I would like to introduce you to the new OACS Report Card
Over the years the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools has provided resources to schools for reporting student progress. From time to time, the OACS has introduced a new report card in an effort to respond to the changing needs of our school communities. Each new attempt has sought to remain true both to the unchanging reality that our world belongs to God and to the conviction that teachers should teach and assess from a uniquely Christian perspective.
The report card opens with a section entitled “Growing in Wisdom.” The word growing is intentional—we see our children as students in process. The first subsection is entitled “Faith at School.” In this section teachers are asked to think carefully about what they see happening in the spiritual lives of their students.
We should not be shy when it comes to thinking reflectively about this area of our children’s lives. Parents want to know. We are partners with them in the Christian education of their children. This approach is consistent with the Cardus report, which studied the largest-ever sample of Christian school graduates and administrators in North America, focusing on students’ spiritual formation, cultural engagement and academic development. The Cardus report identifies faith development as a primary outcome of Christian schools.
Christian schools have been founded from a desire to provide opportunity for children to grow in the Christian faith. It is this desire that necessitates the integration of faith and learning, and sets Christian schools apart from their public and non-religious school counterparts. The development of faith, then, should be a primary outcome of Christian schools.
Listed below the Faith at School section are several other learning skills. These skills are those that researchers employed in conjunction with the Growing Success project have identified as being necessary for children to flourish in the 21st century. You will find these same skills listed in the public and Catholic school report cards. All accredited high schools, private and public in Ontario, are required to produce evidence of assessment of these skills on their report cards.
It is beneficial for OACS schools to use the same terminology as the public and catholic schools, and to become fluent and profficient with assessing these skills. We have many transfer students from the public schools, and it can only build confidence if we demonstrate some continuity between systems.
We know this report card may be unfamiliar, but want to encourage everyone to read the Achievement Descriptors on the front page carefully. There is a system of numbers (1 to 4) to flesh out each subject area into particular assessment criteria. In some cases, teachers have entered n/a until such time as a suitable evaluation can be made. Is there a particular area you feel we missed? Be sure to ask your child’s teacher about it at the parent teacher conference. This will give us the much needed feedback to continue to work the new report card into a parent friendly document.
Jennifer Shoniker, Principal
Sample Report Card – .pdf