We at ERB know how challenging it can be for educators to effectively communicate with students’ families about testing and ultimately, their child’s scores. At the same time, we know that families may appreciate resources to help them interpret what all the complex data they are presented with actually mean in context.
To help families understand the “bigger picture” behind their child’s assessment data, we at ERB want to empower educators to present this information—including key findings and next steps—in a simple, digestible format. Our new Family Report tool in the 360 Access data platform for CTP and Milestones can help.
Introducing Family Report
Educators from our member schools typically use the data gathered from our CTP and Milestones comprehensive assessments for a variety of purposes, including to evaluate their curriculum as it currently stands, inform their instruction, and better understand student learning gaps and trends. Another commonly cited “use” among members is communicating results to families.
Recent polls and feedback sessions with member schools indicate that ERB’s long-standing student reports have been complex and difficult for families to understand. These reports were really designed for educators, but they have historically served a dual purpose, also functioning as a report to send home. This adds a layer of stress to what should be a helpful conversation between educators and families on how results can support an individual student’s learning progress.
So we embarked on a journey to create a new report function for families.
What Is Family Report?
At the annual ERB Conference in April 2023, we officially launched the Family Report, now available for immediate use in 360 Access. It was designed with these five principles in mind:
1. Show student progress and growth.
A new “progress report” feature allows member schools to chart student progress over time. This representation of the data enables educators to support families and students in maintaining a growth mindset in their learning.
2. Support educators in choosing the right information to send home.
Three Family Report templates are available, enabling member schools to be as general or specific as they wish in the results they share with families. They can choose the core information they feel is required for families to understand and digest the results.
3. Enable member schools to add context to assessment results.
The new cover letter, teacher comments, and “next steps” functionalities allow educators to explain the purpose of ERB assessments, how results compare with schoolwork, and how families can support learning at home.
4. Make sharing results with families easier.
The Family Report can be shared via a personalized web link, electronic PDF, or printed copy. Web links provide the full history of a student’s reports, allowing families to review current and past results in one location.
5. Support families with more information about ERB testing.
Through the Family Report, educators can provide additional information related to the specifics of ERB assessments, including what is measured and how to interpret scores. Links embedded within the Family Report connect families to more information about the specific report they received.
Customized by Educators, Designed for Families
As a membership organization, ERB involves member schools in the conceptualization, design, and development processes for our new offerings. The feedback we heard as we developed the Family Report feature helped us identify the improvements needed to make our reporting more impactful.
In fact, we had some of our member schools pilot the Family Report tool earlier this year. Dr. Alexandra Sundman, Head of the Middle School at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Maryland, says she sees potential in the new Family Report feature when it comes to showcasing a student’s progress over time and explaining to families how to interpret what the data really suggests.
“I think whether a parent has an infant or a college-aged kid, just the day-to-day hardness of parenting sometimes doesn’t give you that perch to be able to say, ‘This is where they came from, this is where they’re going,’” Sundman says. “I think that visual really literalizes that progress for parents,” referring to the Progress Report tool.
Learn more about ERB’s score reporting options for students’ families.