Dear UA community,
It is hard to believe that there are only three weeks left until the Winter Break. The run up to the winter holiday is a busy time for the entire school community. Here at UA, the two major highlights of this month are the concerts and report cards, with all the preparation, planning, evaluation and reflection process that lead up to these final culminating products. There is plenty of excitement and stress involved in both of these which, coupled with the anticipation of the holiday season, can make this time of the year feel a bit overwhelming for children and adults alike.
This week, I came across an article which referenced Ana Homayoun, an academic advisor and early career development expert, and her emphasis on the importance of managing energy levels in children and teenagers. She suggests being attuned to a child’s energy levels, understanding behaviour patterns in children and youth, and supporting them in recharging when necessary. Her concept of “taking the B” resonated with me, encouraging selectivity in your choice of activities and being okay with some taking the back burner, hence the B, for a while.
Speaking of taking the B, Ms. Ball and I hosted our second virtual Ask Me Anything session on Tuesday. This session was in response to the questions we had previously received from parents during our first session and also as a preparation for the upcoming report cards. During this session, we focused on changes in the curriculum and the subsequent changes in assessment and reporting practices. Thank you to all who participated for the great questions and conversation. The main points that were discussed were the following:
- Proficiency scales in K-9 reports, emphasizing a shift from final marks to continuous learning and feedback.
- The interconnected nature of the three components of the curriculum—understand, do, know and the importance of the Core Competencies.
- Use of Rubrics for assessments.
- University admissions in relation to letter grades, proficiency scales, percentages and broader criteria beyond grades.
- A need for ongoing communication about the assessments completed in class and the specific criteria to attain each proficiency.
For any questions on these topics, please contact your child’s homeroom teacher first. Feel free to reach out to Ms. Ball and me for further questions and clarification.
UA Associate Principal