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Virtual Learning Assessment, Reporting and Evaluation - Secondary

Assessment & Evaluation

Clarification During the School Closure Period, 2019-2020 School Year

May 28, 2020

General Information

For report cards, schools will use the following statement in the board use section: “This report card is for a reporting period that included provincially-mandated school closure from March 13, 2020 – June 30, 2020.”  

Principals are responsible for signing, printing and mailing out of Report Cards.  At a later date, the completed report card, or an exact copy, must be filed in the Ontario Student Record (OSR), as required by the OSR Guideline.

When in the best interest of students, teachers are encouraged to include evidence of learning completed during the school closure period. Grades and marks will not go down from what they were on March 13th. No student’s mark should be negatively affected by performance during the school closure period. 

Learning Skills and Work Habits

Reporting on Learning Skills and Work Habits should reflect information gathered prior to March 13th. Teachers will include Learning Skills comments on the final report card if they feel that doing so would support the student’s progress.  Ratings for Learning Skills and Work Habits will reflect information from:

·         Between the beginning of the second semester and March 13 for semestered courses

·         Between the beginning of Term 2 and March 13 for full-year courses.

Reporting on Learning Skills and Work Habits may reflect work completed after April 6 that serves to improve the student’s rating. 

Assessment of Learning

Teachers will assign learning tasks, projects and culminating activities for both formative and summative purposes. Teachers will communicate results of these marked assignments to students. Results will be used by teachers only to improve students’ final course marks based on the Mid-Term mark.

In keeping with the understanding that marks should represent the most accurate reflection of student work, based on what is reasonable and in the best interest of students during this time, and in recognition of performance prior to March 13th, teachers can adjust the weighting of assigned tasks in their determination of a final mark as needed.

If needed, principals can grant credits to ensure student progression based on work completed to date and efforts made in extenuating circumstances.

Determining Final Marks

Final marks will reflect work completed by March 13, as well as any work completed after April 6 that serves to improve the student’s final mark.

Teachers will use professional judgement to consider that some evidence carries greater weight than other evidence; for example, some performance tasks are richer and reveal more about students’ skills and knowledge than others. Teachers will weigh all evidence of student achievement in light of these considerations and will use their professional judgement to determine the student’s report card grade.

Teachers can adjust and individualize the weighting of assigned tasks in their determination of a mark and if needed, weigh a final culminating task as zero to benefit the student.

Report Card Comments

When writing comments, teachers will use their professional judgement and focus on what students have learned, and where possible, describe significant strengths and identify next steps for improvement.

The Use of “I” during the School Closure Period

For students in Grades 9 and 10, teachers may use the code “I” on the report card to indicate insufficient evidence if the student did not have a passing mark prior to March 13th and did not demonstrate progress during the school closure period.

Due to circumstances resulting from the school closure period, the ministry is expanding the use of “I” for students enrolled in Grade 11 and 12 courses, where the student did not have a passing mark prior to March 13th and did not demonstrate progress during the school closure period.

If a student receives an “I” on their report card, they do not receive a credit for that course.

Full Disclosure

For Grade 11 and 12 courses, full disclosure will be waived, and no notation will be entered on the Ontario Student Transcript (OST). Any subsequent attempts at completing the course, (whether through credit recovery or retaking the course), will be recorded on the OST.

For graduating students who were relying on the course for postsecondary admission, special consideration should be given as to how the course should be recorded. Students and their guidance counsellor or principal, in consultation with parents/guardians, will contact the institution’s admission office to explain the nature of the student’s extenuating circumstances.

The following comment may be used for students receiving an “I” for a course: “Due to the school closure period, there is insufficient information to determine a final mark.”  

Where a student receives an “I” the principal and teaching staff, in consultation with the parents/guardians and the student, will determine what type of program would best enable the student to meet the expectations and earn credit for the course, including credit recovery and retaking the credit.

The ministry has committed to the introduction of an expanded summer learning program that will focus on credit recovery, supports for vulnerable students, and course upgrading.

Civics and Citizenship and Career Studies Half-Credit Courses

For the second half-credit in Civics or Careers, there is an expectation that some demonstration of learning will be provided by students in order to successfully complete the course.

Where the student does not provide sufficient evidence of learning, the student will be assigned an "I" designation and will not receive the half-credit for that course.

Where a student receives an “I” the principal and teaching staff, in consultation with the parents/guardians and the student, will determine what type of program would best enable the student to meet the expectations and earn credit for the course, including credit recovery and retaking the credit.

Given the extenuating circumstance resulting from school closures, if needed, principals can grant credits to ensure student progression based on work completed to date and efforts made in these extenuating circumstances (Ontario Schools: Kindergarten to Grade 12, Policy and Program Requirements, Sections 7.1, 7.5).

Literacy Requirement for Graduating Students

Noting the waived literacy requirements for graduating students for students who did not have the opportunity to complete the literacy requirement:

“Due to exceptional circumstances, the Minister of Education has waived the literacy graduation requirement for the 2019-20 school year.” 

For the Ontario Student Transcript

  • exceptional circumstances. will be indicated

This change to the student transcript and report card for the current school year will be communicated to post-secondary institutions to convey that these waived graduation requirements will not impact recognition of high school completion.

Community Involvement Hours Requirement for Graduating Students

Noting the waived community involvement hours requirements for graduating students who did not have the opportunity to complete 40 community involvement hours:

For graduating students who have not had the opportunity to complete 40 community involvement hours:

For the Report Card

·         The total number of hours that a student has earned to-date will be recorded; and

·         The following will be noted in the “For School Use” section: “For the 2019-20 school year, the requirement to complete 40 hours of community involvement has been waived by the Minister of Education."  

For the Ontario Student Transcript

·         The N/A box on the Ontario Student Transcript will be checked to indicate exceptional circumstances.

These changes to the student transcript and report card for the current school year will be communicated to post-secondary institutions to convey that these waived graduation requirements will not impact recognition of high school completion.

Specialist High Skills Major

The SHSM program has an override request process already in place for school boards. Graduating students in the SHSM program unable to complete their SHSM requirements due to extenuating circumstances, including the impacts from COVID-19, will be supported through the override request process. Principals will make decisions for overrides based on input from our Teacher Consultant for SHSM. The ministry SHSM team is available to offer guidance as requested by boards. For tracking purposes, boards will be asked to provide a tally of overrides to the ministry.

Dual Credits

For college delivered dual credit courses, the policy states that the principal is to record the mark as provided by the college instructor, this may include a mark that is lower than March 13th.

School boards have been working with the college sector to support students enrolled in dual credits. In some cases, college courses are being offered remotely. Where this has not been possible, alternative college credits may have been offered. Where a student on track to graduate in the 2019-20 school year has not been able to obtain the college credit, a principal may grant a high school credit to support the student to graduate through the Prior Learning process.

The principal may award a Prior Learning Equivalency course code with an EQV in the percentage column of the OST under the following circumstances:

a) Where the dual credit student earns a final mark that is lower than the passing grade for the college course.

b) Where the student withdrew from the course after March 13 and did not register for a replacement course.

This should be done in consultation with the Student Success Team, parent/guardian (if applicable) and student to ensure that student progression based on work completed to date and efforts made under these extenuating circumstances are recognized (Ontario Schools: Kindergarten to Grade 12, Policy and Program Requirements, Sections 7.1, 7.5). In this circumstance, students and parents/guardians must be made aware that while the student has been granted the secondary school credit, they will not be earning their college credit, and that the student’s OST will be different from their college record.

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