One of our intrepid parents (thanks, Roy!) went to the last district PAC meeting. Here is the summary of what was discussed:
Presentations were given by:
- Richmond’s Assistant Superintendent
- VSB Associate Superintendent
- VESTA and VSTA presidents
- UBC Associate Director of Admissions
The need for new assessment is driven by the new BC curriculum, which was developed over 3 years of feedback from educators and parents. The new curriculum is being implemented from 2016/17 year for K-9, fully phased to upper grades by 2019/20 school year. See https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca for details.
With the curriculum change, the Ministry of Education has also mandated new policy regarding student reporting. In a nutshell, it says, “Boards of Education must provide parents of students with a minimum of five reports describing students’ school progress. Reporting to parents should be timely and responsive throughout the school year.”
- New assessment will focus on qualitative feedback, over quantitative grades.
- There are no more formal and informal reports; they are just “communications.”
- Parents will receive a minimum of five communications, with two Learning Summaries.
- “Communicating Student Learning” (CSL) is the official name for new assessment.
- “CSL Inquiry” Pilot Project is in progress to gather feedback before CSL is deployed district-wide.
- See http://go.vsb.bc.ca/schools/ltm/communications/district_inq_proj/Pages/default.aspx for details.
VESTA and VSTA presentation
Lots of concerns with new reporting mandate, especially use of Digital Technology, Privacy, and Workload, to be discussed further with the Minister.
Described how UBC currently decides which applicant gets accepted.
- Number of available seats, and
- Most likely to engage university’s resources
UBC finds that current BC’s grades correlate well to student’s success in 1st year.
Currently UBC only considers few select subject grades for admission. From 2019, UBC will consider applicant’s entire secondary school grades, looking closer to relevant grades to the program being applied for.
UBC recognizes that new admissions policy will decrease the transparency of the admissions process.
Overall the changes to BC student reporting is disadvantageous to BC applicants, since it takes away the quantitative grades the admissions office uses to assess merit.
Student Reporting – Province of British Columbia
Requirements for formal and informal reporting are based on ministerial orders and regulations authorized under the School Act. Schools must follow the specific requirements for reporting student progress as outlined in the policy.