Extending the time frame for completing report cards is welcome news for teachers but won’t fix continuing problems with the new student information system, says Kamloops Thompson Teachers Association.
After hearing of the frustrations teachers are having with MyEducation B.C. — which replaces BCeSIS — the school district has extended the reporting time lines by three to four weeks.
In a report that goes before school board Monday night, district superintendent Karl deBruijn says that administration wants first-term report cards sent home before the winter break, so that parents have adequate time to consult with teachers.
DeBruijin also notes that additional resources have already been devoted to implementing the new system.
“The challenges with the new system that occurred earlier this year including periods of system slowdowns and some shut downs for conversions and upgrades have caused concern and frustration for many of our staff. Both the Ministry of Education and Fujitsu have been responsive and are working to eliminate these issues,” he states in his report.
The KTTA requested that the Ministry of Education reduce the number of mandatory reporting periods this year and that teachers be granted additional release time to get appropriate training. DeBruijin points out that the district doesn’t have the authority to stray from the required three reporting periods per year, though it does have some flexibility with reporting time frames.
Problems with MyEducation B.C. persist and they go beyond startup glitches, said David Komljenovic, KTTA president.
“A lof of the issues have to do with the program itself,” he said. “What a lot of members are saying is that it’s very time consuming. The program itself is problematic.”
While the reporting extension is going to help, what’s lacking most is adequate training for teachers, he said.
“The trainers are making themselves available, but a lot of the trainers are not trained enough. It’s been rolled out too quickly.”
He said the Ministry of Education is unwilling to put more money into the transition program. Teachers are asking why they can’t simply revert to the old format for reporting.
“We do appreciate (extra time). We just want more flexibility, but we still request that they look at alternative formatting.”