Assessment and Evaluation

Implementing the New Provincial Report Card

Frequently Asked Questions: General

This FAQ aims to answer questions raised by the educational community regarding the new provincial report card. It is organized in alphabetical order by topic.


Comments from Parents
Does the student return the report card to the school after the parents have seen it?

“Methods of delivery and return of the report card to and from parents will be decided upon by schools or divisions” (Section 2.2, policy and support document).


Consistency
Is the purpose of the report card to standardize instruction throughout the province? If so, why?

No, instructional strategies used by teachers to support learning will vary to best meet the needs of the students. “The provincial report card provides an opportunity to develop a common language for professional learning and grading practices. Consistencies from school to school develop as educators share ‘pictures of practice’ such as student work samples, instructional ideas, and grading practices based on Manitoba’s foundational principles for grading (Section 1.1, policy and support document)


Determining a Mark
For grades 7 and 8, are the categories all weighted the same, or differently? If differently, how?

A student’s overall grade should reflect the emphasis of instruction and, therefore, assessment and resulting assessment evidence, which may vary over the course of a school year. It is not intended or recommended that numeric weights be applied to subject category grades to arrive at overall grades; rather, the overall grade is determined by pooling the evidence of learning (teacher professional judgement is used to determine which evidence to use for grading). See section 4.3 of the report card policy and support document for more information.


Exam Mark
In the non-semestered report card (Grades 9–12), every subject has two cells for marks in the Exam Mark column. Why? Where does the mark for the final exam go?

percentage

The cell indicated by the arrow could contain

  • the mark for an exam taken at the end of Term 1,
  • the mark for an exam taken at the end of Term 2, or
  • the code NE to indicate that there was no exam, or ‘NM’ if there was an exam but the student was exempted or excused.

The cell below it is for the Final Exam.

It is possible for all the cells under Exam Mark to have ‘NE’ if the school has no comprehensive midterm or final exams.

Are final exams required or expected for high school courses, as far as the province is concerned?

The province only requires final provincial exams for students seeking S-level (Specialized) credit in Grade 12 mathematics and language arts. Further details may be found in the document Policy and Procedures for Provincial Tests.

If a student is exempted from a school-based final exam because he or she met a minimum mark requirement, how should this be reported?

Use ‘NM’. A comment should be provided to explain.


Half-Credit Courses
Nearly all of the courses in our school are full-year courses, but some are divided into two half-credit courses. The non-semestered report card is divided into three reporting terms. How are we to proceed?

A report card template is available for this case – the “Mixed Semestered” template.


IEP (Individual Education Plan)


When is the IEP box to be selected?

There are two types of IEP boxes – one for the academic domain and one for learning behaviors.  Details on the use of these boxes may be found in Section 4.2 of the report card policy and support document.

At Grades 1-8, is IEP (academic) selected only if the student has been diagnosed with a cognitive disability?

Not necessarily. It is selected only if there is an IEP in place, and it is in the academic domain for the subject such that the student is not working at, and not being assessed or graded based on, grade-level curricular outcomes. At these grades, in addition to the reason of cognitive disability, other potential reasons for an IEP include attendance issues and gaps in the learning.

Is the IEP box in the report card grading boxes used to indicate that a student has adaptations in her or his IEP (Grades 1 to 8)?

No. This IEP box is used only to indicate that a student’s achievement grades reflect learning goals in the IEP based on curricular goals in the IEP from a grade other than the student’s classroom grade. This is irrespective of any adaptations that may be identified in an IEP. The section IEP (Individual Education Plan) of the Policy and Guidelines document states as policy:

For the purposes of the provincial report card, the IEP box is selected when an IEP is in place for the academic/cognitive domain. The student may be working either below or beyond grade level.

Note that this does not preclude documenting adaptations in an IEP that is developed and shared with parents as part of normal communications, whether the IEP also includes alternate learning goals or not.

At the high school level, will an IEP box be added to the report card as at Grades 1 to 8?

No. At the elementary grades the IEP box is used to indicate that achievement grades are not based on grade-level learning goals. At high school, the codes used in the course designations (M, E, L) performs this function.


Interim/Progress Reports
Can interim/progress reports be issued to parents?

Informal progress reports are permitted as long as they respect the following: “The provincial report card forms one part of an important communication system. It formally documents and communicates a student’s summative achievement to parents. No other kind of ‘report card’ that attempts to accomplish a similar task may be used.” (Section 1.1,, policy and support document).


L (French Literacy – applies to Français program only)
Is the ‘L’ designation temporary while the student is learning the language necessary to function?

Yes. “This student may be addressing some subject area learning at grade level, but the focus of instruction is language learning. This indicator is used when the expectation is that, once the language level is high enough, the student will receive regular academic programming.” (Section 4.2, policy and support document)

Is the ‘L’ designation used in the Grades 1-6 and 7-8 report cards as well?

Yes, but only if the student is not following the provincial curriculum.

Can a student (Grades 1–8) have an ‘L’ designation without an IEP?

Yes, however it would be preferable for the student to have an IEP. Read “Figure 3: Decision-Making Process for using EAL, L, and IEP” in Section 4.2 of the policy and support document.


Learning Behaviours
Are all of the boxes under ‘Learning Behaviours’ to be filled in?

Yes. In rare cases where there is an IEP in place, a teacher may leave a box blank. This will have to be approved by the principal, and the teacher should add a comment to explain the reason.

