Student Evaluation and Reporting

Schools in Pembina Hills School Division are currently implementing a new process in reporting to parents. The new process reflects the belief that parents are partners in student learning and that communication needs to be more frequent and must happen in a variety of ways.

Information on this page:

  • 4 Elements of Communication
  • Access to Student Information System online (PowerSchool)
  • Parent – Teacher – Student Meetings
  • Phone calls, informal meetings, email, course outlines, completed assignments, etc
  • Progress Reports
  • The Report Card
  • Key Definitions of Assessment and Evaluation language
  • Links to more information about student assessment, evaluation and reporting

4 Elements of Communication
Communication with parents typically reports on 4 aspects of a student’s life in school:

  1. Achievement – An objective measure of the student’s performance compared to a standard
  2. Progress – A measure of the student’s progression compared to their own previous performance
  3. Behavior – A summary of student’s compliance with rules
  4. Attitudes / Effort – A subjective assessment of the student’s thoughts and feelings about learning

In Pembina Hills we believe that parents need to know about all 4 of these aspects. We intend to provide various reporting tools that are focused on a specific purpose.

Access to Student Information System online (PowerSchool)
Pembina Hills staff use this online software to record information about our students. Parents and students can access attendance data, billing information, student timetables and records in the teacher’s gradebook.

Parents will receive login and password information unique to their child from their schools. Contact your school if you have not received this information. Many schools distribute the login letters at the Fall Parent Teacher – Student interviews in October.

Access PowerSchool at A brief video tutorial can be viewed at: Intro Tutorial video for parents.

PowerSchool gives our teachers the opportunity to communicate the following to students and parents:

  • Information about the learning outcomes in a course and the types and purposes of the various assignments and other learning activities that students are expected to do.
  • Feedback on formative assessments (indicating the progress a student is making toward curriculum goals).
  • Results of summative assessments (activities that contribute to a student’s final grade).

Parent – Teacher – Student Meetings
The purpose of interviews and other meetings between the teacher, the parent, and the student is to discuss student’s progress, effort and/or behaviour and to clarify plans for continued progress and success. Because judgment of a student’s effort and behaviour are somewhat subjective, it is best that these elements be part of an ongoing conversation. We expect students will learn more by their involvement in an honest conversation about their thoughts and feelings about learning than by a number or letter assigned to define someone’s perception of the student’s effort or attitude.

Pembina Hills schools have set two time periods for these types of meetings.

  • Early October: The purpose of this meeting time is to plan for student success. Sharing information and perceptions of student’s learning styles and discussing their learning needs will help the teachers and parents work together for student success. Since this meeting is early in the school year, it should be focused on looking forward.
  • Mid March: The purpose of this meeting time is to plan, but in this case, to plan for the conclusion of the year. This meeting may involve a brief reflective look at past performance, but the focus should be on looking forward to the final months of the grade.

Phone calls, informal meetings, email, course outlines, completed assignments, etc
The purpose of these communication tools is to maintain communication between the teacher, parent and student regarding expectations, student progress, behaviour and effort. The teacher’s purpose is to learn more about the student, to share information about formative assessments and to access the parent as a partner in supporting the student. Parents are encouraged to inform the teachers about their student’s issues, needs and celebrations. Like the formal interview, these means of communication provide information for the ongoing conversation about the student.

Pembina Hills teachers will communicate with a variety of these tools, depending on the size of their classes and the age of their students.

Progress Reports
The purpose of a formative progress report is to provide students and parents with information about the student’s progress to a point in time. Progress reports can list the student’s performance on assignments, quizzes and other formative assessments. They may also summarize attendance, and may include teachers’ assessments of the student’s work habits and effort.

In higher grades, mid-semester progress reports may include a description of student achievement on summative assessments as well.

The intention of a progress report is to help parents support learning by identifying areas of success and areas of need before issues impact final grades.

Pembina Hills schools will issue progress reports for individuals, a class or a group of classes, or the whole school at one time, periodically throughout a term or semester.

Progress reports may not be issued for all subjects, or grades, at the same time. Parents can expect printed progress reports when a course comes to a natural break; like at the end of a unit of study. This makes it more timely, meaningful and useful if issues emerge.

The Report Card
The purpose of a summative Report Card is to provide students, parents and other external agencies (such as post-secondary schools) with summary information about the student’s achievement as compared to the criteria defined in the course’s Program of Studies. Report Cards will summarize student achievement on units of study that have been completed. Report Cards will also summarize the student’s attendance.

Pembina Hills schools will issue ONE (1) Final Summative Report Card for each grade at the end of the learning cycle. For grades 1 -9, that means at the end of June. For High School Courses, a Final Summative Report will be issued at the end of each Semester.

Report Card Descriptors: Grade 1-3, Grade 4-6, Grade 7-9, Grade 10-12

Key Definitions
Formative: implies mid-process. Ideas, concepts and skills are forming or developing. A formative progress report communicates progress.

Formative Assessments: are feedback tools designed by the teacher to offer students opportunities to try the new skill or to work with the new idea or concept in the process of learning the skill or concept. Formative assessments are ‘risk-free’ in that they are not included in the mathematical calculation of the final grade. They may be scored, but the information is meant as feedback for students, parents and teachers. Teachers can adjust instruction based on the feedback received. Students and parents can use the feedback to clearly identify the areas of learning that need attention.

Summative: refers to assessments and summaries of assessments that were completed by the student to demonstrate their ability and knowledge at the conclusion of a unit of study.

Summative Assessments: are the tools teachers use to measure student’s skills and knowledge against Program of Study criteria and standards. They are often tests, major assignments, demonstrations, projects or reports. They are scored by the teacher and may be used in a mathematical calculation of the student’s grade.

Program of Studies: The Program of Studies and the criteria for achievement are standards set by Alberta Education. Sometimes referred to as Outcomes, the criteria are the standards against which student performance is measured.

PowerSchool: is an online Student Information System that PHPS has acquired to keep track of all data related to students. It is basically the teacher’s grade book and report generator, the secretary’s student database, and the administrator’s master timetabling tool, all in one.