Oxford School’s Plan for Communicating
It is important to communicate clearly and frequently with parents/guardians about their children’s progress in school. What follows is an attempt to formally outline the ways we hope to keep parents informed of their children’s progress.
It may be helpful to provide a brief explanation of some of the educational terms that are used in our written plan. When we speak of assessment, we refer to the many ways that teachers gather daily information on student learning. The more formal term, evaluation, refers to the process of taking all of the assessment information and making more formal judgments on the student’s progress. While assessment is done daily, evaluation covers longer periods and is done several times in a school year.
Methods to Assess Learning
Teachers gather information about what students learn, how they learn, and growth they have made in a variety of ways. In planning assessments, teachers use a broad range of strategies in an appropriate balance to give students multiple opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and attitudes. By ensuring a variety of methods, teachers give students the opportunity of showing their best work. At Oxford School, teachers use a variety of ways to assess student performance. These may include, but are not limited to: – Formal and informal observations – Checklists – Anecdotal records – Conferences – Interviews – Daily work samples – Portfolios – Projects – Presentations/reports – Student journals – Tests – Quizzes – Performances – Peer and self evaluation – students assessing own and each others work using clear guidelines
The Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (EECD) provides curriculum guides that describe the learning outcomes for each curriculum area. Teachers at Oxford School use them when planning, delivering, and assessing the outcomes for the learning activities they set up for the class.
How We Communicate Student Learning
Information about your child’s learning can be communicated to students, parents/guardians and teachers in a variety of ways. These methods include, but are not limited to:
– Parent/teacher/student night
– Meetings with parents
– Curriculum sessions for parents/guardians – Monthly school calendars and/or class newsletters – Special events – Student homework – Work samples – Published stories – Read-at-home programs – Records of books read – Writing folders – Projects – Journals – Investigations – Displays – Visits – Phone calls – E-mail – Performances – Recordings – Signatures on tests – Portfolios – Student conferences – Progress reports One of the above mentioned methods of communicating student learning, in relation to the expected outcomes, will be undertaken on a school-wide basis and others are particular to individual classes and teachers. There are specific times set aside to have teachers inform parents, formally and informally, about student progress. While much of the communication between home and school takes place on an informal basis, there are formal written report periods. Three times during the year (December, April , June) the school will send home “formal” reports that are written in narrative form, refer to the curriculum outcomes and also include (for students in Grades 1-8) letter grades for all the subjects. Percentage grades are provided for grade 9 students.
School Planning Team (SPT)
Most students have success following the prescribed curriculum as outlined in the Dept. of Education’s learning outcomes documents. In some cases, students require some additional support from the resource teacher to help them keep pace. In some of cases, documented adaptations are identified for a specific student that will enable them to apply their knowledge to all learning and achieve toward the learning outcomes outlined in the Public School Program (PSP). Such adaptations are simply tools, such as wearing glasses to see better, or providing a friend to scribe, that teachers put in place, specific to the needs of the student as they relate to a given subject.
In very few cases, the School Planning Team meets to formulate a revised educational plan, referred to as an Individualized Program Plan, in order to meet the needs of specific learners who are unable to meet the outcomes of the PSP. This team is made up of school administration, classroom teachers, support teachers, speech/language pathologist, guidance counselor and school psychologist. A teacher or parent may refer a student for consideration by the School Planning Team. Prior to the formal writing of an Individual Program Plan (IPP), parents will be informed of the school’s intentions and engaged in its development. The Nova Scotia Department of Education has developed a guide for parents so that they may better understand the steps in the program planning process. It can be found here: http://www.studentservices.ednet.ns.ca/sites/default/files/program-planning-process.pdf
Parent Concern Protocol
“The Halifax Regional School Board is committed to addressing parent concerns in an efficient and respectful manner. Every reasonable effort will be made to resolve issues brought to the attention of the board and its professional staff.” When concerns arise about a student’s progress, parents are asked to first discuss the matter with the teacher. If the parent feels the matter is not resolved, they should approach the school administration. The goal in these discussions is to work towards the best interests of the student. Such discussions are best held at agreed upon appointment times. If the matter is not resolved at the administration level, the parent is able to formally direct the concern to Board supervisory staff.
Our hope is that our communication plan provides parents with lots of opportunities to understand their children’s school progress. Each September teachers begin the challenging but stimulating process of getting to know the students and helping them progress. We hope this year will be one of great growth for your children and a year in which we communicate well with you