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Message from the Principal

Welcome to November! It’s hard to believe that this month will mark the first third of the year and our first Learner Profiles will be coming out this month. As we prepare for Learner Profiles, I would like to take some time this month to speak to not just the Learner Profile, but also mention some of the ways that Big Rock School will work with you this year to maintain high levels of communication regarding your child’s learning.

First, I would like to thank everyone that participated in the communication survey that I sent out earlier in October. Sometimes surveys can be an inconvenience, but your input helps us improve the work we do for your children at Big Rock. Your feedback has helped inform the communication practices that we will be using in addition to the Learner Profiles you will receive three times a year.

Daily Communication:

Based on the survey results, your preferred mode of regular communication between home and classroom is email and the daily agenda. This year, our primary daily communication tool will be the daily agenda. You are encouraged to check your child’s agenda for daily information on what’s happening in your child’s class. Some teachers send daily or weekly updates via email, but our primary communication will be via the student agenda.

In the survey, you indicated that you most want to hear from the classroom when your child was having difficulty either academically or behaviourally. Your child’s teacher will be contacting home in the event that your child begins struggle at school. With that said, you are always encouraged to contact your child’s teacher if you have any concerns about your child’s learning.

Curriculum Newsletters:

Six times a year, you will be receiving a curriculum newsletter from your child’s teacher. At the start of the year, you received a “curriculum at a glance” or “year at a glance”, giving a brief overview of the general learning outcomes for your child’s school year. The curriculum newsletter is designed to give context to that overview document, by briefly summarizing how those learning outcomes are being met throughout the year. This should give you an opportunity to see what the curricular outcomes look like and sound like in your child’s classroom. Curriculum newsletters will come out with the Learner Profiles, as well as about half way between Learner Profiles.

Learner Profile:

The Learner Profile comes out 3 times a year and provides a formal report of your child’s progress to date. The Learner Profile is broken into two categories, Characteristics of a Responsible Learner, and Academic Achievement. The Characteristics of a Responsible learner section reports on various habits and skills that exemplify the characteristics essential to be a good learner. The Academic Achievement section, reports how your child is achieving relative to the general learner outcomes for each of his or her subjects. These are the same outcomes that are listed in the “curriculum at a glance” I mentioned above.

In addition to achievement levels, both sections of the Learner Profile will include a written comment. The primary purpose of these comments is to provide some context for the grades that your child received in the Learner Profile. It is difficult to encapsulate a third of the school year into a concise comment, so the comment section will not have a complete summary of your child’s learning for your term. The focus on the comments will be to provide some exemplars of your child’s strengths and then provide some insight for areas of growth and/or next steps for your child’s learning. Again, the main purpose of the comments are to be brief, yet insightful for you as a parent.

Parent Student Teacher Conferences:

In conjunction with Learner Profiles we also invite parents to attend parent, student, teacher conferences when learner profiles come out. The purpose of the conferences are two-fold. First, you have the opportunity to come into your child’s class to experience their learning environment and see some exemplars of your child’s work to date. The second purpose is to dig a little deeper into your child’s progress to date. Conferences give you the opportunity to converse on your child’s achievement and see a more complete picture than the Learner Profile alone. First conferences this year will be on November 29th and 30th, and information for signing up for conferences will be coming out shortly. Finally, if you are unable to attend conferences and would like to meet with your child’s teacher, please take the time to contact the teacher to set up an appointment.

Hopefully this will give you a brief overview of some of the main communication methods that we have in place between home and school to keep you informed about your child’s learning. Each method above is not designed to be a stand-alone communication tool, but work together to provide as complete of a picture as possible of your child’s learning and overall experience at Big Rock. If at any time you feel out of the loop, please contact the school. If you have questions about your child’s class, please contact the teacher first, and if you have questions about school in general, please contact the office.

If you have any questions about our communication plan at Big Rock, do not hesitate to contact myself at the school.

Yours in Learning,

Scott Carey
Principal