Do the learning behaviour ratings for a given term reflect that term only?

Yes. A student’s learning behaviours in Terms 1 and 2 have no impact on the ratings for Term 3,
for example.

IEP Chart


Literacy, Academics, and Language (LAL)
If a student is a stage 1 or 2 language learner, or a Literacy, Academics, and Language (LAL) learner and is not following all regular subjects as a result, how should this appear on the report card?

It is understood that in certain circumstances such as this, the focus of the student’s programming may be language learning, temporarily excluding instruction in another subject or subjects. The report card will show all normally required subjects for the grade and school program. For a subject whose content has not been addressed at all for this period of time, ‘NA’ is used in place of student grades, with the teacher comment box used to explain. The principal’s comment box could also be used to document and communicate the nature of the student’s programming. At the time the report card is sent home, and at other times, information regarding the student’s progress as a new language learner may be provided to parents using appropriate means (see Manitoba Kindergarten to Grade 12 Curriculum Framework for English as an Additional Language (EAL) and Literacy, Academics, and Language (LAL) Programming).


M (modified) (Grades 9 to 12)
How is information pertaining to the specific outcomes targeted by students in ‘M’-designate courses to be provided?

A student who is taking a course with an ‘M’ designation has been diagnosed by a qualified individual as having a significant cognitive disability and will therefore have an Individual Education Plan (IEP). The IEP should contain the list of specific outcomes corresponding to that student’s needs.

The teacher may append an IEP update to show the student’s progress on the outcomes.

In the comment section of the report card, the teacher may ask the parents to refer to the student’s IEP.

On the report card itself, the teacher will record an overall grade based on the outcomes specific to that student.


Multi-subject Grading Box (Grades 1 to 8)
Is the multi-subject grading box only for the Arts?

No, it may be applied to other subjects that are not among the core subjects appearing on the report card template.


New High-school Course
If I want to teach a course at the secondary level that is not yet in the Manitoba Education Subject Table Handbook, how do I go about including this course in a report card?

All school-initiated courses (SICs) and student-initiated projects (SIPs) must be registered with the department before they are offered. For more information on SICs and SIPs, please see Locally Developed Curricula: School-Initiated Courses and Student-Initiated Projects.


Optional Courses (Grades 1 to 8)
What do we do if we offer more than one optional subject?

The school can include, on the report card, a box for each optional subject taken by their students. In this case, “school divisions will develop from three to five categories for these subjects based on the curricular frameworks, and follow the same reporting format as for other subject areas such as Mathematics and Social Studies. Alternatively, they may be reported in a multi-subject grading box (Section 4.4, report card policy and support document).


Provincial Assessments
How do we report on provincial assessments, e.g., the Grades 3/4 and Middle Years Assessments (Mathematics, Reading, Student Engagement, etc.)?

The existing report templates for these provincial assessments are used. The school can send the parent reports for these assessments with the report card or separately.


Report Card Format
In some K–8 schools, the Grades 7–8 teachers teach every subject to every Grade 7–8 student. Will they be able to use the Grades 1-6 report card template?

No.


Semestered and Non-semestered Courses
Some of our high school courses are semestered and others run for the full year. Can the two types be reported on the same document?

The format of the four-term ‘Mixed Semestered’ report card allows for the results of both semestered and non-semestered courses to be communicated to parents in a single document.


Signature
Can the teacher sign the report card?

Yes, this is a local option.

Where does the teacher’s signature go?

Space can be configured for the teacher to sign on the last page, just above the principal’s signature.


Teacher Comments
Is there a maximum number of words for teachers’ comments?

No.

Does the teacher comment box have a fixed size, or must comments be of a certain length?

No. There is local discretion regarding comments, including how long they are. The support document provides important guidelines for comment writing, including keeping the focus on strengths and opportunities for improved learning, being brief and concise, and not using the comment box for summarizing what has been taught or other types of information more appropriately communicated using other methods.

Is it acceptable for the student information system (SIS) to be designed to fix the size of the teacher comment box?

Responsibility for the configuration of report cards within SISs rests with schools and school divisions who communicate their requirements to their SIS providers. This could include locally determined provisions regarding the teacher comment box, for which there is local discretion, as described above.

On the high school report card, can the teacher’s comments in the final report period be of a more general nature?

Yes. The teacher could, for example, suggest a student-specific overall goal for the following year.

Can a bank of comments be developed?

The department does not encourage the use of comment banks. However, if they are used, comments should address student-specific strengths, challenges and next steps.

Can teacher comments address things like attendance, attitude, effort and behaviour in relation to academic achievement?

Yes. Teacher comments synthesize the teacher’s insight for parents regarding factors that influence the student’s learning. The emphasis of comments in the grading section of the report card should be academic learning. However, non-academic (non-graded) factors such as those noted above could be crucial considerations for improved learning for the student, and merit comment. Just noting the presence of an issue is insufficient – an attainable and appropriate target for change (likely already discussed with parents and the student) should also be noted.


Technology Education
Is there a “Completion of Credit Requirements for Graduation” chart for the Technology Education program?
Valuing of French Language (FL1 and FL2 only)
Where on the report card does “Values the French language” go?

Schools/school divisions can add it to the Learning Behaviours (up to two local options can be added) or the principal can mention it in the comments box at the end of the report card.