Report cards will be a click away for Nanaimo students next fall.
Nanaimo school district is testing out online report cards at Wellington Secondary this semester, with plans to see it at all high schools next fall.
Nanaimo school district already uses MyEducation B.C., a student information system, but it plans to launch a family portal where parents can see their child’s course selection, test scores, missing homework and report cards. Currently parents have to reach out to an administrator or counsellor to access electronic information about their child.
Robyn Gray, assistant superintendent of secondary schools, said it’s “a little bit of a window” for parents to have more knowledge, understanding and accessibility for their child’s learning, their schedule and graduation transcript.
Students also have access to their own information and how they’re doing in school in real time.
Wellington Secondary is the first to test out the portal and the electronic report card system, which rolled out in the new year.
“The response [from families] has been very, very good and co-operative and understanding about the reasons why we’re transitioning to a more online format,” said school principal Chad Lintott, who doesn’t think the school was entirely successful in communicating with parents in traditional ways, like newsletters and paper copies of report cards. “Now that we’ve put most of our information and access to student records and student data and student performance online for parents to communicate back and forth with teachers, we’re finding that relationship is building between teacher and parent and student.”
He said the school is seeing families more engaged in their child’s learning, with more responsibility and accountability on the part of students in making sure information gets to parents in a timely manner.
The larger MyEducation B.C. program allows teachers to reach out to parents and give them information about students’ progress, including examples of work. The system can also notify parents about gaps in learning or achievement, according to Lintott, who said gaps can be addressed more quickly and parents can ask questions and not wait for a quarterly report card.
Hard copies of report cards are still available to parents and three were requested in February.
Lintott told the News Bulletin he thinks the portal and online report card have the potential to be very successful as long as schools respect that some parents might still prefer more traditional methods.
“But for those that communicate in an electronic fashion and they have mobile technology and can access their student’s record and progress from wherever they may be, at whatever time they feel is appropriate and valuable to them, then I think we’ve got that advantage with this system now,” he said.