Multilingual Video Report Card Tool Animates Student Grades
In the fall of 2015 OUSD started a pilot of a new tool called the Video Report Card (VRC), an animated presentation of each student’s grade that can be sent to families in the language they speak at home, such as English, Spanish, Arabic and Vietnamese.
This year, six OUSD Middle Schools have joined the 14 Elementary Schools and are using VRCs as a new strategy for parent engagement and that has had particularly positive feedback from families of English Language Learners and newcomers.
The VRC technology, made by Spotlight Education, provides insights and context that is not possible with a conventional paper report card. Each marking period, a video that can be viewed on a computer or mobile device explains the marks the student earned in each academic area in terms of performance and effort, what the mark means and an understanding of the student’s progress from one term to the next. It includes measures of attendance and punctuality and provides specific steps that parents and students can take in areas of concern and opportunity.
“It’s so important to reach out to families via different communication channels” said Susan Beltz, Interim Chief of Technology Services. “Right now, this is the only electronic way of explaining what the marks mean other than meeting with the teacher to talk through it. It’s really exciting for us to partner with schools through the Data and Tech Leads to find out what the needs are and when new technology is working well.”
According to Spotlight, the initial feedback from parents is very positive: 74% of all parent users said “The VRC helped me better understand my child’s performance in school” while 76% said “All families in Oakland should receive the VRC.” Spotlight’s Video Report Card was also named a winner of NewSchools Venture Fund's ELL Challenge 2016.