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Report Card and the Evaluation Process

Author: Steve Hiles

The report card has been an integral part of the academic evaluation process for generations. For younger students, report cards may cover several developmental milestones while older students may see more of their academic progress demonstrated in their so-called “grades.” Regardless of age, students and their parents/guardians benefit from an efficient evaluation of their overall progress as it can show areas of strength and areas that may need improvement, be it behavioral or academic.

The overall purpose of the report card is to clearly convey pertinent information regarding a student’s overall progress. Accurate student records are vital to educational success, as it gives teachers, parents/guardians, students and everyone else in the student’s life a chance to be on the same page. By showing areas where the student excels and where they may need a bit of a boost, teachers can give a full report that will encourage participation. Utilizing examples of student schoolwork and behavioral reports can assist in preparing any reports or conference discussions.

Educators know that parent/guardian communication is key to a student’s success, as lessons being taught in class can always be reinforced in the home environment. Utilize report cards as an opportunity to connect with students’ families and enroll them in their child’s success. While it can be difficult for some to admit, no student is “perfect,” and every one of them has areas of strengths and weaknesses. Highlight both, using sensitive language. The “Oreo method” works wonderfully, wherein you begin with something the child does well. After this, discuss an area that may need improvement (along with one or two goals to achieve this) and then end on another positive note. Use clear and specific language that will help parents/guardians understand exactly what their child is up to – for example, saying, “Helen excels at small group work – especially during language arts,” is better than “Helen excels in her work.”

All the best,
Steve