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We have continued with the standards-based report card journey since your visit to our
district in 2010. As technology changes how we communicate, we are re-examing the
purpose of report cards and comments.

Question 1: What role should comments have on a standards-based report card?

Question 2: As our district moves to real-time parent access to the grade book (PowerSchool),
does the need for a comment at the end of grading period (trimester) change?

Jackie Thomason


Jackie, I agree with you that it is necessary to re-examine the purpose and nature of report
cards and comments as technology changes. What is needed is an examination of your
whole "Communication System" and careful consideration of the coherence of the system
and the role and purpose of each part of the system. With regard to your questions - 1. I
think comments on a standards-based report card should concisely identify the main
strengths, areas for improvement and next steps. 2. I think this depends on how many
parents have easy access to the parent portal. If by far the majority of the parents have
access, and if teachers regularly use the comment feature, then I think there is less need
for comments on trimester report cards. However, if these conditions aren't met then I
think comments are needed. It also depends on the mix and timing of parent-taecher
conferences and student-involved or student-led conferences.