General Report Card Comments Appropriate for Struggling Students:
Students who find themselves struggling with academics in school fall into two categories: those with learning disabilities and those who are simply slow learners. While the “slow learner” label is painful and often difficult for parents to accept, these students do not have a qualifiable learning disability that would allow the school to write an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) for the student.
Parents whose child is struggling in school should never be surprised by a report card with poor grades. Interim reports, parent-teacher conferences and signed tests and other assignments should help to soften the blow of a bad grade on a report card for most parents.
Struggling students receiving a bad grade on a report card will either be at the beginning or somewhere in the middle of efforts to remediate their academic achievement. For this purpose, I have split the suggested report card comments into two separate groups. The first is for students who have just recently begun to struggle academically. The second is for those who have been struggling for a while with several interventions in place.
Students Struggling in School for the First Time
Student must improve work habits if he/she is to gain the fundamentals needed for ___ grade work.
Student’s handwriting needs to be improved. We will begin handwriting practice at school; you can help at home by requiring student to rewrite any homework assignments that are unreadable.
Student struggles to finish independent assignments in class.
Student needs frequent encouragement to complete simple tasks in class.
Student has shown difficulty learning (this skill) so in the coming weeks we will focus more on this.
Student often seems tired at school.
Student has shown difficulty understanding written material. We will be focusing more on comprehension during reading group. Please help at home by asking student basic questions about what he/she is reading.
Student fails to ask for clarification when unsure about directions.
Students who are Continuing to Struggle with Academics
Student has shown strong growth in (this area).
Student still requires incentives to complete work independently.
Student has had a good attitude about improving in (this area).
Student has shown improvement in study habits.
If the student is going through the process of being identified with a learning disability, the comments on a report card are very important as part of the documentation of the struggles that the student has had in class.
For more information about disabilities and learning disabilities, check out the following articles: