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No report cards this term for Durham elementary students

Report cardsBy Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express

Due to continued labour-related school interruptions, elementary students in Durham Region will not be receiving first-term report cards.

The news, delivered in a letter to parents from DDSB director of educator Lisa Millar, comes as elementary teachers in Ontario continue the first set of rotating one-day strikes this week.

In her letter, Millar explained the distribution of report cards to nearly 50,000 students across the region is dependant on teachers inputting marks data electronically.

Members of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) have been directed not to participate in such job activities during the labour dispute.

“While regular assessment practices continue this term, as per job sanctions, elementary teachers are writing and providing marks, but are not inputting them electronically,” Millar wrote in her correspondence to parents. “Instead, teachers are to submit grades in hard copy form to their administrators.”

Millar said board officials explored “every possible solution” to get the report cards out, but it wasn’t doable.

Parents with children in kindergarten will also not receive “communication of learning” reports given out by teachers.

Millar said she has “full confidence” in teachers remaining professional in the classroom during labour negotiations.
She encouraged parents to contact their child’s teacher to ask questions regarding the student’s education and progress throughout the year.

“We certainly understand the concerns of some parents/guardians, students and staff at this time. We will continue to monitor this situation closely and are committed to providing you with accurate and timely information,” Millar wrote.

Elementary teachers in Ontario have been without a contract since Aug. 31.

In a media statement released on Wednesday (Jan. 22), Education Minister Stephen Lecce criticized ETFO for the situation.

“Yet again, teacher union leaders are risking student success and preventing parents from seeing valuable information about their child’s performance in class,” Lecce stated. “It underscores our government’s insistence that teacher union leaders cancel these strikes that are hurting our kids.”