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Archived Principal Message

Principal Message: December 2016/ Janauary 2017


In 2009, Albertans gathered in person and online during “Inspiring Education: A Dialogue with Albertans” to share their hopes, dreams and aspirations for K-12 education in the 21st century and beyond.  Inspiring Education generated rich conversations and thoughtful insight; highlighting values, skills, practices and knowledge that will be vital to our children and grandchildren in a rapidly changing world.  Out of these many conversations, a broad policy framework document was developed to describe the overall direction, principles and long-term goals for education in Alberta.

Albertans told Alberta Education that our education system must grow and adapt in order to meet the challenges and embrace the opportunities of a constantly evolving world.  While we may not know exactly what the future holds, we do know that some competencies and attributes will be particularly important to the success of our students. We call these the “Three E’s.”

Engaged Thinkers – Alberta must cultivate students with an inquisitive, engaged mind.  Students that are prepared to ask “why?” and think critically about the answers they receive.
Ethical Citizens - Knowing the answer is not enough.   Our children and grandchildren must be ethical, compassionate and respectful to truly grow and thrive.
Entrepreneurial Spirit – To shape innovative ideas into real-world solutions, our education system should develop motivated, resourceful and resilient citizens. Alberta would do well to encourage our students to be bold, embrace leadership and actively seek new opportunities.


Student success is the primary focus of The Calgary Board of Education’s (CBE) Three-Year education plan. One of the key strategies to realize this overarching goal is personalized learning, with an emphasis on instructional design and responsive assessment practices. In alignment with the vision of public education based on information gathered through Inspiring Education, CBE students will continue to develop strong foundations in literacy and numeracy as well as important competencies such as Critical thinking, problem-solving, global understanding and creativity.

In the CBE, learning and assessment are understood to be part of the same process where teachers plan for and engage in a continuous cycle of instruction, rich assessment, and adjustment. Personalized learning is built upon a comprehensive understanding of each child. This kind of assessment involves the systematic gathering, interpreting, and responding to information about students.

Teachers and students need to know what students know, how they know it, how they show it, and what they need to learn next. In this process, student agency, or involvement, is critical. Current research on assessment, evaluation and student learning requires us to work together to understand, recognize and communicate about student learning in new ways. Part of this evolution is a move towards outcomes-based reporting. In Alberta, the Program of Studies sets out learning objectives for the content the student should understand the skills they should develop, and the learning processes they should apply. With outcomes-based reporting, student learning is assessed in relation to all aspects of the Program of Studies: including the front matter as well as the general and specific learner outcomes


It is important for families to know how their child(ren) are doing in school. In the Calgary Board of Education, learning and assessment are connected. Students use assessment feedback to improve their learning. Teachers use instruction and assessment to gather information about student progress. Teachers and students need to know what students know, how they know it, how they show it, and what they need to learn next.

Report cards are used to formally communicate student achievement of the Alberta Education Programs of Study learning outcomes to students, families, the CBE and the province. Report cards require teachers to summarize a term or semester of learning. Students in kindergarten to Grade 9 receive two formal report cards a year and communication of student progress for all students also occurs informally in a variety of ways throughout the school year.

All K-9 schools in the Calgary Board of Education utilize the K-9 report card. Glendale School’s two report cards will go home on December 16th and June 29th. Report cards utilize an “outcome based” approach to assessing your child’s learning as well as “achievement indicators.”

What are Outcomes?

The outcomes describe what your child is expected to know and be able to do according to the Alberta Education Programs of Study. When learning begins with an outcome or goal, students know what they are learning and why they are learning it. Teachers can design learning tasks and provide specific feedback for students to improve. Instead of receiving one overall grade for a course, students receive indicators showing their achievement of the report card outcomes in a course. This provides students and families with more information about students’ strengths and areas for growth.

What are the Achievement Indicators?

On the K- 9 report card, students receive achievement indicators from 1 (Not Meeting) to 4 (Excellent) on each outcome in the report card. These indicators summarize student achievement of the learner outcomes of the Alberta Education Programs of Study.  Families are always encouraged to contact their school with questions about student learning. The best sources of information about progress and achievement are your child, your child’s teachers and the school administration team.

To assist parents in interpreting their child’s report card, we have prepared the following guide:

Indicator 1: Student consistently requires support with this outcome. Student may have demonstrated partial guided successes in one-on-one environments, but never independently. Students on an Individual Program Plan will most likely receive an “IPP” in the indicator field instead of a 1, to clarify that this outcome is covered by the needs and goals of the IPP when the IPP specifically addresses these outcomes.

Indicator 2: Student is able to independently demonstrate an acceptable understanding of the curricular outcomes most of the time, in the modality that is most effective for that student. Students could provide evidence of understandings in at least one context through interviews, writing, demonstrations, presentations, samples, etc. (“Familiar learning situations”)

In the context of the Glendale school community and on the basis of previous reporting formats, we understand that a 2 may seem like evidence that a student is not meeting expectations or is only understanding 50% of the material (2/4). This is not the case. A 2 represents success and indicates that their child is working at grade level within developmental norms. MOST STUDENTS WOULD BE EXPECTED TO ACHIEVE INDICATORS OF 2 IN MOST OUTCOMES THE MAJORITY OF THE TIME. An indicator of 2 could be understood to represent “Competent”.

Indicator 3: An Indicator 3 would indicate consistent independent understanding of curricular outcomes, and students would demonstrate abilities to extend understandings into personal experience, or show an ability to provide additional evidence of understandings. This would be used only when a student’s skill and achievement is well above average.

Indicator 4: Indicator 4 means that the student “demonstrates a subtle and thorough understanding”. As a result, 4’s are used when there is evidence of consistently “going above and beyond” what would be expected of students at this level. Learners should have demonstrated a good sense for cross-curricular connections, make connections with their own experiences, and provide evidence of ongoing excellence.

Although our next parent-teacher conferences are not scheduled until March, you are welcome to contact your child’s teacher at any time if you have specific questions about your child’s learning progress and achievement. If you have questions about CBE reporting procedures, you are invited to bring your inquiries and comments to me.

We hope you find this information helpful in interpreting your child’s report card.

Michelle Speight
Proud Principal of
Glendale School

Archived Principal Messages