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Immediate Action Being Taken to Address Survey Comments

Government is taking immediate action to address initial findings from a report card survey that calls for more personalized comments about student performance.

“We have heard loud and clear from families and students that they are not getting the feedback they want and need.

I want to see this change now,” Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey said today, May 30. “I expect to see comments in the June report cards that will help students and parents better prepare for the next school term.”

Ms. Casey has asked school boards to build on the good work already being done by teachers to provide more useful comments to families and students.

“I want to recognize and acknowledge the challenges that teachers faced when the department rolled out the new report card program,” said Ms. Casey. “In some cases, teachers needed clearer direction to implement the new report card with success. I want all teachers to know that the department is committed to working with them to improve this means of communication with parents, beginning immediately.”

She has asked boards to ensure June report cards include teacher comments that are:
— clear and jargon-free
— individualized to the student
— based on students’ strengths, any areas for improvement, and what students can do to improve
— providing advice to parents on what they can do to support their child’s learning at home

In total, 5,811 students, parents, teachers and school administrators from across the province filled out the survey. Key findings from parents were:
— 58 per cent felt teacher comments did not help them understand where their child may be struggling
— 63 per cent felt comments did not help them understand report card grades and wording
— 62 per cent felt comments did not help them support their child’s learning at home

Key findings from teachers and students were:
— 61 per cent of teachers felt comments did not help students understand how well they are doing
— About 40 per cent of students felt comments did not help them understand how well they are doing, or where they are struggling

“I want to thank the thousands of Nova Scotians who participated in this important survey,” said Ms. Casey. “Today’s announcement is an immediate action to address concerns raised by all those who participated, and I look forward to improving the reporting process even more in the fall when I receive the final recommendations from the report card review committee.”

The committee will do an analysis of other areas identified in the survey, which will be included in the final report this fall.

An overview of the survey results can be found at http://www.ednet.ns.ca .

Source: Release

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