Next Steps in Québec
Mid-term Report, Written Status Report, and Portfolios
By Louise Frazer
By now your school year is underway, your notification and learning project have been submitted, and you may have questions about the next steps: the mid-term report and preparing a portfolio. This report is a short, written report that lets the Minister of Education know how your child’s learning project is progressing. The portfolio is the record of your child’s work throughout the year.
The mid-term/written status report
The mid-year report is a short resume of your child’s progress, and/or difficulties, and it is submitted to the Minister. It is also an opportunity for you as a parent to assess if your child’s learning project is working well or if it requires modifications. How you present the mid-year report will be influenced by your child’s learning method. If you have made changes or plan to make changes in the learning project, you can indicate this in your report.
There are two components to the report. The first is a mid-term report, which indicates how well your child is progressing or if your child is having difficulty in any area. You might indicate that your child is progressing as expected in all subjects, or perhaps that your child is progressing in all subjects except math, for example. If your child is having serious difficulty in a subject, it might be an opportune moment to indicate that you need to make some changes in the learning project to correct the weaknesses. The second is a written status report, which indicates how far your child has advanced in the learning project. This could be expressed in a variety of ways, such as “John has mastered his times tables to 5 and has completed pages 3 – 75 in his math book.” Families using a project-based approach might indicate that “John has read several books and presented his project on space exploration to our local homeschool group.”
Our template combines the two components in one document, simplifying the process. However, if another format suits your family better, you may certainly create your own. If you do, be sure to include the information required by Regulation in the mid-term and written status report.
The mid-year report is due 3 – 5 months after your homeschool start date. Keep in mind that if you wish to include summer camp, volunteer work, travel or other summer activities as part of your learning project, and you use the start date as the beginning of your school year, your report will be due sooner than a family who started their school year in September.
Many families will be preparing their portfolios alongside the mid-term/written status report and throughout their school year. A portfolio is required for those who have requested an evaluation by the Minister. You would also need to prepare a portfolio if you plan to have a portfolio evaluation done by a third-party teacher, or if your local school board is amenable to this type of evaluation. The completed portfolio is due on June 15.
A portfolio is a documentary record of your child’s work, including samples of work in each subject throughout the year. This also demonstrates your child’s progress, a list of books read (independent reading and books read-aloud), and a list of field trips or special activities. You may also include photographs of your child engaging in various relevant activities, and anything else that helps to portray your child’s educational experience.
Because the portfolio should include samples of your child’s work throughout the year, save potential samples as early as possible in a designated file, clearly indicating your child’s name. Sort through the samples at the end of the year to make your final decisions about what to include.
Since this is the first year of mandatory reporting, the Ministry has not yet announced any particular format for portfolios, but we expect that either a paper or digital version (or a combination) would be acceptable. Normally, your child does not need to meet with the person designated to evaluate your child’s portfolio. Your child’s presence may be requested if there are difficulties. Should you receive such a request, please contact us.
For further information, read through our series about compiling a portfolio: https://members.hslda.ca/articles/News/Portfolios-Revisited-Our-Step-by-Step-5-2-2018
If you have further questions, do not hesitate to contact us.