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Archived Principal Message

Principal Message: November 2014

Glendale School Michelle Speight

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 will be utilizing the new K-9 report card this year. Glendale School’s two report cards will go home on January 30th and June 26th. This year our school will be utilizing an “outcome based” approach to assessing your child’s learning and we will also be using new “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.


Formative Assessment

Students receive feedback to know how they are doing and how they might improve.  Through this ongoing feedback, students and teachers can check learning to decide what to do next in order to reach learning goals.

Summative Assessment

Summative assessment is a comparison at a particular moment in time between individual student achievement and the outcomes of the Alberta Education Programs of Study. Multiple summative assessments, along with teacher professional judgment, are considered when evaluating student achievement against the CBE report card outcomes.

What is the Link Between Formative and Summative Assessment?

Student progress and achievement are made visible through formative and summative  assessment. Formative assessment provides ongoing actionable feedback for students to  respond and adjust in order to achieve learning goals. Summative assessments inform a  grade and/or evaluation at particular points in times, such as at the end of a unit of learning.


We would like to invite parents to join us at our next Glendale School Council meeting on  November 22nd (6:45-8:00 p.m.) to learn more about our new report cards.  Parents are also welcome to stop by the office to share your ideas or ask any questions that you may have about assessment and reporting.  We appreciate your ongoing feedback throughout this transition process.

Most sincerely,
Michelle Speight
Proud Principal of Glendale School

Archived Principal Messages