VIDEO: Parents Urged to Review Report Card Comments

As school wraps up for the summer, thousands of students will be bringing home reports cards for a parent or guardian to review.

A parenting expert in Toronto is saying those documents shouldn't be considered the be-all and end-all for student grading.

Alyson Schaefer says the report card shouldn't be considered a stand-alone thing.

"My problem is how parents get fixated on the report card and how that tool has turned into something that really doesn't keep kids motivated and take ownership of the learning process."

Schaefer adds, there's a lot more to a child's development than the report card.

"We have narrowly defined that the only way to succeed in childhood is to be an academic to get straight A's."


Parenting Expert Alyson Schaefer, June 6, 2019 (courtesy CTV Toronto)

Greater Essex County District School Board Superintendent Clara Howitt agrees and says there's more to a report card than the grade.

"But it's just as important to look at that commentary because it gives more in-depth information about what they're doing in the next step in that growing process."

Howitt says there's a lot of information on the report card.

"I encourage parents to read the entire report card, not just the grade.  Those comments are very rich and valuable.  But even more important to have that valued relationship with educators and schools on a regular basis.  It's a partnership."

Howitt adds there are more ways parents can learn how their child is doing.

"But it's not the only method of communication and it shouldn't be the first method of communication with families."

Howitt says parents should take every opportunity, including parent-teacher meetings, to follow the progress of their child in school.