a secondary school enters information in the space on the Completion of Requirements for Graduation page labelled “For School Use”?

In most schools, the principal designates a person - such as the office manager or senior secretary to enter information into this space.

  1. If a student fails the OSSLC grade 12 literacy course, can he/she earn the credit through credit recovery?

The student may be permitted to take the grade 12 literacy course (OSSLC) if they have failed the OSSLT. They cannot take credit recovery as a first response to failing the test.

If the student fails the OSSLC grade 12 literacy course and then requests credit recovery and if the School Credit Recovery Team in their professional judgement believes that the credit recovery program is the most appropriate and educationally sound method for that student to recover the credit then they can give permission for the student to be admitted into the program.


Subject-Specific Reporting   
  1. What is the reporting policy for Health and Physical Education on the Elementary Provincial Report Cards for Grades 1 to 8?

It is required that both Health Education and Physical Education for Grades 1 to 8 are reported for both Elementary Provincial Report Cards.

  1. What is the reporting policy for Mathematics on the Elementary Provincial Report Cards for Grades 1 to 8?

It is required that for Mathematics for Grades 1 to 8, at least four of the five strands are to be reported in Report 1; at least four of the five strands are to be reported on Report 2. Each of the five strands for Mathematics must be reported on at least once.

  1. What is the reporting policy for the Arts on the Elementary Provincial Report Cards for Grades 1 to 8?

It is required that for the Arts for Grades 1 to 8, at least three of the four strands must be reported in Report 1; at least three of the four strands must be reported in Report 2. Each of the four strands must be reported on at least once each year.

  1. Is it expected that Science and Technology and Social Studies will be reported on both Report 1 and Report 2 in Grades 1 to 6?

Yes.  According to Ministry policy is it expected that Science and Technology and Social Studies is reported on both reporting periods. For that reason, “NA” (no instruction for that subject/strand for the reporting period) was not provided as an option for teachers to select.


Teacher Comments   
  1. Under what conditions is it appropriate to recommend a course level placement in the anecdotal comments for the Report Cards?

Ministry policy does not specify if course level recommendations are an appropriate “next step” to be included in the anecdotal comments. However, a communication about course level placement may be better discussed face-to-face with the parent and student to provide more context for the recommendation. The expectations for anecdotal comments are set out in page 64 of Growing Success under “Teacher Comments.” It may be useful to discuss with the principal how well the criteria on page 64 align with the proposed comment. It may also be helpful to refer to the Reporting Student Learning: Guidelines for Effective Parent-Teacher-Student Communication document when considering comment content.

  1. For the Progress Report Card, can teachers provide the same comment to more than one student?

The guidelines for writing comments are set out in Growing Success, page 64. It is expected that teachers, with the support of their principal, ensure that “personalized comments” are clear, meaningful and precise for each student. Students with similar learning profiles may have comments that are the same or similar, however teachers are required to have evidence to support their comments and assessments.