Beginning with the school year 2016-2017, the Ministry is introducing new Ontario standard reporting for Kindergarten students. This article documents some of the common questions regarding this topic.
Question 1: What are the Ministry’s directives regarding reporting of kindergarten learning to parents for the 2016-2017 school year?
As outlined in the memo to boards on June 10, 2016, parents of children in Kindergarten will receive communication about their child’s learning in the fall of 2016 in accordance with existing board practice. The Ministry does not require the schools to use the new Kindergarten Communication of Learning: Initial Observations document for reporting to parents in October 2016. The Kindergarten Communication of Learning: Initial Observations is to be issued in the 2017-2018 school year, between October 20 and November 20.
The Ministry has indicated that schools will be required to use the Ontario standard form for reporting kindergarten achievement to parents beginning with the new Kindergarten Communication of Learning form, to be issued by the schools in the winter of 2017 between Jan 20 and Feb 20, 2017. This same form will be used for the second reporting of achievement to parents towards the end of the school year, June 2017.
Question 2: When will SRB be releasing the new forms?
The new requirements for the Kindergarten reporting will be delivered to our clients at the end of November 2016, under the Core Trillium v3.15.30, Interfaces v.3.15.30 and TWebEA v.5.30.00 releases. The Core Trillium release will provide the functionality required to set up Kindergarten subjects/teacher information and generate achievement records. The TWebEA release will provide the functionality for the teacher to enter all required achievement information and print the report cards. The Interfaces release will be available for those schools who use a gradebook to collect the achievement information and upload it to Trillium.
Question 3: Our existing Board practice does NOT use the Trillium JK/K report cards for reporting to parents. Are there any setup steps we must take immediately?
No. If your schools have another tool or process that they use for communicating with kindergarten parents, no setup is required within Trillium until the November releases are received. At that point, the board will need to set up the required achievement report periods and class/subject information. These steps will be outlined in the release documentation.
Question 4: Our existing Board practice uses the Trillium JK/K report cards for reporting to parents. How do we proceed for this school year?
If your schools wish to use Trillium’s existing JK/K report cards to report to parents in October, then the board should define all three report periods (A, B, C) for the school year. Report period A will identify the time period associated with the Fall reporting, which typically ends between October 20 and November 20. Report period B will identify the time period associated with the winter reporting, which will end between January 20 and February 20. Report period C will identify the time period associated with the final reporting cycle.
Report periods B and C will automatically use the subjects/frames specified on the Kindergarten Communication of Learning template. For the 2017-2018 school year, report period A will automatically use the subjects/frames specified on the Kindergarten Communication of Learning: Initial Observations template. Schools that previously only created two report periods (A and B) for their winter and June reporting will now need to create three report periods, and must use report periods B and C for their winter and June reporting.
Boards using report period A in the 2016-2017 school year will continue to create their own JK/K subjects in the JK/K Subjects validation table, and identify the subjects as applying to report period A. Boards should not create or link subjects to report periods B or C for this school year. With the installation of the November releases, all JK/K subjects will be inactivated, and any subject links or class/subject setup for report period B and C will be deleted. As part of the November release, the new Ministry subject/frames will be created for all clients to use.
It is important to note that if a school decides to use Trillium’s JK/K report cards for report period A in the 2016-2017 school year, once the upgrade to TWebEA v.5.30.00 is completed the schools will no longer be able to modify or print report cards for report period A. If it’s necessary to reprint a 2016-2017 report period A report card, the school will need to use TWebEA v.5.20.10 or v5.20.20 (to be released in September 2016).
For reprinting of JK/K report cards for 2015-2016 or earlier, schools will be able to use TWebEA v.5.30.00. The report cards from earlier school years will use the report card layout specified by the board.
Question 5: Our schools use Trillium’s Special Education module and want to set up IEP’s for the students now. What can we do?
Boards using TWebSE can proceed with setting up the three report periods (A, B, and C) as described in the previous question’s answer. Subjects should only be defined for report period A. Once the November releases have been applied, the subjects for report period A will be made inactive, and will no longer be available for selection within TWebSE. Instead, the new subject/frame values will be available. The ‘old’ subjects that had been selected for previous versions of IEPs will still be visible for those records, but no longer available to select for new records.
Question 6: Will there be any cost to the Boards for these new report cards?
During the analysis phase of the report card project, the Ministry contacted Ontario SIS vendors to understand the costs in developing JK/K report cards. SRB provided estimations that would make development achievable and provide vendors the resources necessary to complete the work. Recognizing the effort that creating and implementing these new report cards will have on the boards and their vendors, the Ministry has indicated that they will make funding available to defray Vendor development costs. The Ministry will be communicating directly with the boards regarding the funding that they will be making available.
As was the case in 2010 with the Growing Success initiative for the standard report cards for grades 1 through 12, the Ministry will distribute the funds to the boards, who can then direct the necessary amount to their vendor. We will look to implement a similar collective approach to fund these changes as was used for the Growing Success funding in the past. If the available Ministry funding does not cover the development costs, boards will be asked for additional contributions. Further communications on this topic will be forth-coming.