Skip to main content

Students return to classes following a public high-school teachers strike was declared illegal at Mississauga Secondary School in Mississauga, Ont. Wednesday May 27, 2015. Some students will be getting placement letters instead of report cards during a work-to-rule campaign that has been on since May 11.

J.P. Moczulski/The Globe and Mail

Elementary-school students in Ontario's three largest school boards will not receive report cards at the end of this school year, instead taking home general progress letters as teachers ramp up their work-to-rule campaign.

The Toronto, Peel and York Region school boards will issue letters informing students that they have been promoted to the next grade during the week of June 22, a few days ahead of the last day of school to give parents time to contact teachers for more feedback if they wish.

"Honestly, I think parents want to know more specifics. But it's just absolutely impossible for Peel to create a regular report card," said Janet McDougald, chair of the Peel District School Board.

Story continues below advertisement

Ms. McDougald said it would cost her board more than $1-million to hire either retired staff or a third-party data-entry company to input 20 to 25 report card marks each for more than 112,000 students.

"We don't have that extra money just lying around. It's already been allocated," she said.

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario, which represents more than 76,000 teachers, will not provide comments on students' report cards. Teachers will submit hard copies of students' marks to principals but not input them electronically.

The job action – in response to demands by the province during labour negotiations that the union says "will allow increases in class sizes, [and] have teachers' preparation time directed by others" – will not affect secondary, Catholic or French school students. However, unions for teachers in those boards are watching closely as their own negotiations continue, and secondary-school teachers have already vowed to return to the picket lines after being ordered back to work last month.

Education Minister Liz Sandals said on Tuesday that the province would not provide additional funding for boards to hire people to help with inputting grades.

"The crisis has been created by the unions not recognizing that feedback to students is a critical component of their educational success," said Ontario Public School Boards' Association chair Michael Barrett.

He is also chair of the Durham District School Board, which is working to find a way to send home report cards. "We're just trying to determine how we can do a better job than just a letter because we really don't think that's equitable for the efforts of students."

Story continues below advertisement

Halton, Rainbow and the Waterloo region school boards are also exploring options, although the Waterloo board confirmed that it will not provide report cards.

At least two other boards, the Simcoe County District School Board and the Greater Essex County District School Board, will distribute report cards with grades but no comments.

Care Finch, whose three children attend elementary school in the Waterloo region, said she relies on report cards for her eight-year-old daughter, who sees a tutor because she struggles with reading. "We need the progress reports to help us parlay the information back to the tutors," she said. "We can't be expecting our tutors to come with us to parent-teacher meetings."

With a report from The Canadian Press

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter