District issues report cards without grades

Some School District 20 kids will be breathing a sigh of relief when their first report cards turn up.

Some School District 20 kids will be breathing a sigh of relief when their first report cards turn up.

Teachers, still refusing to perform administrative duties as a tactic in bargaining for a new collective agreement, will not be handing out grades.

Rossland Secondary School Grade 12 students received reports last week while the remaining schools in the district will hand them out over the next couple months.

“We are going to be sending report cards home for every student in the district but they’re not going to have the same information that parents are used to seeing on them,” explained superintendent of schools Greg Luterbach. “We have a statutory requirement to report to parents so what we will do is generate report cards but they will have in some cases very little information.”

The report cards will provide vague information like the student’s name, subject and attendance, unless, of course, a subject is taught by a principal in which case a grade will appear.

Grade 12 students marks required for post secondary application, scholarship purposes and graduation can be provided upon request.

“We do know that it’s going to be a report card that’s not going to look a lot like what parents are used to but we will put a comment on there encouraging parents to contact their child’s teacher directly if they want to get an update on how their child is progressing in that subject,” said Luterbach.

Andrew Davidoff, president of the Kootenay Columbia Teachers Union, was shocked to learn that Deputy Minister of Education James Gorman informed all superintendents that following provisions in the school act, they had an obligation to issue report cards.

“That was actually very surprising because the employer’s negotiator – the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association and the BCTF (the B.C. Teachers’ Federation) agreed that report cards would be something that would not be required as part of our job action,” he said.

“For the ministry then to go ahead and issue this direct to superintendents that school administrators would be issuing report cards seems a little bit confusing to a lot of us. It seems like one hand isn’t communicating with its own other hand – it’s negotiating wing.”

Falling in line with job action, all early dismissal dates at schools in the district that normally allow time for parent teacher interviews have been cancelled.