Communication Plan

(Revised September 2012)


In any educational learning center, it is important to communicate clearly and frequently with the various members.  In such an important area of life as a child’s education, it is critical that schools communicate well with students and parents.  What follows is an attempt to formally outline the ways we hope to keep parents informed of their children’s progress at Tantallon Elementary.


At the outset it may be helpful to provide a brief explanation of some of the educational terms that are used in our written plan.  When we speak of assessment, we refer to the many ways that teachers daily gather information on student learning.  The more formal term, evaluation, refers to the process of taking all the assessment information and making more formal judgments on the student’s progress.  While assessment is done daily, evaluation covers longer periods and is done several times in a school year.


Teachers gather information about what students learn, how they learn, and growth they have made in a variety of ways.  In planning assessments, teachers use a broad range of strategies in an appropriate balance to give students multiple opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and attitudes.  By ensuring a variety of methods, teachers give students the opportunity of showing their best work.

At Tantallon Elementary School, teachers use a variety of ways to assess student performance.  These may include, but are not limited to:

  • formal and informal observations
  • checklists and rubric scores
  • anecdotal records
  • conferences/interviews
  • daily work samples
  • portfolios
  • projects, presentations/reports
  • student journals
  • test/quizzes
  • performances – skits, puppet shows, public speaking, debates, plays, role playing, song and dance, instrumental music
  • peer and self evaluation – students assessing own and each others work using clear guidelines

The Nova Scotia Department of Education provides curriculum guides that describe the learning outcomes for each curriculum area, and teachers at Tantallon Elementary School are in the process of using them in planning, delivering and assessing the outcomes for the learning activities they set up for the class.  Information brochures on elementary curriculum topics are available in the main office for parent/guardians.


Information about your child’s learning can be communicated to students, parents/guardians and teachers in a variety of ways.  These methods include, but are not limited to:

  • curriculum sessions for parents/guardians (A fall evening event, along with a math day)
  • school and/or class newsletters
  • special events
  • communication journals/baggies (P-2) and agenda book (3-6) as a two-way communication vehicle
  • work samples
  • published stories
  • read-at-home programs
  • writing folders
  • journals
  • projects
  • displays
  • visits
  • phone calls
  • e-mails
  • performances
  • portfolios
  • conferences
  • interim communication reports
  • progress reports


Some of these possible ways for communicating student learning in relation to the expected outcomes will be undertaken on a school-wide basis and others are particular to individual classes and teachers.  There are specific times set aside to have teachers inform parents, formally and informally, about student progress.  While much of the communication between home and school takes place on an informal basis, there are formal written report periods.  Three times per year (see dates below), the school will send home progress reports that are written in narrative form. In addition, some form of interim communication from the classroom teacher will come the way of each student’s parent during both the first and second term. If the standard forms of communication are inappropriate (for example, parents do not understand written English), alternate methods of communication will be pursued.  The following calendar outlines these events:

Dates updated for 2013-14

SEPTEMBER 25th  Curriculum Night (meeting teachers to review curriculum expectations) (along with Scholastic Book Fair)
NOVEMBER 12th    Parent/guardian/teacher meetings (evening appointments)
 NOVEMBER 13th   Parent/guardian/teacher meetings (afternoon appointments – students dismissed at noon)
DECEMBER 10th and 11th Holiday Concerts(Senior school): a presentation of student achievement
DECEMBER 12th   First term progress reports sent home
JANUARY 23rd    Open House Curriculum Event – Math Day
APRIL 3rd  Second term progress reports sent home
APRIL 30th Parent/guardian/teacher meetings (afternoon & evening appointments) – students dismissed at noon)
JUNE 30th  Final progress reports sent home

Parents/guardians are also invited to attend special performances


Most students have success following the prescribed curriculum as outlined in the Department of Education’s learning outcomes documents.  In some cases students require some additional support from the resource teacher to help them keep pace.  In a small number of cases, major adaptations are required because a student is not able to learn at a pace to achieve the learning outcomes.  As a way of planning for this student, the School Planning Team meets to formulate a revised educational plan.  A teacher or parent may refer a student for consideration by the School Planning Team.  Prior to the formal writing of an individual program plan (IPP), parents/guardians will be informed and involved.  Parents/guardians will be part of the Program Planning Team for their child’s learning.  Copies of a booklet entitled ‘The Program Planning Process: A Guide for Parents’ are available in the main office.


New homework guidelines have been developed by the Department of Education. One of the guidelines is that each school is to use the guidelines to develop a plan at their site. At TES, we are waiting for the DOE to publish their P-3 homework guidelines before developing a school wide plan for homework . It is our aim to have this plan in place for all classrooms for September 2013.


When concerns arise about a student’s progress, parents are asked to first discuss the matter with the teacher.  If the matter is not resolved, the parent should approach the school administration.  The goal in these discussions is to work towards the best interests of the student.  Such discussions are best held at agreed upon appointment times.  If the matter is not resolved at the administration level, the parent is able to formally direct the concern to Board supervisory staff.


The School Plan for Communicating Student Learning will be reviewed and revised as needed.  However, a formal review will take place every three years.  Any suggestions for revisions can be addressed in writing to the school principal.


Our hope is that our communication plan provides parents with opportunities to understand their children’s school progress.  Each September teachers begin the challenging but stimulating process of getting to know their students and helping them progress.  We hope this year will be a year of great growth for your children and a year we do a great job of communicating that growth to you.