School District not opposed to ditching letter grades

By Vanessa Ybarra
November 12, 2017 - 9:25am

KAMLOOPS — A School District 73 official says she welcomes the discussion of ditching grades in Kamloops classrooms.

Earlier this month Prince George Secondary School announced grade seven to nine students won't be receiving grades as part of a pilot project, with a Montessori elementary school in the city also foregoing its A, B's and C's.

Instead report cards will only include written feedback on a student's progress and steps to improve.

Lisa Carson, Director of Curriculum and Instruction for School District 73, says grades don't always give a proper snapshot of a child's intelligence.

"We have different measures that we use throughout the year that give us an idea of a moment in time but we know learning is fluid."

She compares the new report card to driving.

"A lot of us wouldn't have a drivers license if you only got one shot," said Carson. "If that had to count against me forever, then that would be a measured assessment that really isn't measuring what I'm able to do or where I got to with my ability to drive and my ability to learn. We're starting to think about it in that context. It's about thinking 'how can we better support where we've gotten to with a student rather than all the points that were along the way counting against them?"

Carson says the new system has been shown to increase communication between parent, teacher, and student.

She adds the district may open up a conversation on its grading system as early as the new year that would involve discussions with parents, teachers, PAC, and students.


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