In the wake of last fall’s bare-bones report cards, the elementary teachers’ union has sent out a memo explaining what’s expected this time around — including that “personalized feedback does not mean that every student must have a different comment” and that “teachers arenotrequired to completely fill the boxes.”
The Jan. 14 memo lays out in great detail how the winter report should be handled, and stands in contrast to the bare-minimum advice given by the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) for the fall progress report.
At that time, the ETFO advised its members to write the minimum comment required — as little as one sentence.
Public teacher unions are angry with the province for imposing two-year contracts that denied them bargaining rights and include cuts to sick days, an end to banking out unused sick days at retirement, as well as forcing three unpaid days off and freezing wages.
The ETFO memo explains its report card advice is consistent with provincial guidelines. “Teachers are to use their professional judgment when completing the Elementary Provincial Report Card. Teachers are not expected to comment on every learning skill or strand.”
There’s no suggestion teachers must keep comments brief, he said.
In a written response to questions the Education ministry said: “We know that so many of our teachers put an enormous amount of time and effort into all report cards. We value and appreciate that effort and we know it’s helping to get better outcomes for our kids. We have every expectation that teachers will continue to complete report cards.”