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Principal’s Message – December 2017   arrow

Principal’s Message December 2017

Parents, students, and community members,

Somehow December is already here, and we only have 3 weeks of school until it’s time to celebrate the holiday break with friends and family. This will be a festive month at Borden School, with students preparing for the Christmas Concert on December 21st. We also have our annual SCC Christmas Banquet for K-12 students on December 20th, and our grad-sponsored pancake breakfast on December 22nd. We invite all members of our school community to join us for these events as volunteers, spectators, and supporters!

The start of December also marks the end of the volleyball season for all of our teams. The junior girls’ and junior boys’ teams both had excellent seasons, and participated in playoffs during the last week of October. Our senior teams (the Borden girls’ team and the Borden/Langham boys’ team) both advanced to provincials, and were excellent representatives of their home communities. I was fortunate enough to attend the girls’ provincials in Fox Valley and Maple Creek, and can undoubtedly say that it was one of the most memorable experiences that I’ve had during my time at Borden School. As always, I am very proud of the athleticism, sportsmanship, and community spirit that our students display!

The first progress reports went home with students in November, so this seems like a good time to revisit the big question that our school division is asking this year: “How do we know?” When teachers report on student learning, they are basing grades (both academic and behavioral) on evidence that they have collected. This evidence might include:

  • Products, such as assignments, quizzes, exams, visual displays, essays, etc.
  • Observations, which can occur in a variety of formal and informal ways.
  • Conversations, including side-by-side discussions with students.

Teachers combine the evidence that they receive and use it to produce progress reports, which are used as one way to inform parents about their children. If parents ask themselves “how do we know how our child is doing in school?”, is the progress report the only source of evidence that they have? Much like teachers combine information from a variety of products, observations, and conversations to create a student’s progress report, we hope that parents utilize a variety of evidence to understand how their child is doing. This can include:

Having frequent conversations/check-ins with the child’s teacher(s). Having conversations with the child that allow them to explain what they know.
Asking the child about assignments or activities that they are working on. Observing the child’s behavior and attitude in a variety of settings.

When looking at a child’s progress report, it is also important to remind ourselves about the differences in grading scales:

  • Grade 1-8 academic grades are reported using a 4-point scale, where a score of 3 is the grade-level expectation.
  • Grade 9-12 academic grades are reported using percentages, based out of 100%.
  • Grade 1-12 behavior grades are reported using a 4-point scale, where a score of 4 is the target.

We hope that progress reports are rarely surprising to parents, and that parents take on an active role in the learning process throughout the school year. If any families would like ideas about how to stay more involved in their child’s learning, please don’t hesitate to contact their classroom teacher.

As we continue through another successful year at Borden School, I want to thank teachers, support staff, coaches, parents, and volunteers for all of the work that they do in making our school a great place to learn. Have a great month!

Mr. Mitch Luiten