ETFO provincial job action makes report card for 112,000 Peel students "an impossible task"

Peel board to issue placement letters to replace June report cards

MISSISSAUGA, ON, June 10, 2015 /CNW/ - With public elementary teachers not inputting student marks electronically for the purpose of producing report cards, the Peel District School Board will replace the term two report card with a placement letter. This decision follows an extensive review of options and aligns with the direction of the Ministry of Education. 

Notes Tony Pontes, "We respect the fact that public elementary teachers across Ontario are taking part in lawful job action. But the reality is this action includes not writing report card comments, and not inputting student marks electronically for the purpose of producing report cards. As a board, our production of report cards for over 112,000 elementary students relies on this inputting of data by teachers. To try to have others—like 350 principals and vice-principals—take on the work of almost 5,000 classroom teachers is an impossible task.  Unfortunately, after exploring every possible solution, the Peel board is unable to provide parents and guardians with report cards for elementary students this June."

The board has estimated that production of the report cards would require about three million individual data entries for the 112,000 students. Cost estimates to hire additional staff to assist would be about $1 million. The Ministry of Education has determined boards will not be provided additional funding to support these costs. The ministry has told boards that a placement letter is an acceptable solution this school year.

The placement letter, to be issued on June 22, 2015, will contain an explanation of the replacement of the report card, information about the grade placement of the child for next year, and all additional information the school can provide at this time, including attendance and times late. This letter will be part of the Ontario Student Record.

Adds Pontes, "We know how important the report card is to parents and to students—it is a reflection of the work completed throughout the year, and the marks, learning skills and teacher comments are valued. At the same time, the final report card should contain no surprises. It is not the sole nor is it the most important piece of achievement data we have for students. It is another update on progress. All prior formal assessment, evaluation and reporting that has been completed this year is part of student records and can be referenced moving forward.

"We understand this news is disappointing—we share that disappointment. We know our elementary teachers are skilled professionals and we are confident they would have kept parents well informed on the progress of their child throughout the school year. As always, if parents have any questions, we encourage them to contact their child's teacher to discuss their child's marks and/or information on progress this school year. We know our teachers are caring and committed and will do everything possible to help parents with their questions."

SOURCE Peel District School Board

For further information: Reference: Brian Woodland, Director of Communications, Peel District School Board, brian.woodland@peelsb.com, 905-890-1010 ext. 2812

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