Community members are invited to come and learn about the new Real Time Reporting (RTR) concept when it comes to student report cards.
Rocky View Schools named eleven schools throughout the district to pilot the new concept in what will eventually be the future of what student reporting looks like. Being one of three Cochrane schools that will pilot the concept, RancheView School, is holding an informative information night tomorrow (October 10) for the community at large.
Sharon Cronin, Administrator for RancheView School is excited to be named a 'prototype' school and the first to launch the new structure of reporting. While this is the first year real-time reporting will be implemented, Cronin says the groundwork started late last year. "This is brand new this year, however, we started the work on this last year in order to get staff prepared as well as parents prepared. RancheView parents, may or may not remember we did have an information night in June about this and the process to help them understand."
The difference between RTR and traditional report cards is students, parents and teachers will be able to access data on a regular, continual basis rather than waiting for the traditional report card time. "We are going off the notion that with having data at our fingertips, we know exactly where we are going and teachers will use the information children give them in class through their learning to guide their practice and to understand where they need to go to help kids with their constant learning. With real-time reporting what we want to do is ensure that the information is being communicated out to our community and to our parents and students."
Real-time reporting will do away with the standard end of November and March report cards, with parents only being sent home an end of the year comprehensive report. Cronin believes that keeping in constant knowledge of what your child is doing in the classroom will be beneficial to both parents and students. "We want to have our kids and parents access this information on an ongoing basis. What we know about assessment practice is that the more informed people are about what they are doing, they are able to get better at what they are doing."
While students, generally, have a good idea of their own successes and challenges in the classroom, Cronin says often that information was not being relayed to the parents consistently or regularly. With the addition of Power School, parents can log in and find out what their child is learning, assignments due, upcoming tests, and how their child is performing in certain subjects. "Parents will have a good understanding of how their kids are doing and won't have to wait a few months to get that information. Through real-time reporting, teachers on a fairly regular basis will be communicating out in respect to all subjects in regards to how their child is doing in school."
Approached late last school year by the Rocky View Learning Department, Cronin was asked whether her school would be on board with the new concept and if she felt the school community would be accepting of the new model. "Being a new school this has been something that's been ongoing right from the get-go. I did bring it back to our staff and had a conversation about what this could potentially look like and I also shared we had to be very comfortable with living in the unknown. And by that I meant, with any change, there would be a lot of questions from the staff as well as our community and we may not have all the answers."
With 100% of teacher support behind her, Cronin is happy to report that everyone is feeling confident about the new direction. Although Cronin feels very positive she knows with change there will be challenges they have to overcome. "The challenge will be trying to satisfy everybody if you will; to not make more work for the teachers where they are focused more on Power School than they are teaching in the classroom yet also providing parents and the students with the necessary information so they feel informed about their learning."
RancheView School has not placed any sort of mandate on how often, how little, or how much teachers will have to update Power School at this time. "The answer is really as often as need be...which I know really says nothing to people. This year we are saying to our teachers that as learning is occurring they need to be going into Power School and making these comments and it needs to be often enough that when we continue to invite our families to go in and see, they see updated information. I would say it's probably realistic to say that every couple of weeks there should be updates in there but yet there will be some classes that will have far more regular updates than that."
Parents will have the option to create a summary report through the parent portal based on the information the teachers have provided which includes anecdotal comments and indicators of success if they choose.
Cronin and her staff are looking forward to hearing the feedback from the school community over this school year whether it be positive or negative. "The communication we have put out to parents is we are looking for feedback, we will not be adverse to receiving that critical feedback from our families if they feel they are not getting enough information or if they say I am getting too much information. As the year evolves, our goal is that our community feels very informed about their child's learning so we will need to work together with our families to ensure we find that right balance."
Elizabeth Barrett Elementary and Manachaban Middle School are the other two Cochrane schools piloting RTR with the idea that additional schools will implement the concept next year before ALL kindergarten to grade 8 schools in the division come on board in the 2020/2021 school year.
Everyone is welcome to attend the information night tomorrow from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm in RancheView's Learning Commons. Parents will have an opportunity to access Power School with supplied computers, learn valuable information about the new reporting method, and ask any questions they may have. Childcare will also be provided if needed, and you are asked to RSVP HERE.